「C.U. Again」

sun-framed silhouette

sun-framed silhouettes –
the reason I’m alive is
ever traceable;
rays pointing to a figure
smiling gently in my past.


only then will I see you again

I asked you your age, that day long ago
you laughed gently as you told me
“I’ll have you for all my years here,” I said with relief
but neither of us could have known…

young and naive, I may have been
but our inability to see the future,
what we shared was not innocence…
was it?

you spent so much time with me,
gave me so much of your love
your words became my reasons to live
but I… I never deserved you, did I?

I could barely pay attention, I was so careless
I offered to trade places without meaning it
but still for years you saw in me
something I never saw in myself

the slow lapse into silence that time
and the sudden lack of answers
“here we go again,” I thought
the solitude was still familiar

I learned to count the birthdays,
the ones I spent without you
but as the years passed alone I decided
“it won’t have been in vain”

picking up the pieces as I walk,
my new goal becomes clear –
I will make myself worthy of everything you gave me
and then,
only then,
will I see you again.


NEGOTIABLE ~because I promised, it’s okay~

call me in the middle of the night,
whisper your silent plea
“I need you… I’m sorry…”
don’t be sorry, love
we all need someone, don’t we?

it’s okay, it’s okay, I’ll show you it’s okay
even in the middle of the night
‘cause sleep is always negotiable
didn’t I tell you my life is negotiable?
for the people whom I love…

I’ll show you the meaning of kindness, you’ll see
l’ll answer all of your prayers, if you let me
the world has turned its back on people like you
but I won’t
I promise I won’t

right now your horizon is full of dark storm clouds
but I’ll show you that rain brings life, too
right now you’re stuck in a blinding blizzard
but I’ll show you that spring is right around the corner
won’t you believe me?

it’s okay to need someone,
to listen to someone,
to believe in someone,
‘cause that’s how human beings are
hey, I’ll be that “someone” any day

I’ll show you the meaning of kindness, you’ll see
l’ll answer all of your prayers, if you let me
the world has turned its back on people like you
but I won’t
I promise I won’t…

and you know I don’t break my promises, right?


A Single Star-Filled Sky

As the darkness sets in I gaze up at the sky,
Wishing I had the ability to fly –
But I don’t even know where it is that you are,
So where would I head, for how long and how far?
The light is fading, and without you I’m stuck here,
But strangely tonight this produces no fear;
Just counting the bombs like I would count passing cars,
Knowing that you and I are now seeing the same stars.

On the other side of the horizon line,
You live in a world that’s no better than mine,
Full of clumsy creatures who act without thinking,
Who commit acts of destruction without even blinking.
They say that two minuses are supposed to make a plus,
So should we let two countries war without making a fuss?
I love you all, but it’s beyond my control –
Humanity is determined to rip apart my soul.

Dozens of years have come and gone,
And here we are at the edge of dawn,
Repeating ourselves like a song on replay,
Crawling desperately toward the end of the day.
The ground cracks open beneath my feet,
You wrap your child in a bloodstained sheet,
They whisper “I’m sorry” and pretend to care,
While celebrating nothing but death and despair.

Gazing at the same sea of stars, you and I,
We wonder how quickly our time will fly,
Praying we’ll live long enough to see
A world where love will be finally set free.
But tonight I understand that it’s only a dream –
One we can’t reach, one still too extreme.
I hoped we would meet in the future some day –
But tonight I am dying, so alone we will stay.


White Flowers

you felt that no one loved you,
you felt no one cared when you died
because society had put you out on the street!
and for what reason, to what end?
what other thoughts could exist?

you died and were buried within a day
and no one came to your funeral
your manager replaced you in less than an hour
and your coworkers didn’t care!
they didn’t even know your name!

your solitude in life was terrible
but in death you aren’t alone!
I’ll stay here with you now,
until the end of eternity someday,
crouched above your single grave.

the memories that people should have had,
the words they should have spoken
the white flowers they should have placed for you,
the love they should have given
you have none of it, but you have me!

so keep your head up, spirit traveler
you know you aren’t alone!
even in the coldest autumn winds,
against the most terrifying demons of the night,
I’ll be here watching, watching you.

just trust me and you’ll be alright!


Tariq

through these burning skies I see
the starless sky you gave to me
the place I left my souls behind
the wandering demons in my mind

hurting just to feel alive
mere seconds tear apart my drive
you thought I was just going to sleep
sometime, someday again we’ll meet

I’ve fallen through the cracks, I know
mistaken gifts, my life to show
now searching for a place to die
just waiting for the right time

in the mirror, the ghost you see
the physical faces of all but me
the living spirit floating through the air
surviving now on a single dare

the shadows drifting through the night
challenging the edge of light
embrace me just like falling sand
knowing those without homelands

I’ve fallen through the cracks, I know
mistaken gifts, my life to show
now searching for a place to die
just waiting for the right time

now searching for a place to die
just waiting for the right time


Remember Me

Waiting for the autumn wind to blow the stars away,
I dream of you and only you,
Reaching out for the days we shared
And the tomorrows we left behind.

The goddess of time cannot care about us;
She sweeps me away to my death —
I can’t keep track, I’m losing it all
The words you said to me that day…

How could I be so cruel?
The promises I made to you,
I’ve left them far behind;
I can’t remember how I felt that time.

The current is too strong tonight,
Our love and care too distant to see —
Washed up on that glistening black and white beach
Where I once traced your name into the sand.

I took it for granted that you’d be here,
And even when I didn’t,
Our future of isolation was veiled to me;
I couldn’t appreciate what was in my own two hands.

I thought I wouldn’t live this long;
I thought I’d have you to my end;
But you made sure you went before me —
And now I don’t know anything.

The distance between us increases with time,
And she cares not about our past;
Please, I don’t want to forget you tonight —
But I’m only human in this life.


手紙

Dear ◯◯、

If you are reading this, can you tell me?

If you’re alive, will you send me a sign?

Today is your birthday

Again, this year

I have passed many of your birthdays

Without you.

I will play music for you, today

Will you please listen?

From wherever you are

Whoever you are

I hope the sounds of the piano will reach you

And maybe the sound of my voice

Or yours

Are you still sick?

Are you happy?

You made me happy

When I was feeling depressed

And couldn’t name it

I wish you had someone

Who could make you happy too

All I can do now

Is play music

And remember you

How long has it been?

Every year I feel regret

Around this time

You have taught me

Not to make such regrets

Have I grown since then?

If you have returned to the stars

Or not

Do you still remember me?

It doesn’t matter so much

I’m still alive, after all

I just want you to be happy

At least today

On your birthday

Can you feel it?

Time is slowing down for you

So that you can smile again

Today

Someday.

From 〇〇

August 2019


I’ll See You Again

I’ll see you again…

the world spins and spins and spins
watching the turnover of seasons,
I can’t read the flow of time
but you knew I never could
and now

to sprout and bloom and die,
maybe this too is our life
I watched you change colors like the leaves
before you fell into the white snow
so it’s not too far off, is it?

sinking to the earth,
you gave me new life
and then returned to the stars above
you always belonged there, you know
maybe I’ll follow you someday

watching over a flower as it slowly dies,
this kind of feeling is so painful
would I do it again given the chance?
I still don’t know the answer
but there was never a point in that

heat flows in through the autumn winds
pulled along by the season’s change, I think
let’s play a game of catch today
this tragic yet beautiful world you passed on to me,
I’ll throw it back at you again!

wherever you are
whoever you are
get ready to catch it,
‘cause I’ll find you
I’ll see you again!


The Ocean of Broken Promises

“I’ll find you someday…”
this last heart-wrenching promise –
we gazed into each other’s eyes and knew
it could never be fulfilled
but still we spoke the words.
there was nothing else we could do.

staring across these endless seas
with not a trace of the storms of yesterday
we prepared to recreate ourselves
going our separate paths alone.
“one day, someday, some time…”
in the future one of us lacked.

we stood at each other’s backs
holding hands as in childhood
neither willing to let go.
“don’t worry, it’s okay…” you whispered
somebody had to be the first
and we both knew who that somebody had to be.

an ocean of broken promises, I
I’ve sailed it to today
and where I’ll go from here, who knows –
“you and only you…”
the wind at my back, you always are
still carrying me out of the past.

Chasing Life With You (Chapter 6)

Table of Contents

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I woke up the next morning to the first rays of sunlight filtering through the window. Tadashi had told me not to put the blinds down – way out here, there were no city lights to interfere with one’s sleep, so there was nothing to block out. Most of all, I discovered it was a genuine pleasure to wake up with the sunrise. I sat up in bed, gazed out the window for a bit, and smiled.

After showering and washing up in the bathroom, I headed downstairs. Tadashi was making breakfast. He was wearing a loose gray shirt with a simple geometric design that seemed to complement him nicely. He glanced over at me and said good morning.

“Sleep well?” he asked.

“Yup. What are you making?”

“Scrambled eggs. Want some?”

“Sure.”

I sat at the counter and watched him cook. He threw some mushrooms in with the eggs, turned off the heat, mixed them well and portioned them evenly onto three plates. Then he turned the stove back on.

“Breakfast potatoes?” he asked, turning toward me.

I nodded. “Okay. Thanks. Do you need help?”

“Nope.”

“Where’s Katsumi?”

“In the garden. You can go see him if you want. This will take a while.”

“Alright.”

I got up and headed out the side door, following the well-worn path Tadashi had pointed out the day before. The air was slightly cold but incredibly clean, and I drank it in happily. Wandering slowly through the woods, I imagined that I was a hermit, living in the middle of nowhere.

The gardens came into view after a couple minutes of walking. There was a huge variety of plants, most of which I couldn’t identify, and a lot of them were flowering or bearing colorful fruit. They had obviously been planted with care, lined up initially in even rows, but the paths between them had been heavily overgrown since the last summer. Katsumi had started weeding and clearing them out, but it looked like he might have given up. I wandered among the plants, admiring them, until I found Katsumi at the far end. Kneeling on the ground, he was up to his elbows in dirt, digging up enormous sweet potatoes.

He raised his head as I approached. “Morning,” he said.

“Good morning,” I replied.

He seemed calm and content, even as he wrestled with the plants and the earth. For a moment he looked like he was smiling – at me, at the sun, at no one. I’d noticed yesterday that Katsumi didn’t smile as much as the average person. He’d only really looked happy when he was making jokes, playing music, or bantering with Tadashi. I wondered what his reason was for smiling now.

“Those potatoes are huge,” I remarked.

“Yup. Haven’t been bothered in at least a year.”

“Are these for breakfast?”

“Lunch.”

He grinned. “I’ll make something real good, then you can tell Tama I’m the better cook. Okay?”

I laughed. “We’ll see.”

“Is he making me breakfast too?”

“Yup.”

Katsumi nodded, looked back down into the dirt, and started digging again. He continued speaking without facing me, his expression now shielded by his long hair.

“We’re going to go to the market afterwards. Do you want to come?”

I thought about it. “I’d love to, but I have some work to do. Maybe next time.”

“Okay.”

I squatted down beside him. “Can I ask you something?”

He glanced at me quickly. “Yeah.”

“How did you two meet?”

“Me and Tama? We almost killed each other.”

I started laughing, but Katsumi looked at me again with a completely straight face and added, “No joke.”

“Oh.”

In my head, I was thinking: should I be alarmed?

“It’s kind of a long story,” Katsumi admitted. “You want to hear it?”

“Um… yeah, I guess.”

“So this was sometime during our second year of high school…”

He leaned over and gave a firm yank, and a pink-and-purple sweet potato came out of the ground. I clapped. The potato joined the growing pile at Katsumi’s feet, and Katsumi sat back on his heels, brushing the dirt off his hands.

“I was walking home from school one day,” he said. “And I saw this guy. He was one of our upperclassmen. He was leaning against the wall of a big building, and he was harassing this other girl in my grade. I mean, totally harassing her. He was calling her names, laughing at her, throwing things at her, and eventually he started coming closer to her and touching her. Both intimately and violently. And all throughout it, she didn’t leave – maybe she was too scared, maybe they were boyfriend and girlfriend, who knows. But she was asking him to stop and he didn’t.”

“Did you call the police?” I asked.

Katsumi shook his head slightly and held up a finger, as if to say, I’m getting there. He went on, “Regardless of who you are or what your relationship with the other person is, you can’t treat people that way. At least that’s what I think. When I saw this happening, I got really mad. And when I get mad, I get really mad – like, I can’t control myself. I went right up to him and punched him in the face. He hit the ground, and I started kicking him. I told the girl to run away and she did, and meanwhile I kept beating the guy up. I might have killed him, really.”

Listening to his story, I remembered the look he’d had in his eyes when we’d first met – wild, dangerous, on the edge. I wondered if it was a sign of him losing control. I wondered what had set him off.

Katsumi continued, “While I was just about killing this guy, another person appeared. It was Tama, who was also walking home. He arrived basically right after the girl had run off, so he didn’t see her; he didn’t get any of the context. All he saw was a guy beating up some other guy who looked bloody and helpless. And you know how he is – the way he can go on about peace and human love and all that. He tried putting himself between the two of us, and I got mad and punched him, too.”

I scratched my head. “Great way to meet someone.”

“Right? So at this point in my madness I gave up on the other guy and started beating on Tama. I thought he would be an easy target – he’s pretty small, and he looks really feminine, which society traditionally equates with being weak. But my assumptions were entirely wrong. Tama fought back, and he fought hard. It turned out he was just as strong as me – in fact, he was exactly as strong as I was at the time, and because of that, neither of us could really win. We just beat each other up really badly until we were both too tired to continue.”

“I can’t really imagine it,” I said. “Tadashi fighting…”

“You wouldn’t dream of it now, right? But back then, we almost killed each other. The fight ended with both of us lying on the ground, broken and exhausted. We mutually agreed to not call the police on each other, because neither of us could afford that. Then I asked him why he had intervened, he asked me why I had been beating up the other guy in the first place, and we realized it was just an unfortunate misunderstanding. We started talking about other things – school, family, music – and bonded over them, and now, several years later, we’re closer than anyone could have imagined. It’s kind of crazy.”

“That’s a wild story,” I said. “I just met him when he sat next to me during recess in fourth grade.”

Katsumi laughed. “Well, I bet you were less hot-headed than I was, especially at that age.”

“What happened to the other guy?”

“The first guy I beat up? Tama made an anonymous phone call to an ambulance service, and then we hightailed it out of there. A couple months later I caught a glimpse of him at school again. But I don’t think he recognized me – or if he did, he didn’t care. At least I know that I didn’t kill him. That would’ve been bad.”

Behind us a voice retorted, “You almost killed me. That would’ve been worse.”

We turned in unison to see Tadashi walking through the garden toward us. Katsumi laughed; I smiled, and my old friend smiled back, quiet and happy.

“Breakfast is ready,” he said.


Table of Contents

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「HIRAETH」

Hiraeth

lying in the grass alone,
I wait for the rain that will never come;
disappearing like the stars that once shone,
I still wonder where I came from.

the island nations far away,
the people by my side;
I know that I’m not here to stay,
but at least I can say I’ve tried.

where I’m going, I don’t know,
not even when I’ll get there;
an endless journey an undefeatable foe,
but it was only ever fair.

breaking through the stormy sea,
the wind a silent whisper;
I reach my hands toward infinity,
resigned to be a drifter.

who knew what I was hoping for,
but I hoped anyway;
believing there was something more,
I decided I’d get there some day.

some day…

so I thought, and here I am today.


Tariq

through these burning skies I see
the starless sky you gave to me
the place I left my souls behind
the wandering demons in my mind

hurting just to feel alive
mere seconds tear apart my drive
you thought I was just going to sleep
sometime, someday again we’ll meet

I’ve fallen through the cracks, I know
mistaken gifts, my life to show
now searching for a place to die
just waiting for the right time

in the mirror, the ghost you see
the physical faces of all but me
the living spirit floating through the air
surviving now on a single dare

the shadows drifting through the night
challenging the edge of light
embrace me just like falling sand
knowing those without homelands

I’ve fallen through the cracks, I know
mistaken gifts, my life to show
now searching for a place to die
just waiting for the right time

now searching for a place to die
just waiting for the right time


unanswerable ~dimensions in my mind~

questions without a question mark
because I know there is no answer

“give me your hand, just follow me…”
so saying, you leaped into the air
and we both knew it wasn’t fair
but it was the only way I could be free.

jumping out of the window, I saw
nothing within my tightly shut eyes
blindly trusting that I wouldn’t fall
that you wouldn’t feed me lies.

but of course you couldn’t catch me
you never existed in the first place
and so I fell with silent grace
led by a figure only I could see.

you carried me up into the night sky
and passed through a dozen worlds beyond
I never thought that I could fly
but somehow I could, as the new season dawned.

and yet I felt dizzy and overwhelmingly sick
saying “please now take me back…”
but to respond was a power that we both lacked
a dog unable to even see the stick.

hovering in a universe I couldn’t know
and always endlessly alone, I…


Chaotic Minds

The images flash through my mind;
I look out the window and see
People drowning themselves in tragedy,
A world of violence and greed
Based only on fantasy,
And I know I don’t belong here –
But I’m forced to share this dream.

Before the night is over
You tell me to close my eyes,
Try to soothe my soul with lies:
A promise that this world is good,
That we can be happy and always free.
You insist we can live forever,
And I say that’s not my wish –
But you won’t answer me.

Why do I live,
Why do I die?
This dream was never mine.
Just take my life away, I cry –
Unlock the door of my reality
And set me free.

I wrestle with my heart and hands,
I’m not brave enough to take it.
You say that I’m a coward,
Too sensitive, too weak.
You offer me a bedsheet;
You offer a pitch black knife.
But that’s all you can give –
And in the end only part of me wants to die.

Sitting on the ledge, you ask me why.
I wave my hands to the world,
To the arrogance and hatred,
The superficiality.
I paint the bloodthirsty violence
Onto an illusory canvas,
Begging you to see –
But in the end you’re just as blind as me.

Why do I live,
Why do I die?
This dream was never mine.
Just take my life away, I cry –
Unlock the door of my reality
And set me free.

Wake me up,
And set me free…
So that one day,
Someday,
I can live again.


imprints in the snow

now unreachable,
one lost in the blinding white –
what could I have known?
the aching within my heart
brings me knowledge of new life.


the spirit within

windy autumn days –
calling out my loneliness,
the spirit within;
now wandering together
following our destiny.


lost in time

fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty…
eyes closed I count the years
moving forward endlessly, I think
I can’t escape the tide

so tired, I never planned for this
how much longer am I stuck here?
what do I do until it’s over?
I can’t fight it anymore, but…

“you won’t live to see that day”
so I walked without a future
it was an absolute certainty, can’t you see?
a destiny I kept to myself

but look, I’m here, I’m here
I’ve reached the impossible
I could never imagine this life
and now…

this was never supposed to exist, this day
I was never supposed to be here
the gods, the spirits, they made a mistake
they didn’t take me…

this thing called “future” I don’t know what to do with
where do I go from here?
marking off my extra days
the calendar on the wall watches silently

so empty…
this world I knew I would leave
I can’t stay, I won’t stay
but I have to stay someday

a watery planet with no land, no stars
I float along in the sea
I can’t even drown, what a rule!
and no sunsets or seasons, so this time…

“you won’t live to see that day”
so I walked without a future
it was an absolute certainty, can’t you see?
a destiny I kept to myself

but look, I’m here, I’m here
I’ve reached the impossible
I could never imagine this life
and now…

and now…


painted dreams

color-changing leaves,
painting now my destiny –
the wry smile I show;
my internal haunting, now
self-fulfilling prophecy.


Missing

caught in a current I can’t escape
I’m dragged forward unwillingly
pulled through the vortex of days and years
as though I had a choice.

there’s nowhere I can return to,
and no way I can get there;
what else can I do but go forward?
always headfirst into the hurricane…

like diving into a whirlpool
with no prospect of an end
or running with no direction –
what I lack is undefinable.

an abstract concept that never existed for anyone
most of all does not exist for me;
I can’t even name it
but we both knew it was always there.

there’s nowhere I can return to,
and no way I can get there;
what else can I do but go forward?
always headfirst into the hurricane…
unable to see what’s behind.


shapes in the distance, I

on the edge of the horizon there
shadows condense into the creatures of the night
many of them gazing wonderingly at me
inviting me to join them.

a riderless horse, beautiful and free,
with a mane of sun-lit fire
wanders across the dark blue plains
distinctly its own master.

a lone butterfly, hovering there
with a pair of iridescent wings
flowing through the air, it knows only
the intangible limits of its own sky.

a graceful wingless dragon
soaring through the clouds
heading for the heavens,
it extends its tail toward me

and I take it and I follow
having no real other choice
and the shapes carry me to the horizon line
to the unknowing world beyond.

「DOUBLE-SIDED」Azure Dragon

NEGOTIABLE ~because I promised, it’s okay~

call me in the middle of the night,
whisper your silent plea
“I need you… I’m sorry…”
don’t be sorry, love
we all need someone, don’t we?

it’s okay, it’s okay, I’ll show you it’s okay
even in the middle of the night
‘cause sleep is always negotiable
didn’t I tell you my life is negotiable?
for the people whom I love…

I’ll show you the meaning of kindness, you’ll see
l’ll answer all of your prayers, if you let me
the world has turned its back on people like you
but I won’t
I promise I won’t

right now your horizon is full of dark storm clouds
but I’ll show you that rain brings life, too
right now you’re stuck in a blinding blizzard
but I’ll show you that spring is right around the corner
won’t you believe me?

it’s okay to need someone,
to listen to someone,
to believe in someone,
‘cause that’s how human beings are
hey, I’ll be that “someone” any day

I’ll show you the meaning of kindness, you’ll see
l’ll answer all of your prayers, if you let me
the world has turned its back on people like you
but I won’t
I promise I won’t…

and you know I don’t break my promises, right?


Angel’s Payment

you’ve no need to worry
trust in my words, that’s all
I’m the strongest being on the planet
who could rival me?

besides, you’ve done good deeds
it’s not like the world is cruel
ruled by a balance just and fair
you’ll be rewarded. trust me.

from afar I’m always watching
I know everything you’ve done
now let’s look back and see
what it is you’ve earned, shall we?

from the beautiful city I saw
the way you served your love
from the waterfall I saw
your daily sacrifice

from the stormy clouds I saw
your kindness to those in need
from the rising sun I saw
your campaign for equity

from the golden throne I saw
your burning passion soar
from the ground by you I saw
you beaten to the floor

what is this I see?
tears like raindrops on your cheek
crying as I recount your days?
just breathe and listen to me

I’ll help you escape, don’t worry
the sentence will not end
your morning chains will rot like wood
and let you run free then

head in the direction of the rising sun
soon you’ll reach a farm
the land is my eternal gift as long
as you stay true to who you are

I’ll send you water for your crops
and merchants will pass by
with one of them you’ll fall in love
and I’ll even give you children

on this day you thought you’d die
instead I’ll repay you all your life
because those who would kill may not see it yet
but our nation,
our world,
needs more like you.


Let’s Go Again

a child born beneath the stars
a sapling reaching for the sky
a sparrow learning how to fly
a whale taking its first dive

the world is beautiful, can’t you see?

“no,” you’ll say, and you’ll show me death
you’ll show me all your suffering and pain
all the tragedies and hard-won gains
“none of this was worth it…”

are you really so sure?

on your deathbed you’ll whisper to me
“I wish I had not lived…”
but don’t lie to yourself, love
just open your eyes and see

have you seen the other side?

humanity wasn’t fair to you
and unfortunately you were human too
but you spent your life learning,
and found how to love

was that not worth it in the end?

the moments of happiness
the moments of new life
the dependable season
I never failed you, did I?

tell me I failed you, and we’ll do it all again.


amber skies tomorrow

in the depths of night,
in the shadowed gray
the season’s cool first rain
will herald a new day

you think you’re in trouble,
you think you’ve reached the end
but the night will soon be over
and soon your wounds will mend

there’s no reason for you to fear
the sun is going to rise
the colors of the sky you’ll see
will be your hard-won prize

time and time again we’ll fall
only to come back stronger
I’ll lift you up to your highest self
so that you will live longer

there is still hope for you and I,
I know you won’t believe me
but look, the moon is fading
and soon you will be free

soon you will be free…


OVERCAST

you gazed at me silently,
your eyes reflecting the sky
blanketed with heavy gray clouds
the world was wet and shadowed.
standing in the downpour,
you suddenly started to cry
I gave you my umbrella
and we waited side-by-side.

I couldn’t see you…

I turned the rain into a game,
trying to make you happy
but we were both blind
at least, I was.
I didn’t realize the limits of my strength
the faults of my own power
what a costly mistake…
I’m sorry.

I couldn’t save you…

but I won’t do it again
to all others whom I love
I’ll take this and learn,
and move on again.
you won’t have lost for nothing
I won’t have lost you for nothing
I’ll prove that to you at least.
from here on, we begin anew.


Gifted in Disguise

all the things that weigh you down
the spirits gave to you –
look at them differently and then you’ll see
the gifts they are inside.

take my hand and follow me,
I’ll show you how to use them
to turn your suffering into art
and create your life anew.

the days are full of challenges, I know,
but everyone faces those –
I’ll show you how to ride the waves
because what else is there?
how else would you live?

all the things that weigh you down
the spirits gave to you –
moving forward, you are still,
and farther than you thought.

you’re gifted, after all.

「DOUBLE-SIDED」White Tiger

RESPONSIBLE ~because you need me, anything~

this day won’t happen twice, I know
I’ll never get it back, but hey!
if you’re in trouble, just call out to me,
I’ll give my time to you.

the sun is setting, the darkness is coming,
I’ll still charge into the fray
because you need me, I’ll do anything –
who’s hurting you? I’ll tear them apart!

wherever you are in the world,
I’ll come get you, you’ll see!
dropping, giving, everything
isn’t this lover’s responsibility?

I’ll ride the wind across the seas, that’s me
to fight your strongest demons for you
and even upon my final breath I’ll scream,
because I love you, it will have been worth it!

the sun is setting, the darkness is coming,
I’ll still charge into the fray
because you need me, I’ll do anything –
who’s hurting you? I’ll tear them apart!

backed into a corner, I’ll bare my teeth
just stay behind me and watch!
my skin is covered with the color of death,
but I’m still standing, aren’t I?

the years have come and gone, I’ve learned
the sun will always rise again
you just take a breath and I,
I’ll see you through the night!

the sun is setting, the darkness is coming,
I’ll still charge into the fray
because you need me, I’ll do anything –
who’s hurting you? I’ll tear them apart!


guardian spirit ~close your eyes~

responsible, I’m always responsible
for our life, don’t you know?
awake beneath a waning moon, the seconds ticking by
I yawn and smile over you

close your eyes, love
just take it easy now
let your fears melt into the darkness
‘cause I’m watching over you tonight

take my hand if you’re scared
let’s fight your demons now!
it’s nothing but an illusion
so break free, just look at me

looking over your shoulder, I
I’ll see you to tomorrow
it’s us that’s on the line, can’t you see?
it’s not just “you and me”

you’re afraid, I know
you think you can’t bear it
but I’ll show you, let me show you
what you can really do, let’s go!

so close your eyes, love
just take it easy now
let your fears melt into the darkness
‘cause I’m watching over you tonight

daydreams and nightmares, spirits and gods
don’t try to fool me, come on!
I know what you’re really afraid of
you think you could lie to me?

there’s nothing you can hide
‘cause I understand you more than anyone
so let me take a guess right now
humanity and life, how close am I to right?

answer me with silence
that’s fine, I’ll still be here
I’ll tear your ghosts apart every night
we’ll never be alone

so close your eyes, love
take it easy now
let your fears melt into the darkness
‘cause I’m watching over you tonight

I’m watching over you…


White Flowers

you felt that no one loved you,
you felt no one cared when you died
because society had put you out on the street!
and for what reason, to what end?
what other thoughts could exist?

you died and were buried within a day
and no one came to your funeral
your manager replaced you in less than an hour
and your coworkers didn’t care!
they didn’t even know your name!

your solitude in life was terrible
but in death you aren’t alone!
I’ll stay here with you now,
until the end of eternity someday,
crouched above your single grave.

the memories that people should have had,
the words they should have spoken
the white flowers they should have placed for you,
the love they should have given
you have none of it, but you have me!

so keep your head up, spirit traveler
you know you aren’t alone!
even in the coldest autumn winds,
against the most terrifying demons of the night,
I’ll be here watching, watching you.

just trust me and you’ll be alright!


last eternal night

the sun sets against the blinding snow
the skies now turning gray
“the world is ending…”
but that’s okay
we were never meant to stay!

your life was neither short nor long
it’s simply time to go!
the stars are ready, calling you
and that’s really all I know
at least it’s not for show

you carried through with a genuine heart
loving your dear family
for them it will be rough sometimes
but soon they’ll really come to see
their tragic love has set them free

you won’t come back,
at least not here!
but where we are going,
you’ve no reason to fear
with me your demons won’t come near

the cold of the steel against your skin
I know it hurts, but after all
it’ll only last a second!
and if you just close your eyes and fall
I’ll catch you before you hit the wall

look up at the full moon high above
it’s beautiful tonight!
you’ll see this image for as long as you live
a guiding beacon of white light
a symbol of all that is just and right

now take my hand, let’s go
it’s time to go!
are you looking forward
to our journey from now on?
look at the moon and smile!


the look in your eyes…

the look in your eyes as you fell in my arms,
I can’t forget it…
as I held you in a loving embrace,
you slipped away from me
gazing into another world beyond me
and before I knew it
you were carried away by other hands
guided into a land I couldn’t know.

the person who did this to you,
I couldn’t stop them…
but I will, I promise I will
I’ll follow them to the ends of the earth!
until their eyes look the same as yours
until they feel the pain you felt
I’ll tear them apart!
and then, I’ll follow you.

you weren’t supposed to die
nothing about that day was right
but I’ll make it right!
I’ll restore the balance
holding you in my arms
holding your memory in my eyes
I’ll do whatever it takes.
just watch!


AMULET

a necklace with a pendant
and a meaning only we understand
given to you on your birthday
so many years ago

have you kept it?

a braided cord
tied twice around your wrist
made by hand
with string and love and hours

do you remember?

because I promised
I’d protect you forever,
I’ll give these gifts to you.
don’t think of them so lightly.

do you understand?

a reflection of our relationship
and an amulet to guard you
with a world so beautifully vast
sometimes, this is all I can do.

will it be enough?

because I promised
I’d protect you forever,
I’ll give these gifts to you.
don’t think of them so lightly!

「DOUBLE-SIDED」Set 6

From White Tiger

AMULET

a necklace with a pendant
and a meaning only we understand
given to you on your birthday
so many years ago

have you kept it?

a braided cord
tied twice around your wrist
made by hand
with string and love and hours

do you remember?

because I promised
I’d protect you forever,
I’ll give these gifts to you.
don’t think of them so lightly.

do you understand?

a reflection of our relationship
and an amulet to guard you
with a world so beautifully vast
sometimes, this is all I can do.

will it be enough?

because I promised
I’d protect you forever,
I’ll give these gifts to you.
don’t think of them so lightly!


From Azure Dragon

Gifted in Disguise

all the things that weigh you down
the spirits gave to you –
look at them differently and then you’ll see
the gifts they are inside.

take my hand and follow me,
I’ll show you how to use them
to turn your suffering into art
and create your life anew.

the days are full of challenges, I know,
but everyone faces those –
I’ll show you how to ride the waves
because what else is there?
how else would you live?

all the things that weigh you down
the spirits gave to you –
moving forward, you are still,
and farther than you thought.

you’re gifted, after all.

「DOUBLE-SIDED」Set 5

From White Tiger

the look in your eyes…

the look in your eyes as you fell in my arms,
I can’t forget it…
as I held you in a loving embrace,
you slipped away from me
gazing into another world beyond me
and before I knew it
you were carried away by other hands
guided into a land I couldn’t know.

the person who did this to you,
I couldn’t stop them…
but I will, I promise I will
I’ll follow them to the ends of the earth!
until their eyes look the same as yours
until they feel the pain you felt
I’ll tear them apart!
and then, I’ll follow you.

you weren’t supposed to die
nothing about that day was right
but I’ll make it right!
I’ll restore the balance
holding you in my arms
holding your memory in my eyes
I’ll do whatever it takes.
just watch!


From Azure Dragon

OVERCAST

you gazed at me silently,
your eyes reflecting the sky
blanketed with heavy gray clouds
the world was wet and shadowed.
standing in the downpour,
you suddenly started to cry
I gave you my umbrella
and we waited side-by-side.

I couldn’t see you…

I turned the rain into a game,
trying to make you happy
but we were both blind
at least, I was.
I didn’t realize the limits of my strength
the faults of my own power
what a costly mistake…
I’m sorry.

I couldn’t save you…

but I won’t do it again
to all others whom I love
I’ll take this and learn,
and move on again.
you won’t have lost for nothing
I won’t have lost you for nothing
I’ll prove that to you at least.
from here on, we begin anew.

「DOUBLE-SIDED」Set 4

From White Tiger

last eternal night

the sun sets against the blinding snow
the skies now turning gray
“the world is ending…”
but that’s okay
we were never meant to stay!

your life was neither short nor long
it’s simply time to go!
the stars are ready, calling you
and that’s really all I know
at least it’s not for show

you carried through with a genuine heart
loving your dear family
for them it will be rough sometimes
but soon they’ll really come to see
their tragic love has set them free

you won’t come back,
at least not here!
but where we are going,
you’ve no reason to fear
with me your demons won’t come near

the cold of the steel against your skin
I know it hurts, but after all
it’ll only last a second!
and if you just close your eyes and fall
I’ll catch you before you hit the wall

look up at the full moon high above
it’s beautiful tonight!
you’ll see this image for as long as you live
a guiding beacon of white light
a symbol of all that is just and right

now take my hand, let’s go
it’s time to go!
are you looking forward
to our journey from now on?
look at the moon and smile!


From Azure Dragon

amber skies tomorrow

in the depths of night,
in the shadowed gray
the season’s cool first rain
will herald a new day

you think you’re in trouble,
you think you’ve reached the end
but the night will soon be over
and soon your wounds will mend

there’s no reason for you to fear
the sun is going to rise
the colors of the sky you’ll see
will be your hard-won prize

time and time again we’ll fall
only to come back stronger
I’ll lift you up to your highest self
so that you will live longer

there is still hope for you and I,
I know you won’t believe me
but look, the moon is fading
and soon you will be free

soon you will be free…

「DOUBLE-SIDED」Set 3

From White Tiger

White Flowers

you felt that no one loved you,
you felt no one cared when you died
because society had put you out on the street!
and for what reason, to what end?
what other thoughts could exist?

you died and were buried within a day
and no one came to your funeral
your manager replaced you in less than an hour
and your coworkers didn’t care!
they didn’t even know your name!

your solitude in life was terrible
but in death you aren’t alone!
I’ll stay here with you now,
until the end of eternity someday,
crouched above your single grave.

the memories that people should have had,
the words they should have spoken
the white flowers they should have placed for you,
the love they should have given
you have none of it, but you have me!

so keep your head up, spirit traveler
you know you aren’t alone!
even in the coldest autumn winds,
against the most terrifying demons of the night,
I’ll be here watching, watching you.

just trust me and you’ll be alright!


From Azure Dragon

Let’s Go Again

a child born beneath the stars
a sapling reaching for the sky
a sparrow learning how to fly
a whale taking its first dive

the world is beautiful, can’t you see?

“no,” you’ll say, and you’ll show me death
you’ll show me all your suffering and pain
all the tragedies and hard-won gains
“none of this was worth it…”

are you really so sure?

on your deathbed you’ll whisper to me
“I wish I had not lived…”
but don’t lie to yourself, love
just open your eyes and see

have you seen the other side?

humanity wasn’t fair to you
and unfortunately you were human too
but you spent your life learning,
and found how to love

was that not worth it in the end?

the moments of happiness
the moments of new life
the dependable season
I never failed you, did I?

tell me I failed you, and we’ll do it all again.

「DOUBLE-SIDED」Set 2

From White Tiger

guardian spirit ~close your eyes~

responsible, I’m always responsible
for our life, don’t you know?
awake beneath a waning moon, the seconds ticking by
I yawn and smile over you

close your eyes, love
just take it easy now
let your fears melt into the darkness
‘cause I’m watching over you tonight

take my hand if you’re scared
let’s fight your demons now!
it’s nothing but an illusion
so break free, just look at me

looking over your shoulder, I
I’ll see you to tomorrow
it’s us that’s on the line, can’t you see?
it’s not just “you and me”

you’re afraid, I know
you think you can’t bear it
but I’ll show you, let me show you
what you can really do, let’s go!

so close your eyes, love
just take it easy now
let your fears melt into the darkness
‘cause I’m watching over you tonight

daydreams and nightmares, spirits and gods
don’t try to fool me, come on!
I know what you’re really afraid of
you think you could lie to me?

there’s nothing you can hide
‘cause I understand you more than anyone
so let me take a guess right now
humanity and life, how close am I to right?

answer me with silence
that’s fine, I’ll still be here
I’ll tear your ghosts apart every night
we’ll never be alone

so close your eyes, love
take it easy now
let your fears melt into the darkness
‘cause I’m watching over you tonight

I’m watching over you…


From Azure Dragon

Angel’s Payment

you’ve no need to worry
trust in my words, that’s all
I’m the strongest being on the planet
who could rival me?

besides, you’ve done good deeds
it’s not like the world is cruel
ruled by a balance just and fair
you’ll be rewarded. trust me.

from afar I’m always watching
I know everything you’ve done
now let’s look back and see
what it is you’ve earned, shall we?

from the beautiful city I saw
the way you served your love
from the waterfall I saw
your daily sacrifice

from the stormy clouds I saw
your kindness to those in need
from the rising sun I saw
your campaign for equity

from the golden throne I saw
your burning passion soar
from the ground by you I saw
you beaten to the floor

what is this I see?
tears like raindrops on your cheek
crying as I recount your days?
just breathe and listen to me

I’ll help you escape, don’t worry
the sentence will not end
your morning chains will rot like wood
and let you run free then

head in the direction of the rising sun
soon you’ll reach a farm
the land is my eternal gift as long
as you stay true to who you are

I’ll send you water for your crops
and merchants will pass by
with one of them you’ll fall in love
and I’ll even give you children

on this day you thought you’d die
instead I’ll repay you all your life
because those who would kill may not see it yet
but our nation,
our world,
needs more like you.