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Welcome, we are waiting for you.

From the hill there is a new horizon.

Tsunami sirens have been muted now.

The sea, a woodcut of tranquility,

is a dragonfly blue wash for weary pilgrims,

who seek connection to all they have lost.

They post imaginary epistles

to homes that were ripped from their foundations;

drowned with mental furniture from their pasts.

Messages rolled into mental bottles

will never be unfurled on any shore.

Voices are cast to the winds… no ringback

startles a disconnected receiver.

Some feel a tidal ebb and flow; return

to Otsuchi, where pine forests renew,

to discover their own denouements.

They close their eyes and listen,

straining for a whisper in a seashell;

dialling ‘0’ for an operator.

Dry grasses’ susurration is unnerving.

They sense that someone may be tuning in;

they have faith in frequency alignment.

Alert to Mother Nature, their heart strings

are taut, plucked like an Aeolian harp,

by the vicissitudes of every breeze.

Soon there is a marked diminuendo.

This booth holds their pasts, presents and futures.

They face the ocean, feeling its deep pulse.

Waves of raw emotion excoriate,

until their souls are polished like sea glass –

as green as the garden they stumbled through,

when they happened on the gate by themselves,

passing through the arch with its chimes and urns.

If they forget Hourajimi, then who

will remember them? Is that why they come?

Bowing, they dial the unobtainable.

Welcome.  We are waiting for you… and you.

Aeolian Harp photo by Simon Speed

Poem by Candia Dixon-Stuart