Journey of The Seen




Title art by Rimel Neffati. Click image to visit her studio




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Nine Inch Nails “At The Heart Of It All”





Six years ago
I was broken and busted
Thrust into most unjust prison
My whole life changed in the time that it takes to make one life decision with pinpoint precision


Provisionally I was dead in the water
They said that I couldn’t be fixed
Drowning appeared little more than prefix, preempting eventual slaughter


Down on the river bed, all thoughts were racing
Nothing to grace all these questions with answers
Had not a clue which direction I faced as I braced myself soon to be reintroduced to my father


Started with stress, work related no less
I confess, played on this for effect


Not that I wasn’t undressed of my best by a system persisting to kick me when down
Not that I didn’t ram ballpoint pen in my larynx to siphon my frustration out
But ultimately, posed a threat only to my damn self


That was the closest I came to diagnosis with regards to my own mental health
Therapy helped me, unquestionably
As it slackened the reins on a brain long estranging full range of emotions, opening wide
Laid me out flat and unpicked all the wires


Six sessions later, factory settings transpired
I was out on my own now
Howbeit, now shown how to play architect and erect intellectual safe house


Dug deep in the marrow by narrowing search and diverting to hurt in the locker
That which had chafed me and acted disgracefully backed in four corners like Little Jack scorned


Fuck paying taxes on mental collapse, masquerading as soft porn
I retracted all payments, no prior arrangement
Then strangely, my tummy felt warm


Something awoke and I very near choked as this door in the floor of me busted wide open
Broken down palace of all I had managed to ravage with infinite bind
Knew myself well, but this banishment actually never one time came to mind


Fooled as to my own design
Tools of skin trade long denied
Sick to the pit of declining the rise of a Phoenix in dire need of fire
Proceeded to feed on the embers of essence redressed as a banquet of senses declined


Head count suggested I guessed more than five
Rounded to ten as I stared in the mirror, no longer repulsed by the sight
I am love, I am light
Shadows merely foundation
Old clown face just needed a damn thorough wipe
Looked deep in my eyes and my soul composed a knowing wink


Hope was afloat, feelings no longer sinking
Welcome back courage, go tidal conviction
Now tighten your diction and fix something tricked into thinking was way beyond fixing


Lift up that chin and go pick up your chest
First blow a kiss at your mirrored reflection
Six years son, could really do with the mention
You’re beautiful see, once relinquished of tension and inwardly screaming retention


Mirror mirror on the wall
Fairest that I’ve ever seen
Sometimes I’m a king, whereas others I’m a pageant queen
Sometimes I parade in black sheen stockings rocking seams
Do so with happy feet dancing in majesty
Sometimes I dress street just to teach the beat a lesson
Believe in yourself, take the lead when addressing
And trust that this will not be snubbed as conceit


Earned this son
Or daughter if you please
Go and live the dream, not to become the big cheese
To become one of the people


With skyward belief that shit can be achieved if you reach a little deeper, make breakfast in bed for your sleeper
Get inside your own head
Become your own crypt keeper
Just be aware of when to come up for air


Still a lot of damage there
Let’s not count chickens yet
Crack a few eggs, go bare feet on the shells
Learn yourself well, every kiss make a fable to tell
Cards on the table, all arteries stable
Enabled by those who subscribe to your theory
That life is an infinite gift when we open eyes wide to see crystalline clearly


Nearly six years on and I have proved my own self wrong
Reminded I was right and all along
I am a bird of song, not prey
No sin wearing a smile, at least not on the face of it


The difference now?
It’s yours to keep
You know full well the river’s deep
Aware the sky’s no limit
Now share that smile through prose, composing symphony so bittersweet
That others take the journey of the seen


Six years ago
I was broken and busted
Must have been some fever dream
Turns out that conscience is tough shit to clean
Thus I subconsciously made my shit gleam, pledge to shine for all those who believe


Not in me, in themselves
Therein lies the true wealth
In each and every soul that winks at me
I see the purity of every single weapon sheathed
Together we can stem the flow of any deepened bleed


I am the greykeeper
Mirror mirror on the wall
Fairest that I’ve ever been
For here within the rivers deep and wide in tidal wave of self-belief
I am seen
And with the most spectacular humility
Adore everything that I see





Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill




Click here to purchase All of Me Vol. III



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© Copyright: Rivers of Grue™ Shadow Spark Publishing™





  1. Mirror now reflects a king who’s come through a very difficult journey. You’ve breached the surface of the ocean and took a huge breath. Loved this!!! And can relate.

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