Title art by Louis Parsons. Click image to visit his studio.
“You are that rare creature, a troubadour of surpassing skill who isn’t afraid to prowl the dark and forgotten corners of the human psyche, and yet always there is a thread, a stitch of light, woven into your razor-wire prose that helps guide those who follow back toward an exit.”
Dear heart, Mad Queen Storm, these words spoken just today, fit beautifully with the following piece of literature. You see me. And I am grateful beyond words and worlds for that.
– Richard the Lion –
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New Order “True Faith”
I am true. I am real. I am clear. I am sincere. May be a far cry from perfect, but I’m more than comfortable with that. Should I suffer “defeat”, then my actions will be the same as they would had I gained myself a “victory”. Dignified either way. As such is simply the nature of the beast. Trust in karma… to a large degree. Believe the universe guides us… to a large degree. Know the one true answer lies inside us, to which degree, depends on the questions we ask. This is where we make our own destinies. Fate may crash the party and pull the shagpile out from beneath our feet like a Turkish rug salesman in heat. But, for the most part, it really is in our hands. In our eyes more like. I’m a staunch believer in unbroken eye-contact as anyone who has met me in person will attest. Since reaching the precipice I perch upon now, there are no lies whatsoever to be discerned herein. Simple truths are my currency and I make no secret of being pure love as it is not something to keep concealed. Too many hide their true feelings away, whereas I much prefer the notion of allowing them to play.
I say “I love you” every single day. To as many people as see this lion for what it is. A big cat with penchant for lounging in the shade. Never once is it relayed without genuine feeling. Never once is it taken in vain. Have spent far too much of my life hindered by hate, the majority of which, was directed my own way. And, can safely say, I’m done and done with the stuff. Wrong me at this point of my transience and I shall wish you well and damn well mean it. Then head off to some place more scenic. And lounge in the shade once again. For I grew weary long ago of raising swords, wearier still of holding my shield aloft to protect me from flurried attacks. The Ethos of Warrior runs through every vein. Yet, even here not all virtues apply to me. I’m all about variety, you see. Cherry pick beliefs from all manner of different sources and weave them into a patchwork of faith, the likes of which refuse to be bound by religion or any other skewed belief systems. It’s basically one big free-for-all.
Gazing at the stars is all well and good, but there comes a point when we become imprisoned within their glare and our entire lives become dependent on whichever planetary movements are transpiring that day. This is not to suggest they don’t play a massive part in the energy which surrounds us; have had first-hand proof that they do. But I also have clear evidence of the magic residing within me and it is the soul that I follow with wide-eyes every time it denies the cosmos full and final say. This is simply my way and I’m not about to damn myself to a skyfall by shunning something evidently party to proceedings. For me, I just prefer to go my own way. After all, it’s the way I realised my truest potential. And it spills heartily upon every last journal page. Should you wish to learn precisely who I am, then there are around 2000 pieces of me scattered far and wide across these rivers. And, whether or not opinions may have changed over the course of the past six years of active service, matters not a solitary iota. What can I say? I’m a journeyman.
Have found the true way. And shall not rest until such time as, either dutiful death snatches me away, or beautiful life is conveyed. Caring is sharing and I do so without hesitation. Given that I’m a natural reflector of light, I like the idea of the same luminescent rays filling the airwaves of those I cherish. Not those who judge commitment to a cause by the amount of days/weeks/months since we last spoke. Not that I won’t still shine a light their way. But they most likely won’t discern it and there is far too much work afoot to waste precious minutes trying to hammer a point home that they’re looking at all wrong. We humans can be particularly stubborn creatures and that’s why I shed my mortal skin through prose every calendar day. This is where I will only ever generalize as I’m disinterested in taking sly shots at any one person. If my prose stings from time to time, then we all know where the plasters are. One thing’s for sure though, you’re taking it way too personally. And that may have something to do with the fact that, at this point in your life, for right or wrong, every single thing is about you.
All I wish to do is spread belief. Do so by way of absolute truth. And the truth is – I believe in every one of you. For I know where the answer lies to realising your greatest potential. And that is something every one of us ultimately possess. There are those whose souls glow particularly brightly. Those destined for greatness with the exclusive tool set they wield. Those so true that I become breathless in awe of their gifts. True art comes from deep within the soul and, for some, not a single emotion is left unfelt – often a whole smorgasbord within one “static” image or emphatic stanza. There is nothing whatsoever concealed, yet such pieces are respectful enough to allow each individual visitor to make their own way through the maze. We all possess imagination. True artists request we take them for a boundless stroll and find our own shade to lounge beneath. And I believe in such souls so hard that my eyes bleed. Sometimes a solitary crimson tear. Others gushing geyser.
I see those who wish to be seen. See those who don’t and trust they shall find their way back to the light. One fine day. My heart it breaks, indeed there are shards of it spattered across this very page. But my soul is in a glorious state. For it leads through every single exchange. And somehow, it will find a way. To change the game. Whether that be one recaptured soul at a time or global recognition and overnight smash and grab, I will never give up believing that we can make a genuine difference. Call me cliché and I’ll fall farther from the tree than a book with no cover. But simple truths mean all when delivered with purpose and meaning. I may not always be present socially but, as a dear brother reminded me just the other day, what I do drains me considerably, and those who know my soul will appreciate this at all times. Here I’m not restricted by character counts. Thus, it is here where my wings spread the widest. When I do swoop, invariably for hug, not to prey like a buzzard; I do so with the eye of a raven and span of black eagle. Then stand tall with pride like the lion I am, recline, and lounge in the shade.
Richard Charles Stevens