Two Poems for this Poetry Day

March 21, 2016

March 21 is International Poetry Day, and Hand to Mouth Publishing celebrate by sharing two poems by Jan Valentin Saether (from his upcoming poetry collection, working title "The Abraxas Verses", Hand to Mouth Publishing, 2017). Enjoy!






The Gorgeous Gap


The new wisdom snake

does not close                                          

                                                                 the gap


like the older image

where the tail is in jaws

This newness now reveals

what proud predicament concealed

The last little gap of missing context

                                                                will not be bridged



At the entrance or the exit                                                                                                                  

or here .............                                      

                                                                 right now


something hides from view                                                             

in the full cycle of creation

Be it the universe

a single living cell

or an individual consciousness

                                                                  all have boundaries


to mysteries

of open ended celebration



No settlement on law and order

stands the onslaught of the new

A tidy tucked cosmology       

postponing urgent questions                             

has a prize

                                                                  to be exacted    


for the satisfaction                                                                       

of a closure



What unpredictable event

may come from just within

the crustaceous shell of shame

Thoreau’s  remark:

“Most people

Live their lives

In quiet desperation”



darkness of their private mire

births the private urge

to have the world arranged

within precocious order

opting thus to pass on

the copious conundrum

of why this closure

is so fundamentally



Stories told

with victory and completion

conspire to hide and control

this dizziness

of remaining in the open-ended question

Hedging on the edge

avoids that troubling dance 

of moving lightly

tangent to perilous



The gorgeous gap 

is like the tomb of Tut

hastily arrayed against death

with precious well wrought technology

and built on fickle theories

Thoughtless fantasies

                                                                   of staggering proportions


and at a cost

that is immense



What fear fills in

blocks the missing context

and veils

the valid vistas

where generous gifts of life


                                                                   from the gorgeous gap                             







Welcoming a Lost Friend


A few months now

since your body was sunk beneath the snow

The bed of dirt by the stone has new spring grass

By the gardener shed in the shadow of the hill

there are still crusts of ice under the birches

I converse with the tombstone

cry for the first time

You dead and me alive..... I said

How can that cold and singular fact be the truth

I feel dead compared with the strange strength

of your surrendered presence

Where you were flesh and friend before

the emptiness now

is even more filled with your body

your somatic carnal fragrance

That morning towards the victory time of cancer

your quiet thin voice on the telephone

barely moved the membrane

Said that I greeted you

at your night journeys' spirit destinations

that I was avake with you

when you were sleepless inside your dying frame

I said ... I sleep at night

at dawn I leep from my bed of oblivion

stung in my shame 

by the image of you in hospital white 

You said ..... it’s not about that

I was nailed by those words

arrested from slipping away in my surge of sorrow

had momentarily forgotten

what a thousand years of friendship had accomplished



And here now....

It’s raining ligth droplets on the grave

dark polkadots emerging on the dusty umber

Your living spirit awakening inside my deadness

The same thin voice

now ringing in my ruins:        


I am avake in you

as an abiding chance    

for deeper honesty and greater realms of integrity



And in this gift .......

                          a visit with your quickening laughter

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