Cemetery of Words

In the realm of the »cemetery of words,« language leads a life of its own. In his short story on graves and forgotten words, writer and Solitude fellow Moe Thet Han writes that the cemetery serves as a final resting place for these words. His linguistic ghosts have their own personalities, hold conversations, and reflect on their past existence.

Moe Thet Han — Feb 25, 2024

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Cemetery of Words

Solitude cemetery

Between two mountain summits reaching the jaw of the sky, there was a dense forest. No jackal howls, no crow caws, were to be heard. The void sang one song after another. In this place were no sounds of a water pump, a horn, or babies wailing. The space was completely silent. The tranquility was touched by the breeze’s emerald tone. The sunbeam was as lovely as a grandmother’s toothless smile. Everything was rhythmic and in tune.

An expansive clearing could be found in the middle of the deep forest, enclosed by a fence made of tiny wooden posts. At its entry was a magnificent doorway. At the gateway was a sizable post as well. The phrase »Cemetery of Words« on the enormous pillar resembled dried branches of trees.


In the cemetery were graves, oversized tombs, beautiful tombs, and colorfully painted tombs. Dead words were sent to this graveyard of words, much like dead humans were. Everything is impermanent, or »nothing lasts forever,« as we used to say when we were bored. However, this cemetery had not received that message. The words that resided here were those that had passed away, from the dawn of time until the present day. The list of extinct species includes both dinosaurs and cavemen. The words »Marxism« and »proletariat« are buried in this cemetery as noble phrases because they perished not far from modern history.

The yard was large, so even if there were a lot of dead words living here, every word could be at ease. There was a patio with benches for the spirits of words to have leisurely discussions during the day. And a hall to welcome the new words. To pass the time, there was also a dance floor. Dead words could roam freely in this yard. There was only one rule: no words that came here could return to the human world.


The park received a burst of powerful and abundant sunshine from the spring. The morning was great. There were many different words throughout the park. Young words conversed in the park while senior words exercised. No new words emerged in those days, which meant they were all getting bored. Because of the festivities for new words, every word was joyful. Most importantly, they could use the new word to find out what was happening in the outside world.

The old word »Marxist« was exercising vigorously in the park’s corner. The word »Proletariat« was silently looking into the distance. Some words were glaring at them both. The cavemen wandered aimlessly. Some people sat on benches and talked.

On one of the benches, arguments took place. The word »Liberty« was speaking the loudest during the debate. The word »Bourgeois« subtly engaged in their argument. Mr. Mingalar (the word for »auspicious« in Myanmar) performed an old song close by.

Every word acknowledged Liberty’s stubbornness and haughty demeanor. Liberty argued the most with Jokyonaywetpae (the equivalent phrase in English may be »as useless as tits on a bull«). Because Jokyonaywetpae had a habit of sleeping in, he was unable to participate in this debate at the time. Even though The Three R’s were modest, and Jokyonaywetpae was snobbish, the two were great friends. Jokyonaywetpae would support The Three R’s and attack Liberty if he saw them having a disagreement.
»The most delightful thing in life is freedom. People are always willing to give their lives for freedom,« said Liberty.
»Freedom is meaningless. People simply worship their stomachs. People cannot think of anything if they are hungry,« The Three R’s responded.
»You are a meaningless platitude. You think that people are only here to eat and poop. The most powerful living things in the cosmos are humans. Are you able to understand?« Liberty responded angrily to The Three R’s.
»You worship people irrationally. No matter how you try to defend them, they have already taken you out of their dictionary because they believe you are no longer relevant. Why do you want to continue to honor them?« The Three R’s answered.

The dispute attracted the interest of the deceased words’ souls. They started to consider how to treat supposedly human beings. All of them had once been in popular demand, but had since been forgotten. Should they continue to adore humans, or should they be outraged by them? Some words were unwilling to evoke any associations. They already understood that they are nothing more than dead words with no claim to continue existing in the human world.

Jokyonaywetpae, who had just begun to awaken, entered the discussion at that point. He rapidly understood what was going on. Jokyonaywetpae declared, »Humans are as useless as tits on a bull,« as soon as he arrived. »Some people have good minds, but they can’t afford to be realistic. Some people act without being able to consider. They will be as flawed as three-legged cows. They are still dead weight even though they resemble cows on three legs. They’re never complete. However, they become offended whenever you reveal that you are Jokyonaywetpae. They eliminated the word from their dictionary because they frequently accused one another of being Jokyonaywetpae.«
After Jokyonaywetpae finished speaking, each word went back to what it was doing.


One morning, every word was cheerful. As the news spread quietly among them that a new word would arrive that day, they all watched the entrance gate. There was no argument or disagreement; the atmosphere was peaceful. However, they persisted in their rivalries by speculating on which word the newcomer would be.

The old Marxist forecasted »Capitalism« as the newcomer. Liberty predicted that »Utilitarianism« would prevail. According to The Three R’s, it would be »Impoverishment.« Although they agreed to disagree, they were excitedly looking forward to welcoming the newcomer.

The sky suddenly became completely dark. The wind blew incredibly strong, as if to demonstrate its strength. In the early morning darkness, the trees stumbled and wept under the wind’s fury. The wind and the sky expressed their sorrow for the loss of a word from the human world in magnificent style. The sky darkened as the wind picked up speed.

The spirits of the dead in the cemetery began to feel scared since they were unaware of what was happening. Strange signs indicated what kind of word they could expect. The word must be powerful, they reasoned. Big words have never received such a strange reception before.
The sky had a faint glow now. The wind was in control of its rage. Everything went completely silent.

Through the entrance gate, a word came in. Everybody was in disbelief. They were all astonished at what they were witnessing. Nobody anticipated that the word would show up at the cemetery. What was going on globally? How were people’s feelings around the world? He entered the room slowly. His deliberate slowness conveyed his denial of what had occurred. He appeared to be thinking about himself; he was still alive and not yet dead. His cheeks were dripping with tears. He stumbled.
His name was »Love.«

Everyone had gathered in the big hall. Electric lights shone brightly. This occasion served as Love’s welcoming reception. They were all enjoying themselves because of the loud background music.

Love was the only being who appeared unhappy and dejected. He was the focal point of the evening. He was the one who desired an endless existence among humans. He was expelled from the human race, however, by the cold-hearted and cruel individuals. He continued to moan. He languished from yearning for the world of people. He now had to deliver a welcome address for the ceremony. He didn’t want to talk but he didn’t wish to appear unappreciative of the words who were politely and warmly receiving him.

He approached the stage with care and caution. He looked obviously dejected.
»First, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the local brothers for your wonderful welcome. Please pardon me since I constantly moan about my passing from the human world prematurely and will not be able to be cheerful like you. But I guarantee that I’ll do everything in my power to quickly get used to this environment and become like you all,« he said.
Many words were waiting to question him as he was speaking.
»What do you think about the primary cause of your death?«, one of them questioned.
»I believe it would be due to the twenty-first century’s climate change. The twenty-first century’s global warming is terrible. As a result, people get aggressive relatively easily. Throughout the world, wars are raging. Because of this, they stopped using the word love, which they greatly valued in the past,« he answered.
So many words tried to question him.
»Was there anything memorable that remained in the world after you passed away?«
»Of course, yes«. He responded, »It was … It is a condom named Love.«
He was unable to answer all the questions because there were so many of them.
»Did the philosophy of people change because there was no love in the world?«
»How do you view the people of the twenty-first century?»
»Which word can take your place, please?«
Questions … questions …
Questions were everywhere.

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