Poems by Jan Oskar Hansen


a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

I’m at the shopping centre
don’t need anything other than wine,
just filling time while waiting for you to return.

Frost in no man’s land,
the boredom of the lonely,
I’m the untold story,
a motor idling grey exhaust in a winter night.

Distant mountains, ice roses on window panes,
the sun has no power,
miracles are lost dreams until you return.

A La Haiku

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

Hidden from view
A symphony of words
Never written.

Close behind me
The tide is quickly erasing
My footsteps.

In father’s cellar
Empty bottles wafts songs
Of times forgotten.

Delicate long fingers
Fine tuned to a shiver
She adores champagne.

September darkness
In wealthy peoples garden
We stole apples.

A song for loved ones

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

There is no white Christmas
only wet asphalt and sludge on cobblestones.
There is no shiny light of promise
only neon light of the transient.
There is no heaven
only time and dust prevails.

So sleep my beauty
and be the breeze and rain that falls
be leaves on trees and a morning rose.
In all things beautiful I will remember you.
There is no heaven only time and dust prevails.


a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

She wasn’t there when I arrived,
the woman with rich gray hair
stretching to the small of her back,
I had been driving long
up winding roads across a plain’s
mourning emptiness
and down into the narrow valley
where she lived her dream
beside a stream
that happily ran into a translucent lake.
Her door was ajar
but no one had seen her leave,
murky clouds gathered,
the day darkened
and rain fell in large sorrowful drops.
On the lake
a blue rowing boat drifted aimlessly on soft water.

Words and Dreams

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

Now that it is September
my car shed tears at dawn before the sun
with care dries its grief.
Perhaps it remembers a song
sung in the Korean factory where it was made
before it was tarted up spray painted
and shipped off to Europe,
a faint chime of an ancient culture
that is but dead
yet lives in man’s common memory
and will one day express itself in an abstract rose
spun into new live by words made of dreams.

A Sea-Tale

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

Twentysix flying fish rode elegantly on a crest of a mighty wave
followed by a marauding school of dolphins.
The flying fish spread their fins took off
sailed masterly in the air,
but alas landed on the rusty deck of an old tramp ship
that had a one eyed captain as her master,
he had lost the real one in a fight with knife wielding harbour rat
those who lurks in seaports ready to steal sailors honest shillings.
The ship’s cook hailed from Himalayas
but knew early on that the sea was his destiny,
his real leg was voluntarily lost
when his duty was to feed the crew on a ship moribund on the arctic sea.
The soup he made
gave the crew strength to live
and later rescued by a Russian trawler.
I, the deck boy, gave the Himalayan twentyfive fishes
and one to an evil seagull
that otherwise would have strafed me with basic cluster bombs
and hoped that our ship would never be becalmed on the vast Pacific Ocean.

The Sorrow

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

The tiny footprints, on the paved path
leading to the ornamental pond,
have long since gone.
It was a summer day when it happened
a pale face amongst water lilies.
The pond was filled with stones and made into a shrine.
A baby in the house calls for her attention for a moment
she sees the footprints of her lost child and shudders.

Old Friends

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

When waking up,
often do in the deep night,
I hear them in the living room.
Can’t quite make out what they say,
but recognize their voices and laughter;
old friends from my, now fictional childhood.
When I get up switch on the light
to join them
they are not there,
a tiny rent in their dimension allows me to hear them,
they wish me well
stay near
but are not ready to receive me yet.


a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

The boy has discovered death
before he thought death only happened to swatted flies.
His aunt died
but when told that she had gone up to Jesus
he asked what she was doing in a casket in a hole in the ground.
He’s worried about me
now I’m so much older than other dads in the neighbourhood
wants me to live forever.
Yesterday we drove to where the forest fire had been seeing the dead forest
he cried not only for the trees
but also for the animals that must have perished.
Wish I could say something soothing
but I don’t want to tell lies
so he has to work it out himself.

September Song

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

Still is this dawn, they said it would rain
but the sky is clear and pale blue.
Roses on bushes imperceptible
inhale morning coolness sense
like I do that this is the last sigh of summer.
Tomorrow we too can softly exhale and say:
”It was a beautiful summer.”
Leaving the question whether
we are going to see another one unanswered.

Man and Rat

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

Sixty million rats
big as cats in our city,
no more space in sewers,
now they are taking over streets and parks,
no child is safe
not even in the nursery.
Rats are agile
they can chew through anything
scale walls and burrow deep.
Leave your baby alone for a few minutes
and it has no eyes, it’s brain sucked dry.
We have to fight them now
these disease ridden, sewer infested beings
or leave our city and head for the countryside,
but they will follow us there
because they see how merciless we are towards each other
and think we are their brethren.

An Elderly Tiger

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

The toothless tiger deeply sighed
lay near the track to the stream
where the village women went to fetch water,
if one of them were young and dreaming of love
he could push her to the ground
choke her as he used to do with springboks,
chew soft delicate female flesh
he really needed sustenance and his gums where sore.

No one came that day or the next
our tiger didn’t know that the village now had running water
women didn’t have to walk for miles with a jug on their heads.
The big cat is almost a vegetarian now
eats green leaves, bananas, strawberries the occasional mouse,
but sadly misses the sexy sway women had when walking to the stream.

Haikuish Verses

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

The couple on the sofa
Miles apart.

Musical notes
Hang on an abstract line
Composer’s laundry day.

From his pen dripped
A pool of simple lexis
Making harmony.

My unborn son
Curses me when it drizzles
Traitor, he hisses.

My unborn daughter
Plays with dolls in my heart
Loves me tenderly.

Warm September day
In shades a cooling whisper
Wine of summer drunk.

War Games

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

A snow-white miasma with pink dots
came rolling down the steep incline
covering road and car,
I was driving on a cloud
but stopped as I didn’t want to fall down to earth.

Above me
the sky was endlessly peaceful,
till eight jetfighters came roaring into view
made warlike maneuvers
dived, released pretend rockets
and I was the target.

They left a vapour trail of disharmony
but by then I was back on earth again
driving an old jeep up a steep road in second gear
and thought how lucky I was not being an Iraqi.

Forest Fire

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

An army of planted trees
standing dead
charcoal charred
and silent.
In this made for money
forest animals ran the wrong way puzzled
by shifting wind
and the fire’s brutal laughter.
Squirrels, boars, foxes and hares
shall be no ones food or decorate vanities neck.
Blazing earth will renew itself
fertilized by destruction
and out of the cleansing fire
a free forest will sing
of the normality of life and death.