The Temple Yard [Haibun]

At dusk, the temple yard is silent. A twiggy tree twists and leans, shading no one but seemingly stretching toward something unknown. Nothing can be heard, save the buzz of low-flying insects when they get too near. 

Then someone clangs the brass bell -- just one sharp snap of the bell tongue. But the tone hangs in the night air, piercing something unseen.

temple yard at dusk,
the silence is broken
by the brass bell

POEM: Silent Forest

What’s leached the life from these lands?

Winter snuck in. True enough.

But that doesn’t mean a bird can’t hoot, caw, screech, or titter.

We may be too deep in the season for lizards to dart, or even schlep in tailless bluntness.

But surely squirrels, fluffy-tailed rodents, should be out, shoving aside leaf litter in search of sacred acorns?

I don’t trust my mind in a soundless forest —

it leads me to believe that I tumbled back into the recesses of my mind, and only noticed [too late] that I forgot to load the soundtrack.

POEM: The Silent Wild

Looking through a window
at the falling snow flakes.
Silent is the snow fall
that piles upon my sill.

And though it weighs limbs down,
it doesn’t break the branches.
If there were a slight breeze,
it’d dust it all away.

Out beyond the farm land,
in the distant forest,
lies the kind of wildness
that’s silent at the bone.

POEM: Silence

the scream spiked into existence,
fully formed but unheard,
as from the victim of a slasher film
caught fresh out of the shower

but it couldn’t escape
not one chirp or squeak of it

it tried to ice pick its way out through the chest — “Alien” style
but just became a sharp pain
and a pulse heard in the head

5 Haiku on Silence

harsh silence,
lost beats steal word’s


silent snows
seen through crossed muntins,
drifting eerily


fog resting on
Coconut Grove’s soil until
chased by dawn’s din


ridge rows,
in waning shades of gray
end in white void


creek burbles
hushed to unheard drips
from icicles