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Two Poems for this Poetry Day

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!

"Oracle" (c) 2016 Jan Valentin Saether / BONO All Rights Reserved


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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