Seth Jani

Knowing Glances Reading the book of the world is hard.The language is made of field grass,soughing birds, dark confusions,the moonlit mysteries of being,and suffering, with its hard clay.No wonder then, there’s nowhere left to study.Only a few glimmering places in the nooksand crannies, in the forgotten roomsof the awakened heart. It’s lonely, wouldn’t you say,to hear the secret music the ocean conjures?The haunted fable of the wind?And you can’t share the direct perception,the sacred taste of the feast,only that look of gratitude dawning deeper in your eyes,that quiet luminosity which somedaysomeone else might notice, and sayhey, me too! Passenger Still water, and the moon,nonchalantly, in the treeslike a black shipwreck, a ravaged eye.The populace of dreamsinfiltrating the porous earth,escaping the other worldas rain escapes into the soil.All my life, slicked black and shining.Few stars in the cold roof of winter.And that beautiful otherliving like a stranger in my own skin,just watching the flourishing galaxiestip their milky ladles,pouring all that molten lightinto the forge of morning. Tariki So I was swept upby the west windtrailing from Amida’s hands,where he found mein the dead silence of my life,listening and breathless,afraid the fire had come too near,or maybe, not near enough.Afraid to the deep bonethat I was truly empty,that I was neither birdsongnor a kind of centrifugeparting music from dross.And maybe I was, truly empty,but then there was this lightcosmic and autumnalpouring through the branches,illuminating me in secret.And it was the same lightthat bloomed on the foreheads of gods and murderers,on the outcast and infinitely chosen.It was the same light I sawdown near the riverbank touching the lives of minnows,holding even the slightest creaturesas if they were kings,as if everything in this shiftingpatchwork worldwere just muddied stonesthat upon investigation turned out to be gold. Seth Jani lives in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress ( Their work has appeared in The American Poetry Journal, Chiron Review, Rust+Moth and Pretty Owl Poetry, among others. Their full-length collection, Night Fable, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2018. More about them and their work can be found at