Poem Collection
by Jan Oskar Hansen

The She Elephant

Pygmies shot arrows of hate
into the giant she elephantís
behind, crazed she ran amok
and trampled down villages
in her path. Minor elephants
tried to talk sense into her, it
had happened to them as well,
but she wouldnít listen, sees
enemies everywhere and her
trumpet call to the world is:
"Those who are not with me
are against me." The jungle
of life is an risky place, now
made worse by a big animalís
persecution complex .

The Accomplishment

The hundred watt bulb
over the entrance door
cheekily pushed night
away and selfishly out
shone timid fairy lights.
A boy and a stone made
a difference, now night
is back and fairy lights
glimmer in leafy trees.

Herr General

If Sharon had
been a German
general he
would have
Time and space
no journalists
around when
he in Ramallah
makes his
final push and
forever kills
a dream
named Israel

Creatures Great and Small

God sighed and life began
took all form and shape,
hence we are linked to all
living mortals.

Venomous snakes, bees that
sting, crocodiles, sharks,
donkey mules and elephants
are my next of kin.

Fair haired pigs with Nordic
complexion, the black skinned
ones and the pot bellied Asian
pigs are my dear brothers.

Bum licking dogs, wanking
apes (no bedroom for them),
have no sense of shame, yet
like me they feel pain.

You are of Godís breath, in
my mind I embrace you, for
in His eyes nothing is as bad
as human cruelty.


There is anger in your brown eyes, your
expectation of me is not met. I try hard to
meet your demands, but the more I try
the more I fail. You want complete love,
distracted I love so many like the fair lady
at the post office. My heart lay at her feet,
perhaps one day she picks it up and Iíll
be alive the way I used to be when young.
You and I, my dear, are the same age, in
your arms I feel as I commit incest. I do like
to rest my head on your ample shoulder, run
errands and help with the washing up like
a good little boy I am, but when it comes to
physical love I have to close my eyes and
think of the post mistress.

The Sailor's Wallet

Freezing Rotterdam, the North Sea
is running up and down streets seeking
someone to harass. Counting money
under a street lamp, the sea grabbed
my cap and coldly washed it down
a side street. Not enough money to
seek refuge in a cheap hotel, those
with nylon bed sheets smelling of
paid sex. Shop lights, street lights,
fancy bar lights, make the night
darker. People arisen from the sea
have green pallid faces and damp
overcoats. A, a small bar boasting
the name. Sunset Boulevard, pink
light that makes the most depraved
look attractive, employs two women,
flotsam the sea has rejected, for those
who want more than a beer, Sit here
till closing time, look inward, dream
modestly of a warm cabin on a ship
bound for Jamaica.

The Boy

Today he is a cowboy tries
to lasso dogs which donít
appreciate this silly game,
itís embarrassing and
shamefaced they run away,
donít dare to bite a human
child. Turns his attention to
cats which seek refuge in
trees and roofs. Frustrated
asks me to play and I let him
lasso me a few times, till he
tires, mounts his bike pedals
down the lane followed by red
Indians only he can see


A pink cloud appeared amongst
gigantic masculine ones, the fat
clouds contemptible laughed and
called the little pink one effete.
When it was discovered that those
big golf playing clouds had bribed
the wind to make them look big and
full of rain when in fact they were
drier than a cistern on a hill top in
Tuscany mid July, they slunk away,
wrote detective books only bored
travellers read. The wind denied ití
part in this scandal, yet sighed about
dubious forfeited backhander riches.
Sunshine and laughter, a gay day, as
defined by my dictionary, was had by all.

Haiku (Benafim)

Film of fine dust
on the surface of my tea
twister has settled.

When we shoeless walk
in the valley of cobblers
poverty is acute.

Peculiar to see
a no smoking sign outside
a baccy factory.

Unseen (Vanity)

Suddenly, now in spring, from
nowhere they come, filling my
town with a sensuous scent;
those beautiful, elegant women.

In blue slacks, dyed beard and
my best baseball cap the mirror
tells me that Iím still dashing, so
how come that they ignore me?

Am I a shadow of the past? Look
into the polished surface of a shop
window and a manly perfection
stars back and broadly smiles

Pull my stomach in, thatís tiring,
turn and try to catch a glance of my
bum, sit-coms tell me that a woman
likes a manís firm behind

Take off my glasses casually stroll
down the avenue, a gent with class
not an upstart of a boulevardier.
So why do those lovelies ignore me?


Late night movie black & white have seen
it before many times, think it was made in
1925. Now a fast talking man is trying to
sell me a frying pan that doesnít stick, he
has only got a few left so I have to hurry
and ring if I want one. Reach for the remote,
he looks annoyed point a finger at me and
says "You do need one!" He is now in my
kitchen frying chicken legs which he calls
drum sticks. While I eat he is busy showing
me how to clean the pan. Looks happy when
I promise to order one first thing come morning.
Climbs back into the T.V starts talking about
a marvellous hair restoring product, talks to
an empty room I have gone to bed, I fear that
if he catches my eyes will be back rubbing my
scalp. Began counting sheep, but their damp
wool reeked, counted horses instead, they are
more beautiful, awoke at noon when the pony
in the living room neighed.

A Hope

If I had a wish, got many,
one that would come true
It will be a wish that can
make you understand that
I love you; but first you
have to clear your cynical
mind of yesterdayís debris.

Know that you have heard
those words before, from
suave pilots to bold captains
of the sea (too often?) but
not from a shy, poetic cook.
I, my dear, was born to love
but one and that one is you.

The Looking Glass

What does a mirror see when
you are not there looking into it?
Is it just a shiny surface bleak as
an October day before it rains?

Maybe itís a photo album showing
sad faces of those who wish they
were young, or of little girls putting
Make Up on in hope of looking older.

Or trapped images of those who
died before their time and can not
be released before the mirror breaks
haunting a house for seven years

I know one thing though that alone
in front of a mirror we are not shy,
only pathetically human. Does a mirror
laugh at our narcissism when alone?

Sheís O.K.

You sit here talking blaming me for
choices you made three years ago.
"If it hadnít been for you my life
would have been so much better"
you say. Then you look around in
the cheap cafť where we eat every
Friday night and criticise its pathetic
dťcor. Iím relived that you are not
focusing on me, my jeans with paint
spots on, unpolished shoes and other
sartorial failings. I donít feel hurt
anymore, know that soon youíll grab
my hand, look me in the eyes and say:
"I do love you darling."

Old, Elderly

Now that Iím old, or is it elderly and
free to be myself I do remember my
adolescence and shudder. People who
sigh and wish to be young again canít
have much of a memory. Now that my
body is at peace with self Iím free to
enjoy the beauty of a woman without
the need of possessing her.

Mona Lisaís can continue to dulcet smile,
I will no longer wonder how she was like
in bed, admire an actress skill and not only
seeing her tits. Aches and pain, my friends,
is nothing compared a youthís agony; and
how joyful it is to have nothing to prove,
secure be within my old bones and body
that is slowly bending towards home.

The Question

They are all here, but me, singing
psalms and looking solemn and there
is a white coffin, with silvery handles,
decorated with flowers and wreaths,
Itís raining heavily outside thatís why
they conduct the sermon inside, but
why am I not there?

Can see them clearly those I like and
those I donít but it doesnít matter
cause Iím not there. The priest paints,
with biblical words a rosy picture of
the one in the coffin and I wonder who
the extraordinarily kind man is, I donít
know anyone that loving.

Iím dying to lift the coffinís lid to have
a quick peek, but since Iím not there
have to wait till everyone has gone.
Iím alone now the mourners have gone
to a wake where they will eat and drink
cry a little and get boisterous ...But way
I ask myself am I not there?

Short verses

After warm sunshine and
The flight of birds, clouds
Darkened the sky, the forest
Fell silent and it rained.

Heat crinkles yellow grass
Metallic chimes hardened
Leaves on oaks and cruel is
Afternoonís whispering air.

Man, plants and animals are
Restless, itís harvest time
The gathering of abundance.
Sea breeze cools the brow.

Torrential rain, thunder storm
Hailstones hurt naked flesh
A mournful mule, under a carob
Tree dreams of yesteryear.

The Eiderdown

The cement mixer churns a young couple are
rebuilding the cottage where the old lady
used to live. Visited her a cold day and found
her freezing on her ancient sofa, gave her my
duvet wrapped it around her and she was snug.
She wanted to return it next day but I told her
to keep it as long as she needed, lied and said
I had four more. A few weeks later she died and
her family (didnít know she had any) came and
my duvet disappeared, mind they were not to now
that it wasnít hers. Mother had given it to me last
time I visited her "it can come in handy," she said.
Didnít really want to it took up too much space in
the car. Then, with the passing of time, she also
died and the duvet became an object of memory,
under its sheltering protection I was a child again
telling mother that I couldnít sleep unless she sang
me a lullaby. Donít really miss the duvet because
itís nice to think that it gave comfort to an old lady
on her waning days.

Another Country. Another Funeral

After the doctor had gone, a sunny day
in May, two men, in sober black and
a gipsy woman with dangling earrings
came. In the room, rarely used, they
dressed him in a blue suit, green tie,
white shirt and polished brown shoes.
Put him in the coffin placed on a long,
collapsible table they had brought.

The woman went to work, made him
up till he looked like a depraved dyke.
A giggle I couldnít suppress came on,
went to the loo, the others thought
I wanted to be manly and sob alone.
The villagers came to pay their respect,
women wept and crossed themselves,
The men were glazy eyed and drunk

Next day we drove to the cemetery it
wasnít long, Men wore black hats which
they didnít take off for the sun shone hot,
women cried. The ritual was short the priest
did his stuff and sprinkled water about.
A breeze gently blew, sifted dust and told
of futility, yet relentless life soon filled
the space my dear friend had occupied.

On the Phone

"Promise me that youíll
not be angry dear. Iíve
something to tell you"




"I have met another man
and fallen in love, sorry
to let you down, but we
can still be friends?"

Iíve got a new phone
the old one broke in half.

All those dreams
spinning faster and
faster into rainbow,
mist and silence.

The Simple Life

Itís the simple life...easy things
walking in the forest and picking
flowers in the glen; not sit in
a posh hotel drinking tea and nobly
bend my little finger.

Itís the simple life...easy things
reading a book while you arrange
flowers in a blue vase telling me
about your beloved aunt, the gentle
hum of your voice soothes me.

Itís the simple life...easy things
watching Brazilian soaps with you,
when you patiently explain whoís
in love with whom and why they
are emotional and scream so much.

Itís the simple life...easy things
the pleasure of your company,
restless thoughts crowd my mind
when youíre not near and I fear
that you donít like me anymore.


Sparrow, sparrow
on the roof,
how sweet and
innocent you
Glad Iím not
a fly,
for it you are an ogre.

The Sabre-Toothed Tiger

Deep under the ice hidden from
prying eyes they have found your
bones, extracted DNA. Now
they are going to replicate you.

Resist! Your new world will not
be the open plain or the forest
deep, but a cage in a zoo, ogled
by your natural prey.

Stay dead my friend you are not
Dolly the sheep happy in a pen.
Be a ghost be free thereís no
dignity in resurrection by man.

Beware of Black Holes

They ethereally drift amongst stars in
the galaxy, free of earthly and mundane
desire, thoughts set on loftier abstractions.
Supreme are dreamers hazy confidence.
Alas the heaven has more than silvery
stars and moonlight on a velvety canvas,
to offer, it also has timeless black holes
where romantics can disappear lose their
vision, spin around faster and faster, till
they are coal dust in a contour less night.

Love In Progress

We went for a meal at a bistro, one
of those which have candlelight on
each table, a silly argument had kept
us apart for eight long days, sleepless
nights asking what it were all about?

Side by side and I sensed the softness
of her left thigh. Wine she drank and
got starry eyed (me, and old drunk can
only drink water these days) and
knew I was in for a busy night.

Coming home we didnít make it into
the bedroom, the carpet in the living room
bore the brunt of our heroic struggle.
Back hurts today, knees a bit sore, yet
I run upstairs taking two steps at a time.

Black Horses

A dark blue hearse, dust free and
shiny stalks the byways, when other
cars pass its mournful progress,
a flash... a picture is taken for future
reference. Its driver has been
professionally serious for so long
that he canít smile even when he
laughs, then itís like seeing tombstones
in moonlight. Found him parked off
the road, amongst silver birch trees,
eating his lunch and asked " Are you
a serious illness chaser" He nodded
a yes and said "Pretty legs you have
got madam" He was right, I wore
mini skirt and looked gloriously sexy.
All those years and I didnít know
that I was a man with the tender heart
of a lesbian woman. Tombstones
glinted as he put the hearse in gear
stalking the byways.


Utopia is where I live
itís a lazy drifting day
with a tinge of regret.

Utopia is where I live
itís a cool night and
a zephyr of melancholy.

Utopia is where I live
itís a long dream, in itís
core a hush of remorse.


I sit here and wait no Iím not
a man of action, nor easily led by
leaders who get people to shout
hateful slogans and blindingly
stumble into another war...and
when enough blood is shed look
for another shepherd to led them
into harm and promises of gold

I sit here and wait no Iím not
a man of action, nor easily led
by false prophets who get people
to believe that they alone speak
the truth as told to them by God.
and when the impostor is exposed
look for another prophet to lead
them into an illusory Paradise.

I sit here and wait no Iím not
a man of action, but my mind tells
me and my heart agrees that Eden
is here on earth and that the only
riches man can truly posses is inner
peace and strength only love can
bring. Yes by the nascent of dreams
I naively sit and wait for God to lead.

Spring (A Maori Tale)

Inconsolable the heaven cries
...now in May. Remembering
the days when he and mother earth
lay perpetually embraced. Gratefully,
she soaks up his sorrow and from
grief happiness will spring.
Her bosom, in bloom, tells a story
of eternal love.

As Ideas Flies

The idea I had before I wrote
these lines has disappeared,
like a hasty shadow of fear
remembered at twilight time.

Now my mind is crowded by
old songs I thought had gone
into the chest on the loft where
childhood toys are left to rot.

Something about "if I were
an elephant you would be able
to see me from time to time"
the rest is a haze of words

Elephantine thighs and large
earrings, the hidden fountain
of youth, dark crevices and
smooth mountain slopes.

"Those who dares, wins" A title
of a movie I once saw, brave
men with clenched jaws and
guns killing each other easily.

Heroic is the man who seeks
the elephant womanís love, to
overcome her doubt that he is
more than stalking bar fly.

I remember now, the idea was
to stuff toilet paper in the mouth
of that man, in the bar, who tells
dirty stories about his wife.


Love is a circle
in a field of golden wheat,
stunning and beautiful.

It Has Been Foretold

Far, far away beyond the border
of imagination where the end is
the creation waiting to be reborn,
where clowns are serious and
the righteous smugly laugh in
the transient knowledge of their
moral perfection, when chasing
horses across the amber pampas
where a lone, denuded tree is
a reminder of a god, who lured
by promises of worldwide exposure,
became a software program.

In godís streaking disgrace, here
on the grassland where email canít
reach, the computer illiterates have
found a focal point, to this place
they march to the tune of the uprights
laughter, which is becoming strained
as they sense that the powerless have
found what they themselves have
lost, the kind breaths of the spoken
word. Wisdom will hide Godís nudity,
horses graze in peace and clowns will
laugh again when not crying.