Ahmad Shiddiqi

(March 7,1974 / Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia)

Obon


Deceased spirits
Family’s ancestors
Vital part
Family life

Family tradition
How far dispersed
To gather at
Family home

The reunion
Affectionate moments
To spend with
Living family members

To honor memory
Of family who have passed on
To spend time
To spruce up graves

To guide the souls
Of the ancestors
Lantern are lit
In front of family homes

With fruits
And assorted foods
Set on a Buddhist altar
They are welcomed home

Upon rivers and streams
Touching and poetic launch
Of illuminated lanterns
To guide spirits back

Submitted: Monday, November 03, 2008

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  • Carl Harris (11/6/2008 1:14:00 PM)

    If my memory is correct, Obon is a Buddhist tradition of honoring deceased ancestors of one's family. It is similar to our American Memorial day in some respects, but that day honors those who have been killed in our wars, not specifically family members or ancestors. In America, most of our deceased family members are remembered on the anniversary of their death, and also, strangely, shortly before Christmas, when flowers and wreaths are usually laid upon their graves. Your fine poem is very expressive and is beautifuly written. Carl. (Report) Reply

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