Seth Jani

Birds of Mourning

There is this fact that only sorrow
Can undo the hung-up mind.
Fixated, thread-snagged,
It sometimes needs the fire,
The purifying dark:
Flame-lick, summer morbidity,
The decomposing dross of our lives
In ruin.
We circle round this sorrow
Like birds of mourning,
Eaters of sacrificial flesh.
In all these shade-ridden shrines
We do not find the cooling water
But another kind of thirst.
Something that makes the old maze blasé,
The old pain slough off
Like channels in the rain.
We are always orbiting our longing,
Discovering new circuits,
New gravities to chase.
We do not march forth
Straight into the truth
But hover in the same complexity
Of groves.
Learning, deepening: textures and angles,
The colors of the light.


Seth Jani-Author PicSeth Jani resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress ( His own work has appeared throughout the small press in such places as The Foundling ReviewThe Hamilton Stone ReviewHawai`i Pacific Review, Gingerbread House and Gravel. His most recent collection, Questions from the Interior, can be read online at

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