the dream you left behind

trampling through fields of dead roses,
       with a mournful serenade gracing your ears
you hold your head up high, gazing at me
       locks of your brown hair falling to the ground one by one
       tracing our shattered destiny on the maps of time
I didn’t know what I was leaving behind.

the shadows of your fingers entwined in mine,
I still remember
       the words you said to me that day
       the strength of your loving embrace
but you knew, I knew, I had nothing left to give
       and so you walked away without looking back
knowing that I was just waiting to die.

breaking the endless lines with your bare hands,
       to the soundtrack of a selfless hero
you climbed the walls we had built together
       and tore through the eternal night that was nothing but an illusion
              nothing more, nothing less than a single night’s dream
       the dream I could never see
the dream you left behind for me.

alive again ~these winter waking dreams~

searching for you, I walked
       these empty moonlit winter streets
            as snow enveloped me in silent sheets
       masking the scent of waking dreams
that chased the weakness in my heart.

if you could feel my love,
would you answer me?

“we will meet again,” you said…

if I could hold you one more time,
would I live again?

reaching for you, I walked
       past the edge of this eternal night
            blinded by the shining white
       protesting this internal fight
that I could give no reason for.

if I knew I was destined to lose,
would I still keep running?

“we are going to make it,” you said…

if you really believed that,
would you have let me go?

yearning for you, I walked
       the traces of our broken past
            supported by a glowing cast
       the memories of those who last
still alive within my winter dreams. 

Nocturne of a Dreamer

sitting at the edge of dawn,
waiting for who knows how long
the first bird shares her siren song
     and we –
in this intangible moment we
     go off into infinity
stepping into the unknown that is our life.

as though we could have stopped them,
     and made this place our own
as though we could have met them,
     and bent our fates anew
we chase each dawn from night to day,
each following our own loving way –
     then searching for the words to say,
words that might still change the world someday.

reaching into open arms, we gaze
     at these reflections of our own blind eyes
     at our opposite horizon lines
and we say, “we will not go.”
we say “this is not the end.”

because here, the sun is rising –
     hear, the sun is rising –
and today
with nothing else to do
     and no other path to take
we follow it into eternity.

For my dear friend K… happy birthday.

Shilah

Our paddles sliced through the water in unison, cutting the blue-green surface and setting the kayak on a smooth, silent glide. I gazed at the back of Shilah’s head, moving my arms in time with hers. The minutes flowed quietly by.

Shilah spotted the private beach and started to angle in towards shore. I followed. At a certain distance we both stopped paddling and let the waves carry us in. Then Shilah jumped out into the shallows and pulled the kayak up onto the sand.

“Been hot today,” she said, speaking for the first time since we’d set out.

“You’re right,” I agreed. “Glad I remembered to put on sunscreen.”

I got out of the kayak and stretched. The sand was incredibly soft and warm beneath my feet. Shilah splashed around in the water, and I watched her.

“When are we going back?” I asked.

She laughed. “Who cares? Whenever we feel like it. I hate planning. Life is better if you just go.”

“Hmm, yeah, I guess you’re right.”

It still gives me anxiety to not have a schedule. I guess it’s something I’ve yet to learn.

“Come over here,” Shilah said.

I went over to her, stepping into the briskly cold ocean. She extended her hands to me and I took them. Without warning she started to dance, pulling me along, and I followed her lead with surprise.

I guess a private beach is a pretty romantic setting for a dance. But I’ve never been good with romance. Shilah was always the more sensitive one.

We danced for a while and then fell back into the sand, tired. Shilah was beaming. I smiled at her, breathing hard, and part of me wanted to do it again.

“Haku,” she asked, “what do you dream of?”

I thought for a moment. “I don’t know.”

She lay on her back, looking up at the clouds, and nodded. “I dream of tiny little stars in the ocean that glitter and shine brighter than the sun.”

I laughed. “Why? What does that mean?”

“Whatever you think it means,” she replied. “It’s my dream, but you’re still free to interpret it however you want.”

She closed her eyes, leaving me with that.

“It’s kind of weird… but I like it,” I decided.

“When I die, I’m going to turn into one,” she said.

“A tiny star in the ocean that glitters and shines like the sun?”

Brighter than the sun. Yeah. You should turn into one too.”

I laughed. “That’s kind of cute, actually.”

“I don’t think it’s cute. I just think it’s important. But if it’s cute to you, that’s alright.”

She opened her eyes and sat up.

“Let’s dance again,” she said.

“Okay. But the sun is starting to set. How long are we going to be out here?”

Shilah looked at me seriously.

“Who cares?”

the dream you left behind

“I’ll run to the top, you just watch!”
such passionate words you said to me
I could see it all, your eyes burning,
your mind working

you would have made it, I know
I believe that even now
you charged to the front with so much strength
but…

the dream you carried day after day
grasping it tightly in your arms
I thought you’d never let it go,
but you did on that night…
that night when you returned to the stars
and left the world behind.

you saw things I could never see
I couldn’t match your passion
as you turned your dreams to reality
what could I do but follow?

you tore across the world and made it your own
so determined, so diligent, so loving
comparing yourself only to yourself,
you ran for a finish line no one else could see

and then…

the dream you carried day after day
hauling it upon your back
I thought you’d never let it go,
but you did on that night…
that night when you returned to the stars
and left the world behind.

I thought nothing could ever stop you
and I guess in a way I was right
but I never could have seen in my wildest dreams
that you’d stop yourself some day

you loved the world too much, I thought
so desperate to make it better
how could you have given up,
when you knew how badly we needed you?

the dream you carried day after day
chasing after it even when blind
I thought you’d never let it go,
but you did on that night…
that night when you returned to the stars
and left the world behind.

maybe the dream was never yours,
maybe it was mine…
“did you ever truly exist?”
I wonder this sometimes

if I made it up in my head,
at least I know what for
hear out my promise, please
if my voice reaches you out there

moving towards our lone future,
I’ll run to the front, you’ll see
I’ll carry the dream you left behind
so that one day, someday…

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…

the memories we made ~flight from eternity~

“this doesn’t happen in real life…”
the words you whispered that night were heartbreaking
all I wanted was to make your dreams come true
but I couldn’t change the world for you

you smiled at me bitterly, eyes shimmering with tears
I was desperate to take your pain away
what kind of life must we live?
are we not allowed to be happy?

not knowing which one of us will go first,
I gaze intently into your eyes…
the memories we make,
the dreams we chase,
I can’t let myself forget them
no matter how far from eternity I fly

every second we now spend together
I grasp it tightly in my hands
“soon, this will all be over…”
with these thoughts running through my mind

the world is changing, and we change with it
but I can’t let these moments fade
the times you smile and laugh with me, the jokes we make and retell endlessly
I hold them to my chest, crying happily

not knowing which one of us will go first,
I gaze intently into your eyes…
the memories we make,
the dreams we chase,
I can’t let myself forget them
no matter how far from eternity I fly

can we believe in an impossible world?
I can’t live without it…
I take your hand, full of hope
And create new laughter with you again

playing games like the children we were
we move forward day by day
a rope, a pool, a closet hanger, a rainbow
still haunted, we gather ourselves and smile

not knowing which one of us will go first,
I gaze intently into your eyes…
the memories we make,
the dreams we chase,
I can’t let myself forget them
no matter how far from eternity I fly