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.

Entry #25 – Recent Artist Inspirations

Hi everyone, it’s Kohaku. I hope you all had a good week.

There’s certainly a lot of tension in the world right now – in all kinds of places, for all kinds of reasons. The U.S. and Iran, Iran and the Ukraine, Taiwan’s elections, Hong Kong, North Korea – just to name a few. I really wish that humans could just learn to love one another, to do away with war and violence, to tolerate and coexist. Do you think it’s possible? Can we save ourselves? I really wonder sometimes.

Anyway, as promised, I’m going to talk about my recent artist inspirations today. I think art is incredibly important for people to get in touch with their emotions and develop strong connections with each other. Art can teach us love and peace, tolerance and coexistence, creativity and sensitivity. So, I always try to continuously expose myself to new art and artists, and at the same time I make an effort to pay attention to what goes into my own art – whether that’s writing, photography, painting, or anything else.

Most of what I’ve been doing recently has to do with music. Here are the music artists that I’ve mainly been listening to recently.


~ YOHIO

I think YOHIO is incredible. His singing voice is great, in English and in Japanese, and the amount of effort and creativity he puts into his music videos always impresses me. He’s very young, too, and with the quantity and quality of the content he continues to put out, he’s quickly shaping up to be one of my favorite visual kei artists. I’m looking forward to his new album!


~ RADWIMPS

RADWIMPS never ceases to amaze me. Not visual kei, but I first got into them after watching 「君の名は。」 years ago, and have been steadily working through their discography since. From upbeat soft rock jams, to the annual introspective pieces based on 3.11 like 「夜の淵」 and 「カイコ」, their variety of songs and general style and lyrics really appeal to me. Recently I discovered some of their older songs, as well as a lot of songs I’ve just never listened to. I was stunned after viewing the music video for 「光」. It’s a great song, plus LGBTQ representation… there goes my heart. Here’s the MV below:


~ Yellow Fried Chickenz

I started listening to some of their songs again. I think YFCz was a really interesting band. I loved the diversity and quality of the members, and really enjoyed hearing dual vocals. Some of their songs sound a bit crazy, and it can seem sometimes like the musicians were really just fooling around and having a good time, but then out of nowhere they’ll hit you with a tragic heartthrob like 「Mata koko de aimashou」… Look that one up. The video makes me cry!


~ Kiyoharu / Kuroyume

Most recently, I’ve been listening to Kuroyume and vocalist Kiyoharu’s solo works. I love his voice, and the overall sound and style of the band. I can’t say anything much more than that yet, since I haven’t listened to very much for very long, but I’ll be working through their discography in the coming weeks. Kind of late to the party, but it’s never too late for music!


That’s all I can think of for right now really. I want to keep finding more artists to listen to, as well as diving deeper into the works of the artists I already love. How about you all? Who have you been watching, reading, or listening to recently? What’s going into your art?

Take care of yourselves. Lots of love and be at peace.

KT

Can't Wait Anymore

waiting for you, I take
       time off the ends of my life
       shaving down the rough edges
that for us, translated into being “normal”…
       today
              as I wake
       the moon still gazes in my eyes
       breathing patience for my one true life
but I can’t wait, I say
       I can’t wait anymore
I’ll walk the glass-strewn path that equates to “me”
       if it means being happy
              if it means we can be happy
together someday, today
in a world that will share our love
       a world that will take the look in your eyes
              the pain and sadness of a product that didn’t pass quality control
       and turn it into open hearts
       open hearts and open arms –
for this world I’ve been waiting for, I can’t wait anymore… 
but I’ll wait for you.
once I’m there, I’ll wait for you.

Enough For Me And You

breathing quietly beside you,
       I gazed up at my own dark sky –
so different from yours
       even though our dreams were the same
       even though the promises we exchanged
              had been knowingly impossible… 
if I could have understood then
       what it feels like to love someone
       who can’t love you back…
that day the seas rose and fell
that day the sky split open
       and shattered our silent dreams into a million pieces,
              glass shards we grasped in our hands despite the pain
you asked me for a reason –
       and I blurted out so many
       but it’s only now that I realize what the right answer was.
“I don’t need a reason,” I should have said.
“Isn’t ‘I love you’ enough?”

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. 

Last Night ~2019~

on this final moonlit night
we look back and ask ourselves:
where are we?
who have we become?
and now, where are we going?

dozens of years have come and gone,
and here we are at the edge of dawn
with what?
can you see?
having locked our memories in chests full of blood,
we can no longer hear our own children’s screams –
how stupid can we be!
thinking we can put a face to tragedy –
as if humans ever understood humanity.
to what we have done, no thing can compare,
and we continue to do it on a childish dare,
putting up fronts of sincerity and sadness,
spray painting over our internal madness.
this world…
a cold desert with no horizons,
no longer a place of life –
it’s a meaningless battleground!
but, after all,
darkness is not something
unknown to man.
you always knew this…
I love you all, but it’s beyond my control –
humanity is determined to rip apart my soul.

day after day, I watch
waiting for the world
to transform into a rose –
perhaps, a rainbow…
tracing your outline over and over again,
my tears become the gentle rain.
you always knew what I didn’t…
we’re burning in the light of day,
living our lives without a say,
still struggling to find the way,
and I know I don’t belong here –
but I’m forced to share this dream.

the world I tried to find
never existed in my time…
so condemned for eternity,
I forever watch this path.
still, chasing the horizon
that will never end for me,
I will close my eyes and say,
“I will not give up hope today.”
your parting words grace my lips
there’ll be no war today, I think –
it’s our love after all.

can we believe in an impossible world?
I can’t live without it…
but tonight I understand that it’s only a dream –
one we can’t reach, one still too extreme.
her whispered words
“you won’t live to see that day”
so I walked without a future…
well, to sprout and bloom and die,
maybe this too is our life.
just like you before me
I know that I’m not here to stay,
but at least I can say I’ve tried –
now, I’m searching for a place to die
just waiting for the right time.

but in that single instant I –
I can only think of you…
I call out for a love that
was never mine to cherish,
reaching out for the days we shared
and the tomorrows we left behind.
promising “one day, someday, some time…”
in the future one of us lacked.
if only they would let us live…
so you said –
can you feel it?
time is slowing down for you
so that you can smile again…
what words!
humanity wasn’t fair to you,
and unfortunately you were human too –
and yet you see that I love you
because our hearts just grew and grew
together, we bend their definitions
expanding what it means to be alive.
was this all not worth it in the end?

someday, the world will understand me
and we can live as we were meant to be –
but right now, in our shared dream,
we are still struggling,
searching for the words to say,
words that might still change the world someday.
at least, for today
we look into each other’s eyes
and we say, “we will not go.”
we say “this is not the end.”
we say, on this day of endless dawn,
the sun will rise again.
this goodbye is not forever…
we will meet again.


Happy New Year, everyone. Lots of love to our one global humanity. Let’s make a good 2020, together.

KT

Entry #23 – This Week's Releases, and Passing Into the New Year

Hi everyone, it’s Kohaku; I hope you all are safely enjoying the holidays!

Tomorrow, I will have a 2019 best-of compilation for you guys. It was a bit of work to compile, especially because I had challenged myself to post something every day since the summer. There was a lot of writing to sift through! But I guess it was good that I did more poetry than prose this year, since it takes less time to read. I narrowed everything down to about 30 pieces, and then cut it to 10, trying to pick from all the different styles and genres. So I’ll share that with you guys tomorrow, and I also want to hear what you guys liked from my work this year too.

The day after, on the 31st, I’ll have another longer work – a piece that will reflect on the year overall, as well as look forward and carry us into the new year. I guess it’s a compilation in a kind of roundabout way, but it’s easier to read it as just one long message strung together. I’m not really sure how it’s going to turn out in the end, but please do look forward to that too!

Also, I might have another something special on the 1st. I haven’t totally decided yet. I guess we’ll see when we get there.

I really wonder about a lot of things at the end of the year. I’ve been told from various people that it takes a lot of energy to go from one year to the next, and some years are harder than others for certain types of people. Whether that’s factually true or not, I can’t say, but it’s not hard to believe. It’s a bit scary how many bad or threatening events in my personal life have begun to pile up right around this time. So I hope you all are safe, healthy, and conserving your energy to make the years’ crossing. Hopefully, we won’t leave too many loved ones behind.

That’s not to end on a depressing note, of course. Are you all looking after your loved ones? Have you paid attention to them? Have you thanked them lately? It’s a good time now to reflect on your behavior towards the people you care for. That’s what the holidays are really about: people, and love. Right? Hopefully, in this coming year, we can achieve our loving dreams and realize our one global humanity and happiness.

Well, I don’t think I had much more to say. It feels weird that this will be the last journal entry of 2019. Anyway, happy new year, 新年快乐, 良いお年を〜! Fingers crossed, I’ll see you again on the other side.

K.T.

「VANGUARD: Flagbearer of Nocturnal Skies」

Last Dawn

at the edge of eternal night,
at the end of a sparrow’s flight,
I’ll be waiting, waiting for you.
playing
        chasing
                talking
wading
we’re burning in the light of day,
living our lives without a say,
still struggling to find the way
        but at the edge of “come what may,”
I’ll be waiting, waiting for you.
        as if we could understand our own reflections
        our own shadows beneath our feet
        our bodies laying in the street
well they never, never saw us.
and if they never saw us,
what could we have done?
        turning towards a future we cannot grasp,
        putting our destinies on silent timelapse,
        we chase the dreams we never had –
and when we wake up and open our eyes,
there I’ll be waiting, waiting for you.

and you looked into my eyes

bracing autumn winds —
as if we were, I smiled,
trying not to cry;
and you looked into my eyes
and you told me to let go.

ride the barrier with me ~one day, freedom~

gazing at you through the veil of my laughter,
I can’t help but think that you’re beautiful…
I wish you could see and believe it, too
spending time with you, I’m so happy
I’m so glad I’m alive
if I have the power to make you happy, even a little,
isn’t it more than responsibility?
just tell me, who says we can’t love each other?
riding the barrier to freedom, we are
we’re not hurting anyone but ourselves
this doesn’t concern anyone else
and they can’t control love, can they?
spending time with you, I’m so happy
I’m so glad I’m alive
if I have the power to make you happy, even a little,
isn’t it more than responsibility?
I love you…
but what a stupid word that is!
four letters to contain all of the feelings in the world,
it’s absolutely laughable
maybe in another language I wouldn’t hate it so much
but we’re all humans after all
so I guess I shouldn’t ramp up my expectations?
spending time with you, I’m so happy
I’m so glad I’m alive
if I have the power to make you happy, even a little,
isn’t it more than responsibility?
I love you…
someday, the world will understand me
I want to embrace you and hold your hand,
please believe it
how beautiful you are to me
anyone who says you’re worthless or ugly or stupid
just doesn’t have the strength to see,
the imagination to feel,
the will to give you love
spending time with you, I’m so happy
I’m so glad I’m alive
if I have the power to make you happy, even a little,
isn’t it more than responsibility?
I love you…
someday, the world will understand me
and we can live as we were meant to be.

A Night Song

if I could hear your voice again
if I could see your face
if I could gaze into your eyes
who knows what I would do for you
the days when I could take your hand
and hold it gently in mine
if only I could still remember
the feeling of your embrace, this time
there’s a world out there that I can see
just beyond your sunrise song
it’s waiting now for you and me, but
but you’ve left that path behind, and I
I could never blame you now
I want to chase, you, down
show you the promise of tomorrow
share all my love with all of yours
‘till I’ve nothing left to give
if only they would let us live
I couldn’t reach you if I wanted to
and they knew how much I wanted to
but dreams will be dreams, and after all
I didn’t dare wake up from mine
I wasn’t as brave as you, you see
and I wasn’t as damaged, maybe
I just held on faithfully
guess I was too blind to flee
and still,
and still
there’s a world out there that I can see
just beyond your sunrise song
it’s waiting now for you and me, but
but you’ve left that path behind, and I
I could never blame you now
I want to chase, you, down
show you the promise of tomorrow
share all my love with all of yours
‘till I’ve nothing left to give
if only they would let us live
so you said

As If “You And I”

like the shifting sand
the time blurs into my eyes —
as if “you and I”…
chasing our reality,
in this world we make our own.

Prison Break ~one human happiness~

falling just like a single strand of hair
      in this world
where horizon lines are like prison bars
where we cannot help but see the same stars
together, we bend their definitions
expanding what it means to be alive
      we heard them say
She would not force his judgments onto you
So we promised to start living what’s true
And slipping into this borderless dream
I had a taste of joy in fantasy
      from day one I kept
Reaching for your hand though you could not take it
Well, without a band I could not shake it
I saw the universe without boundaries
As it was still reflected in your eyes
      and in the end I knew
that even if the world still hated you
we would get the payment that we were due
exchanged in one human happiness, this
time, we’d have all that we needed again
      so one day in the near future
you can be who and what you want to be
and you won’t have to look far to find me
I know that right now it’s far-fetched, but I

dimensions of love

dimensions of love –
side-by-side to sleep or wake,
we gaze at our skies;
like incandescent feathers,
your heart-shattering presence.

Falling For You

dreaming
         reaching
this was never meant to be
calling
         falling
if it’s just you and me
I can’t see
the world I tried to find
never existed in my time
         so just breathe
              I’ll leave
‘cause once you chased me down the shore
I knew I couldn’t ask for more
no, I couldn’t ask for more
if you knew that I was falling for you
and if that meant anything to you
well, on this day, if I may
         I guess I’ll say it, I
I’ll keep it to myself this time
dreaming
         reaching
this was never meant to be
calling
         falling
if it’s just you and me
if it’s just you and me,
you’ll see
but I’ll keep it to myself this time

non-existence

waiting for the song
to tell me what’s in my heart —
whisper from the wind;
I call out for a love that
was never mine to cherish.

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.