Two poems by Ben von Jagow

In a Cafe in Stockholm


The hands on the clock,

like metal spades,

have dropped

between the V and the I.


Through pervasive speakers,

a lady sings

to only a couple of patrons

sipping at warm drinks


on this cool autumn morning.

The day is prebustle.

Across the street,

wrapped in rented sheets,


with curtains drawn,

the tourists sleep.

Song sprinkles their dreams;

the birds search tirelessly


through the cobblestone

for bits of bread.

After a brief rest,

the sun returns,


shepherding the cranes

as they stalk the shallow horizon

in search of change.

No one shouts, no one honks.


The city is tranquil

as the water on which it sits,

clean as the breeze

that ruffles the leaves


outside the cafe

on this gentle, peaceful

autumn morning.




The river will always lead you to the ocean.

You stand between your shadow and the sun.

The canopy eclipses even the bluest of skies

so your thoughts can take root with the trees.


Allow the breeze to sing testament

to the silence of this grand space.

Submit to the melody of the warblers

and quiet the mind.

The creek babbles not without purpose.

Should you feel the need to hum, do it softly.

Don’t give the acorns reason to fall.

It’s time to unburden your backpack,

open your senses,

call forth the wind

and the answers that blow within.

Something special surrounds us.






Ben Von Jagow has had poetry featured in literary journals across Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. His work has appeared in Maudlin House, The Literary Review of Canada, Jersey Devil Press, and elsewhere.


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