In Japan there are various words and nuances for “silent” or “silence”. Shizuka means total silence. Chinmoku is reticence, holding back or, more intriguing, the silence between the notes. For Real Toads, 30 in 30. This is day five. This is the farthest I have gone in NAPOWRIMO Day 5.

Shizuka –
the first snowflake is silent –
at night they drift –
falling one by one
slowly piling into drifts –
silent they fall into the night –
the wind gets into them
blowing them this way and that –
chinmoku – they hold back their words
their noise their speaking –
sound comes from the wind
or the tree branches rattling –
the snowflakes speak
various forms of silence –
snowflakes fall – drift –
only the owls hear them –
gliding through snowflakes –
they hunt more silent
than the snowflakes – I walk
among them listening to
the silence of the flakes,
the swish of the owl’s wings

public domain image

56 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 15:50:01

    Love this … and most kind of silence,,,, except the one of being silenced. Maybe we need silence of the snowflake kind.


  2. Jane Dougherty
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 15:54:29

    More owls. Lovely images in this, silence, snowflakes and owls’ wings.


  3. Glenn Buttkus
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 16:04:49

    Do you nap during the day to compensate for your night drifting and long cold solo walks? I hope so. Sorry, BLACKTHORNE was out of synch with you today. Looking forward to finding some of your poems in the new Anthology. Happy holidays. All of our family will gather at our hime this year–3 daughters and 8 grandchildren


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 14, 2017 @ 16:16:33

      Uowzer – 8 children! It sounds like a lovely noisy confusing time. No. I may nap about an hour total during the day, usualy around noon. I just don’t seem to need more than 4 hours of sleep and often not that. My husband would sleep his life away if he could!


  4. alisonhankinson
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 16:29:15

    those snowflakes seem very soothing. part of me wishes they were falling here- we are too near the sea, the snow often misses us. XXXXXX


  5. whippetwisdom
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 16:32:06

    A beautiful write Toni, I love the snow, the owls and how ‘the snowflakes speak
    various forms of silence’ xxx


  6. Beverly Crawford
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 16:43:37

    I experienced the silence of snow and whisper of wings just reading this. Thank you!
    Blessings on you and yours this holiday season.


  7. Heather Anne
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 17:35:05

    This is the kind of snowfall I’m after, instead I get snow that is transformed quickly from pretty and magical to gross and trampled (downtown in a big city)… which is a shame. I love snow!

    I loved reading this! Thanks for writing it and transporting me out of this place for a minute or two.


  8. scotthastiepoet
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 17:42:17

    For me you artfully conjure a rather special soft winter silence here – a beautiful read, especially at this time of year… Thank you


  9. Grace
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 18:07:45

    A very interesting word, silence. Winter is not my favorite season but I have grown to admire its unique beauty ~ Would love to do this:

    listening to
    the silence of the flakes,
    the swish of the owl’s wings

    Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays dear Toni!


  10. erbiage
    Dec 14, 2017 @ 18:15:54

    Simply lovely Toni.

    Sent from my iPad


  11. Sarah Russell
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 00:38:35

    “…the snowflakes speak / various forms of silence…”. Wow! Just wonderful, Toni!


  12. Trådløs
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 00:43:11

    I love how you weave in the japanese words into your poem. I find that the Japanese have this ability to pack so much meaning into one single word that other nationalities need long sentences for. I also like the peaceful mood in this


  13. kim881
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 06:28:49

    A gorgeous description of snow, Toni, and I love that word: Shizuka and the lines:.
    ‘the silence of the flakes,
    the swish of the owl’s wings’.


  14. memadtwo
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 06:29:15

    Winter does have a loud silence…(K)


  15. sanaarizvi
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 07:20:32

    Those snowflakes seem so serene.. so tranquil…❤️ how I wish I could reach out and touch them 🙂


  16. ladynyo
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 10:37:07

    This is so beautiful, so moving, it made me cry.


  17. hypercryptical
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 14:27:31

    There is something wonderfully hypnotic watching snowflakes fall in their unhurried silent way and (see them) gently coat the earth with their pure magic. I love first falls and could watch them forever.
    Merry Christmas Toni!
    Anna :o]


  18. Frank Hubeny
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 14:50:57

    I like those snowflakes speaking forms of silence.


  19. Jennifer Wagner
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 15:04:41

    This is beautifully done, capturing the essence and peaceful ambience of snowfall. I want to take a walk and listen to that silence and hear those wings swish. We are hoping for some snow to fall here soon. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Toni!


  20. Mark Butkus
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 21:04:54

    I wish I had an owl or snow to inspire me as you were inspired to write this piece.




  21. Victoria C. Slotto
    Dec 15, 2017 @ 21:34:56

    Such a sense of serenity in this. For me the wee surprise of the last line was a delight.


  22. mhmp77
    Dec 16, 2017 @ 01:43:57


    I walk among them listening to
    the silence of the flakes,
    the swish of the owl’s wings

    Appreciating nature’s beauty at its best. Agreed Toni!



  23. Sherry Marr
    Apr 05, 2018 @ 16:39:38

    How I love the owl, swooping silently through this beautiful poem.


  24. elleceef
    Apr 05, 2018 @ 17:13:02

    This is lovely, I can picture myself there, walking in the soft falling snow. Owls are my favourite bird, so nice to find one here. Beautiful image 🙂


  25. paul scribbles
    Apr 05, 2018 @ 17:26:01

    Beautiful. Various forms of silence. Wow.


  26. Kerry
    Apr 06, 2018 @ 03:31:44

    Your use of line breaks and pause adds to the mood of the falling flakes of snow. Skillfully done.


  27. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Apr 06, 2018 @ 06:12:33

    How beautiful! You make them sound so mysteriously lovely that I – who loathe the cold – find myself longing to be there!


  28. annell4
    Apr 09, 2018 @ 10:48:35

    I love the silence of your write!!! The snow the owl and you.


Thank you for reading! I try to reciprocate all comments. If you want me to visit a particular post, please direct me directly to that post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: