By Tom H. Brooks 3


A multitude of nameless silences


The errant cries of small birds

The squawk of a raven…



Angular shadows stretch across

the soil into geometric patterns of death



A forest of gray stones

in marble and granite

Monuments for those lost to this world



I hear your muted voices

speaking to me through

the open window of timelessness



The wind rattles and hisses

through the cool green shade

of the ancient bamboo grove –



– it has stood here wordlessly

for countless and untold years

while the vast city grew up around it



Time has forgotten this place

but some of us are still listening

to your cryptic whispers in this sea of the dead



Although you had no choice,

I pay my quiet respects to these brave souls

who have crossed over to the other world



With no regard for past, present or future,

your silence says so much –

much more than mere words ever could



As your ashes disperse into the soil of this earth,

you become one with the dust from whence we came



Speak to me;



I am listening…







(Written at a graveyard/shrine in Chitose Karasuyama in western Tokyo on 11/22/13




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