Poem Collection
by Jan Oskar Hansen

A Day Not Like Yesterday

It had stopped raining two hours ago,
fields and lanes were drying in the sun,
only rainwater remained in an old boot in
a ditch (didn't find the other one) a stray
dog puts his nose into it, find it of little
interest. I looked too and could see white
clouds on a blue sky. Next to the boot an
apple with a worm in it, must have been
thrown there by a passing car. Since I don't
like apples with worms and have two legs
I left the things alone and soldiered on with
a stick to find gold, because I had seen,
when it rained, a little rainbow over the ditch.
The stray helped me look too, only it didn't
know what I was looking for, yet it enjoyed
the hunt, it wasn't alone anymore and I had
someone to talk to. A farmer walked passed
shaking his head, thought we're dirt poor,
the dog and I ignored him and the day kept
rolling on.

According too...

There is no God I said with great certainty,
then I felt his presence like a summer breeze.
A dead tulip in a vase suddenly bloomed, an
expired sardine in the fridge knocked on its
door, asked for a glass of salty water.

I'm chewing gum till my jaw aches, have to
stop smoking before May when Bush lands
in his blue chopper, like god out of whirling
dust he will appear and tell me about the evil
axis and that we have to fight now to avoid
wars in the future.

What has your family feud got to with me,
I will ask and he will tell me about my
brother who used to be his drinking buddy
when they both lived in Arizona and is now
like him a born again Christian and preacher
of the gospel.

Then the chopper will explode, they won't
come to get him, they have got an effigy of
him in Washington, and I will be stuck
with him for the remainder of his presidency.
From above god will laugh, feeling well again.

The Flow.

In the soft stream
Of remembrance
I purify my soul.
Autumnal leafs of
Hurtful memories
Float to the ocean
Of the bygone.
A child remember
Dreams whence
Life sprung, where
Souls rest in star-
Spun cots, the kind
Silence where
God's heartbeat is
The music of eternity.


Door stuck, kicked it open easy
guarded only by a flimsy cobweb,
the spider in the middle ran away.
Empty heat, grimy windows and
mouse droppings on dusty floor
boards? Could hear them running
for safety upstairs before human
boots kicked them dead.

the steps up to the second landing
creaked (they always do in ancient
abandoned houses) and old shadows
miserably succumbed when I opened
shutters falling into an abyss of day
light. One, however, refused to go,
moving slowly behind me, whispering
inaudible words.

Laughter, orange trees and children
outside, the late owner had, when
struck by loneliness, tried to hide his
misery from the world till only sorrow
lingered in empty rooms and darkness
entered his mind. Blackened out
memories, erased his humanity till he
was a shadow in a deserted house.

I Dream of Havana

Lost in a field of sugar canes, had no hat and
the sun in Cuba is no ones friend. Came upon
a Chevrolet 1955, a rusty thing thought it was
abandoned till its driver came from underneath
asked if I wanted a lift."...And what are you
doing here? If you don't mind me asking," he said
"looking for a sweet revolution, for a new
Batista to open up Havana the way it used to be,
you know, casinos cat houses and bars made
famous by drinking writers, in short a movable
feast; now its hospitals and literacy...boring."
"I know what you mean, used to be a colonel
in the old days, anyway it won't be long now
before we'll have free-trade and democracy
my brother, who sells plastic tits in Florida,
told me so" The disgraced police colonel, now
a taxi driver in Havana said and laughed.

Car-boot Sale in Almancil (Portugal)

At the car boot sale a man who combed his neck
hair forward to cover his nude scalp, plastered
down with gel to it looked like a helmet, was
selling a blue hard-hat, once worn by the country’s
president when he inspected a building site and
workers(mostly Ukrainians) got a half day of and
handed tiny flags to wave, and a pair of black
boots once worn by General Franco when he
made a short state visit in 1946.The seller of
these treasures was self conscious of his hair
that, in the breeze, kept flapping resembling
the lid on a boiling pan. The hard hat was quickly
sold but he could not find a buyer for the boots,
so I bought them, not that they fit, but as reminder
that dictators are not pleasant men, they trample
on the green hope freedom in the name of order
and discipline. Yet we are so stupid that we erect
status of those awful people sitting proudly on
a bronze charger looking handsome, that is, till
pigeons cover them with droppings. As the breeze
got up the seller’s hair blew back and down his
neck and the entire world knew that he was bald.

Even Those Who Can

Email! This wondrous invention,
bringing us brotherhood and peace
on earth. Millions of emails flies,
on flash stream wings, through air,
hastily written and hastily read and
into the rubbish bin they go.

Now, if I wish, I can send an email
to Bush telling him not to talk dirty
about war and leave his itchy, left
index finger off the nuclear button,
or tell the old man Sharon to stop
sending tanks into refuge camps.

Wondrous world and peace on earth,
into a big black hole that erases every
thought written on computer screens.
will go, while the literate write hasty
emails to those who don’t read them
but press the delete button instead.

Declaration of Love

In the beginning I knew everything
and was ignorant, now that I know
nothing my ignorance is subdued.
When I, strapped by the bondage
of mere words, tell you that I love
you, it isn’t exactly what I intended
to say, because from that you may
draw the conclusion that I love you
more than anything else and that
would not be true. We communicate
by using words, which are trite when
talking of love and we also tend put
various meanings in words of cooing,
when a kiss is so much more telling.
However, if you are as ignorantly
subdued as me then you will catch
the under drift of what I’m saying,
that I love you as much as trees in
the forest, the river near my house and
as much as the beauty of galloping
horses across the landscape of dreams.

The Egg

A Chinese cook once gave me an egg
that had been buried in soil for a month,
its white was grey and its yolk green,
dipped it in Soya sauce and bravely eat it.
He also gave me a book of Mao’s thoughts
condensed into a breast pocket size to be
read after, work expanding once mind.

Every Chinese and trendy westerners used
to have one and now there is none, wonder
where they all went? Mine disappeared on
a voyage between Hong Kong and New York,
I feared that American emigration officials,
who are not famous for their sense of humour,
would chain me to the railing of my ship.

There is a gigantic poster of Mao in the Red
Square, they change it every year, and he’s
younger and blander than before, soon he will
look like a newscaster on CNN and forgotten,
this is sad for he was a great man who united
China. I wonder if that cook was making fun
of me, can still remember the egg’s after taste.

Elderly Man in a Cabin

It used to be fun, drinking, smoking
playing poker with my friends till
they one by one walked into the long,
unknown night; now I sit and play
solitaire, in front of me a glass of low
fat milk and a packet of chewing gum.

Booze and cigarettes the spice of life
is gone and my life is an even stream
running through a boring agricultural
landscape; queen goes on king, jack
goes on queen… and never mind, long
is the night waiting for a new spring.

After a Storm

Morning, the storm is blowing itself out,
now it breathes like a man too late to catch
a bus taking him to work. Spring, green
leaves torn off trees whisper indignantly in
corners, this shouldn’t happen to them: we are
not autumn leaves they seem say. Soldiers,
caught up in a war not of their making, dying
on a battlefield far away from the mother tree.

Sparrows bunkered down under old roof tiles
are ready to finish building their nests, lay eggs
catch insects and get on with life. The storm is
now a zephyr, in the forest trees occasionally
tremble as remembering a bad dream, dogs
come out of barns; sleep still in eyes, wagging
tails pleased to be alive…And there is the sun
chasing clouds away.

The Ghost

When I got up,
in the night,
the beautiful
ghost took fright
and rode off on
a white charger
to the dark valley
beyond dreams
where it could
live in peace and
not be scared by
We had a pact
I should live
in the day and
it exist in the night,
but I got up
bad memories
off my mind,
that’s a heavy
She is beautiful
and kind,
now other spooks,
with evil intent,
try to crowd
my mind.

To find, to find

The ship’s siren wails the sorrow
of eternal parting, slowly the distance
between dock and ship widens, there
is still time to jump back onboard and
to the safety of the threadbare known.

No, the mystery of the sea has gone,
I have business elsewhere, far inland,
but first I had to walk through a forest,
then climb a mountain to glimpse a vale
as beautiful as seen in many dreams.

Years it will take and often my goal
will be obscured by factory soot, and
the monotony of family life will almost
kill the dream, but when time is mine
again, I shall find that vale of dreams.

Late March

The hunters have gone, they are not
allowed to kill in spring, blue cartridges
litter glades, a reminder of their deadly
presence. Alone, not even a phone pole
in sight and nature’s hum is intense.
Eyes in trees and under bushes see me
and snakes slithers off in the undergrowth.
On a flat field, with a long view, I stop
plan where to build my log cabin, it’s a day
a dream but the thought of being a part of
what I see overwhelms, hope that some
day my ashes will be strew here in this,
the landscape of my life - far from the sea-
and that it will make a hunter sneeze a little
when pulling the trigger of his shotgun.

The Human Condition

Scared rabbit dart along the road
trapped by the headlight of my car
I‘ll run you over and squash you
into asphalt only so I can satisfy
my human instinct to kill what I
don’t need nor eat. Gore and fur
on a tyre, how fun. Tomorrow I’ll
sit in the bar tell my mates about it,
we’ll laugh make squashy sounds
drink and laugh some more.


Naked individualism
hunts for personal happiness
never-mind others.

Paint that wall. Dreamer!
Ample kitchen sink voice
kind eyes she has.

Spring is calming
settling into green summer
soft soil and worms.

Swimming pool blues
she drowned a moon moody night.
Dawn came face down.

Terrified sea on canvas
tries to reach the promised shore
it’s painter forgot.

A Promise

I can no longer recall your face,
the film screen on my mind is
blank, but I still remember your
fluttering zephyr against my lips
and your trembling heart of love.

I will dally here a bit longer than
set sail and voyage across the sea
of forever, till I reach Nirvana’s
shores and join you there just in
time for us to see the last sunset.

Not an emperor nor an empress we
will not be ghosts of the past, but like
millions of others, be utterly erased
from man’s memory; we shall join
the forgotten and be divine stillness.

Love’s Crossing

Walking across a bridge a day in May
sweet water sang and apple blossom
bloomed in the sunlight. Suddenly you
were there as sent from heaven. I asked
your name. "Mary" you said and smiled.
"Mary, I’m going the same way as you."
Our hands touched I crooked my index
finger around your little finger and a later
boldly held on to you hand. I loved you
intensely, couldn’t bear the thought of
letting you go never had I met a girl as
beautiful as you. On a park bench, when
we whispered words of true love we knew
that no one had ever made love like us.
Our spring and summer didn’t last long,
no money lived in an attic. Tension arose
we argued a lot cried and made up. But
wind of fall grew to a storm and resentful
silence between storm casts became
unbearable. On a strange a day in October,
that still had faint aroma of summer, you
were gone, met an old flame who had
a good job and a car, your mother said.
Cried into my pillow drank cheap wine was
sorry for myself and lamented the passing
of seasons. Yet felt relieved we had little in
common now that the candle of desire had
burnt the wick of love.