In nature’s cradle slowly drowning

Upon the moss they wait for breeze

In front and east, a snowy mountain,

And amidst the graves there are the trees


Surrounded north by Saiko Lake

obscured by Fuji’s hoary caps

A forest spawned from nature’s wake

With drastic change as time elapsed


Ensconced with caves of Ice and Wind,

and glazed in coarsened grit and ash.

The air as dense in shadow’s tinge

With fissures cleft by violent flash.


A maze of twisting trees and moss

A certain spine of tiered mishaps,

as bodies hung like forlorn dross,

their hopes of a real life kidnapped—


like a child’s doll, sordid and lost,

opened eyes gawked at hemp swung ropes,

Gazed up high at God, they accost

And explain to Him of jilted hope.


Each step beside them did bemoan

And felt as if though summoned home

The ground was coiled with chthonic stone

Each crag and root a sad syndrome


In flames blazed perpetual twilight,

Roofed by a mottled sea of green

they strode the path with string and light

And witnessed rope-like guillotines


They tied the strings to mighty boles

In hopes to end from where they came

To firm expose the heart and soul

Of Aokigahara ’s forest name.


Their minds did wander upon approach

As towards their backs a mountain faced

Their souls weighed down as they encroached

To tragedy and human waste.


A muted soreness beseeched the skull

And begged such hearts to turn around

They’d crossed the plane where lives were culled

where spirits fade without a sound.


Then dying suns sustained by strings,

began decent and edged on dusk.

And seldom swayed macabre sting

Laid unto ash where loam was thrust.


In piles were bleached and sharpened bones,

Gnarled like boughs they’d mingled with

An old flip flop and some undertones

forsaken in these monoliths.


They strode on paths, beneath the trees,

The ones bent in like canopies

Their bark misshapen from disease,

No sound pervades; no wind or breeze.


The woods were bathed in quietude

The chasms smoldered emptiness

The lonely pith of solitude

that stroked the lungs with heaviness.


Breaths became a roaring wheeze

in tacit blankets thickness loomed.

A muffled snow fell from the trees

In echoes like in different rooms.


No bird or deer had roamed its moss,

As though they shunned or feared the place

In rotting dreams some came across

a relic from the Lord disgraced.


Some followed other ribbon hues,

To end up near such blighted souls

Cross by cross with grave miscues,

These endless trees did take their toll.


Tis said, forgotten relatives,

Were dumped here like some parasites.

They looked so plainly skeletal,

And were led here as to reunite—


But mainly they were toss-away’s

A process labeled as ubasute

When usefulness had seen its days

They’d leave them there in solitude


And as they died in tainted soot

And altered into vengeful ghosts

Their minds a haunting resolute

Would lure those in and get them close


The forest then would take the weak

And sing to them a lullaby

The option became so widely chic

As death was standing so nearby


Though guides were made for suicide

And those woods was named the place to die

Most went inside to wane and hide

And disappear without a cry.

Paul Neglia
Latest posts by Paul Neglia (see all)

Paul Neglia

Proud father of 3. Part time writer of poetry and short stories. I want to paint the world in but a few words.

12 thoughts on “Aokigahara

  • February 8, 2017 at 10:25 PM

    Beautifully penned Paul of this well known forest where people go to die. I can’t imagine what the place would now feel like, with all the tragedy and death it has absorbed from life. And all those strings, supposed to mark the way back, but never did. Lovely work my friend.

    • February 9, 2017 at 5:26 AM

      That has to be so sad knowing that some of those strings are going to lead to someone’s end. So much pain must loom over this forest. The one thing i would love to see would be the Ice Cave. Thank you so much Tony.~Paul

    • February 9, 2017 at 5:30 AM

      Thank you so much Phyllis. Take away the death and this forest is fascinating. Trees grow above the soil because the roots cant penetrate the hardened ground, the moss serves as moisture and sustenance, then there are the multiple caves of marvel, Ice, Wind and one they called the Shield of Rain. Too bad so much death haunts this place. Thank you so much again Phyllis.~Paul

    • February 13, 2017 at 6:07 AM

      Thank you Ralph. I really enjoyed your essay as well. Aokigahara really is a sad, sad place.

  • February 10, 2017 at 1:26 AM

    Thank you for the poetic journey into this unknown forest. I have heard of tales of people dying there. Really nicely penned and I could visualize it all.

    • February 13, 2017 at 6:09 AM

      Thank you Rasma, its sad how so much intrigue and beauty can be tainted by sadness and death. Thanks again

  • February 13, 2017 at 6:03 PM

    awesome read, not sure that I would like to go there though….the sadness that dwells there is probably overwhelming.

  • February 14, 2017 at 4:07 AM

    The sadness here reminds me of “The Never Ending Story” where the “Sadness” was encompassing everything in sight. A very microscopic view of where and what exists in this place, and for the most part very well done. I enjoyed reading, however a little lengthy for these aged eyes of mine!

  • March 2, 2017 at 1:08 AM

    Japan have been always fascinating to me, and here You showed me another side of its magnificence, though not in the splendid gorgeousness of Cherry Blossoms, if anyone came to doubt Your poetic ability, read this to them, I’ve never met anyone who is able to draw words into images, and go down all the road the way You do, Exceptional piece dear Paul.

    P.S, somewhere between Your images, I sensed Anjana’s pen, speaking of her, did You hear anything from her?

  • March 2, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    Yeah this forest is creepy. Another side of Japan hidden in the dark. I truly appreciate your extremely kind words. As for Anjana i have not seen her grace my pages in a while. I hope all is well with her. If she does happen to stop by i will tell her you were asking for her. Thank you again my dear friend.~Paul


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