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Akira Chinen May 24
wrinkled velvet
  scratchy silk
a stain on the laundry list
   lazy verbs
     and mispronounced pronouns
language is a funny thing
  a vocabulary test
    on a lifelong joke
     with no punchline
strange how we can laugh
  at our own misery
or weep uncontrollably
  when we find our hearts
    overfilled with joy
it’s enough to make someone
  believe that maybe
   we don’t really know anything
     about all the things
       we pretend to know
personally I don’t pray
  to a this god
    or a that god
I have my faith invested
  in the wisdom
   of fairy tales
    instead of the studies
      of theology
but i do appreciate any conviction
  that leads someone
    to a life where they
      help compassionately
        give with generosity
          and love more kindly
what else do we have
  but this one brief moment
    this one long
     often agonizing
      brief pause of eternity
       to live this life in
why is so much worry
  about what comes next
    weighing down today
when none of us
  is guaranteed
   to see tomorrow
and what good is a future
  that ignores the rubble
    of the past
the absolute wreckage
  we have left behind
    in our human history
the truth of our mistakes
  has been whitewashed
   again and again
in every new volume
  of every new text book
rewriting villains as hero’s
  neglecting to write down
   their origins and crimes
there is a deliberate madness
  in this process
   an intentional poisoned thread
    placed in the binding
     of the pages
      the spine
       of the book
the truth is still there though
  bleeding through
   the page in braille
only being read by those
  who want to read it
those how refuse
  to let the truth
    of the past
      be replaced
       by a modern lie
but the masses consume
  faster than they learn
and we pride ourselves
   as intelligent
    crown ourselves
     as noble
arrogantly pointing out our ability
  of pattern recognition
while constantly failing
  at not repeating
   the pattern throughout
    our history
      that causes so much
        human misery
and I wish I could laugh
  but my heart doesn’t
   have the vocabulary
    to write a punchline
     in a language it just
      can’t find funny anymore
Akira Chinen Mar 8
how childishly we make
  mockery of time
how foolishly we fear
   its passing
the common cliché
  of turning twenty nine
    over and over
until we find ourselves
  making the same joke
   at thirty nine
     and forty nine
as if ever new decade
  every new day
     isn’t a privilege
        a blessing
something we are
  not guaranteed
    not owed
     not all given
there is nothing to fear
in accepting our mortality
in learning that death
will greet us warmly
in knowing that it is
  the same with
    our last breath
      as it is with
        our first breath
each one a gift
   that can only be given
     by the passing of time
why should we
  fear the unknown
    the unknowable
to such a degree
that we allow it
   to take away
     to distract us
from the gift of this moment
  the every present
    passing of time
it will all pass and be gone
   in less than
    the blink of an eye
an eternity come and gone
  in the breeze
no matter how long
or short our lives will be
   in the end
     it will always be
      too short
          too soon
let us enjoy each breath
that time allows us
gives us
as children do
gratefully unaware
of how childishly
we will grow
Akira Chinen Dec 2020
he had fallen asleep reading
and the book laid with the pages
pressed to his chest
he could still hear her voice
narrating the story
even as he snored now in his sleep
even though she was only imaginary
a small comfort of fiction
to keep his heart warm
through the winter of his bones

she rearranged the letters
as she slipped off the page
and slide out from under the book
and laid beside him for a moment
watching him breath
watching his chest rise and fall
watching his heart
  thump against his ribs
she sighed a small sigh
as she carefully lifted
the book from his chest
and closed it
she kissed the tips of her fingers
and then as soft as breeze
touched them to his forehead
she wanted to stay
to fall asleep next to him
to wake up in the same dream
but she knew if she slept
he would turn to smoke
and disappear into the bathroom mirror
she reluctantly stood
and took quite footsteps
towards the bookshelf
placed the book back in its spot
and ran her fingers along its spine
the book purred
and she smiled a sad smile
and spoke without speaking
and said “until next time my friend...”

she snuck out the window
and climbed up
and through the clouds
she sauntered and wandered
around the moon
and waited patiently
as her eyes hopped
from star to star
until she caught the glimpse
of a comet
and hitched a ride on its tail
setting a course
through an unknown time
of an untold adventure

she fell asleep in
the vast emptiness of space
and dreamt of dreaming
and somewhere in the dream
she heard his voice
telling a lie
a harmless mess
of obvious mischief

and they both smiled
a smile bigger
than any smile
could be imagined
Akira Chinen Dec 2020
there was the bittersweet smell
of mischief in the corner
of her smile
and in her eyes
he could see everything
that was good about love
and their was a delicate balance
of beauty and pain
woven into the warmth
of her heart

he sighed

knowing he could only imagine
doing anything other
than just imagine
Akira Chinen Dec 2020
as children we believe
there are monsters
under our beds
as we become adults
we start to hide our dreams
beneath them
until most of us forget
we ever had dreams at all

tell me
how many nights
has it been now
that you have slept
without getting any rest

being tired all the time
may have become the norm
but that doesn't make
it a healthy habit

wouldn't it be nice
to dream again
to play with the monsters
under the bed
to finally get enough rest
so you could sleep
truely sleep
Akira Chinen Dec 2020
some stand
at the edge of abyss
and hear music
enjoy the silence
know that it doesn't
always need to be ok
carry the cold of winter
inside their marrow
some feel this
is the last safe place
their hearts can beat
can breath safely

this is where I saw her
dancing with ****** feet
a recklessness to her pulse
a wild child
an old soul
a delicate being
something both
broken and beautiful

she never said
a word out loud
she smiled though
there in the darkness
despite the gloom
the pain
the grief
that brought us each here

a simple act of kindness
a small gift of love

I smiled back
and never said a word
Akira Chinen Dec 2020
what a strange thing
this mournful pain
this longing for what
and who we've lost
for those who are gone
to places we do not know
cannot follow
this heartache
this broken hurt
this bitter fruit
we dare not let go
a hollow sound
an endless echo
a voice haunting
our every heartbeat
and is it not
above all
beautiful by its own right
its delicate necessity
how through its pain
we are also made comfortable
to be reminded
how fragile this life
how little time
we have to breath
how fast our nights fade
as if it all is but a dream
a bubble about to burst
nothing but ants
marching towards starvation
and one by one we go
a cruel act of kindness
to remind those left behind
how precious
how important
how necessary it is
to love
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