Seth Howard


River of silence that flows
through the city. Of
quiet embers that tell
me I’ve known. Deer

slip through the bran-
ches, & a dove flutters
in the light. River of
darkness that has no

name. Of dream frag-
ments, & a place of no
thought. I gather
my life up from these

pieces. Are you still here?
In a city that encloses
the crows with distant
eyes. In a dream I had

in waking. Is it true?
River of mist that floats
just beyond our reach.
Of elms that hang over

gravestones. I sit still,
patient for a magnanimous
mood. For the waters
that snake in the night.

River of waking, an
entranceway of light.
This lucence I had
known, the hypnotic

waves. Take us to
the current’s pull.
In solitude that en-
closes us, emerge.


Quiet intimacy, in the
mornings that disrobe
before me. Silent
prophets who appear.

A river runs across
my room, & I listen
for what silence
conveys. I who still

believe, & sense
the world is real.
Where ever will
they find us, we

who live the full range
of existence? A
greenish ember.
She washes by the

waters. Schizo-
phrenic limb that
ratchets down.
We who live pain-

fully awake. &
carry with us a
weight, that is
suddenly lighter.


The day opens a pale flower.
We gather our things,
leaving for somewhere
far. Mornings return

us to a place of silence.
A river runs through darkness,
& on its waters float
lanterns. Whenever we

will live again & be reborn.
A quiet light drifts upon
stillness. You say hi to
a girl with an eyepatch.

Whenever we will let
go of our pasts, of these
lingering trials. Words
unspoken in the even-

ing air, but a certain
empathy. She opens
her fan, & we listen
for a signal, or a pulse.

Ancient light across
the river. We exist
in the silences that
guide us in the night.


Patient for a moment
when it comes. Our
day drifts somewhere
slightly out of reach.

You draw it back.
Lucence on the waters,
a quiet swell, or a
breath, leaving this

place. I remember her
eyes in the half-light.
To settle back in the
sleepy village. Patient

for a moment when
it comes. & we are
whole again, as
we always have been.

What synergies do
we find in this stillness?
To wake some in
this late morning.

Draw it back until
you recognize the
scent. Days in
the city, delirium.


Fragments of presence
scattered at our feet.
I look up. The sky is
lucid, & evening long.

In the quiet mornings you
came to me. Coffee
black, & the serene in-between.
Do we keep on waiting?

A searchlight in the fog.
Sirens screech across the
waves, & she is near me,
huddled under a blanket.

Never sure when the
end would come. Snows
drift over the wharf,
& the search goes on.

Hot coffee warms us
some, & a memory is
kept alive. We wait,
& the snow falls maj-

estic. In mornings
we came to know this
silence. It was too
long a journey home.


Stillness, & repose.
We who live so
far, somewhere in
the distant north.

Those who come
to search. Who
climb mountains,
histories of glass.

We who sit where
silence drips, live
beyond the world
of cares. What is

called a home for
us, the drifters,
the students of
jade, & oblivion?

So, we travel back
to our beginnings.
Our tracks form
ellipses in the grass.

Day opens for us
its frail blossoms,
our footprints
are sealed in jars.

Who will search
for us, at the zen-
ith of our lives?
Where the mists

slip into the past.
Who will speak,
when the world
is set on silence?

Seth Howard is the author of two chapbooks: Out of the East, & Waters from a Well. His work has appeared in Otoliths, BlazeVOX [books], unarmed journal, Big Hammer, Oddball Magazine, Chronogram, Saudade, Elephant, & elsewhere. He hosted the Poetry Open Mic at the Washington Street Coffee House for a year, where he shared much of his own work, & has done several featured readings in local bookstores. He graduated from the University of Connecticut, & studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo for three years. In his spare time, he enjoys the practice of Zazen, watches K-drama, & co-edits CAPSULE Magazine. He currently resides in New London.
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Blogger Gloria said...

Great poet... Each one more profound than the next. Totally worthy of reading and enjoying... --gv

6:26 AM  

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