Saturday, February 20, 2021

Selected Works, Seth Jani

Wet Dogs

After years spent trying
to dissect the moon,
I settled back
into longing, open fields,
into the horizontal meadows of light.
I turned down
the wind-strewn road
to where my father
tended a garden
and the dual energies
from this world and the next
danced in the koi pond,
shining like ancient fur.

Calling the Council

Take up the forest in your arms,
the darkling birds and cedar boughs,
the rivers rerunning to the sea.
Take the straggling myths
and gnarled amanitas,
the secret hours of the witch.
Take whatever the moon loved
in the winding labyrinth, carry it
to your makeshift shelter.
Pour your ancient libations
over the wounded and dead.
Cast your spells of sunlight.
We need healers to rise
from the sleep of ages.
We need new languages
of terror and grace.

Suicide Mission

The clockwork light has bound me
again in its linear cages.
What force will strike the rundown mansion
and open the doors to the wind?
Will re-invite the field grasses
to their creeping indignities, or let
the molten fires pour in
like some punishment of song?
Awake, old magisterial darkness
in the bowels of the house, Awake!
All of beauty is a pull from the unknown.
The mischievous and deadly hand
inviting us. Outwards.
The disfigured angel or gorgeous chthonic god
tugging our heartstrings
toward some ineluctable wager,
some suicidal leap of faith.

Staying in Bed

Swim out into the last bleak throughway
of the night, where even the stars
fear to hover, where the wondrous
and pain-ridden light of being
churns out of the furnace, not yet drinkable,
not yet in the shapes of trees or scissors,
not yet the namable palpitations of love.
Maybe a god could live there,
maybe the Buddhas themselves,
but not us. Follow the course
back downriver into the comfortable
boundaries the moon delimits.
Kiss the curving palms and delicious wind.
Let all the lava pour into your hunger
with its molten jewels.
Stake nothing on transcendence.
All the fire we need to live
is burning freely at the door.

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