Seth Jani

Each Thing in Turn
It’s exactly how you imagined.The pores of the darkness openAnd the stars, with their massiveGolden mouths, burn out.There is nothing troubled aboutThis happening.None of that fallacyWhich tells usTo turn away from our dying.Rather the earth is touchedBy simple acceptance.The flower with its drooping headRises and falls.The small boat resting on its sideGently gives way to rot.Even the man fishingBy the water’s edgeLays his rod upon the bank,Slowly becoming convincedThat each thing in turnMust learn the patient artOf withering away.

Lessons from Dong Yuan
Silence must be learned.Though it has nothing to doWith the sound waves in a room,Or how many miles you have trekkedAcross mountains and desertsLooking for the boundaryWhich no voice may cross.
Rather it is a music you must build,A garden inside the constant city,A slow laboring of faith.And there may still be birds there,Cars with troubled engines,Old leftover loves that have fallenOn the stone to perish.
But what matters is the wayYou let these thingsStep one by one into your hearing.Like those old Chinese paintingsIn which the artist slowly dissolves,His eyes turning to acorns,His body, a darkened plain.And in the middleHis heart becoming that emptinessWhich even after the painting is finishedWill continue to listenFor the simple footstepsOf whatever is yet to come.

The share of duty is divvied amongst the heart.Each of us indebted to the earthMust give, just once, our suffering hands.The world does not need redemption,The tyrannical howling from below,But just each miniscule partTo plant its one entrusted seed.We die and the failure to liveLingers on in regret,A ravenous heat that eats through generations.But to have met even for a momentOur Star’s singular callingUrges the sleepy streets to waken.The light which gives awarenessNeeds only a crack to fill the room.

Seth Jani is a poet from the Northeastern United States. He is the founder and editor of Seven CirclePress ( and EarthSpeak Magazine (
He has spent the last six years working, writing and wandering in places as varied as the Mojave Desert, Seattle and the Croatian city of Split on the Adriatic sea.
His work has appeared in Shoots & Vines, The Foundling Review, Writers' Bloc (Rutgers), and Subliminal Interiors amongst others.
More of his work can be viewed at