Lion Heart




Title art by Eli Rodriguez. Click image to visit his studio.



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Shinnobu “After Of My Life”





Within chest of the man
Beat the heart of a lion
The kind of big cat one could always rely on
Defiantly fearless and peerlessly mighty
Seldom ever cheerless less wracked with anxiety


Drip fed by a society
Which bled him for his pelt
Kissed his lips with vicious lies
Forcefully requested he not tell
Made to ride a carousel
While all about him edges blurred
Every labored word he slurred
Deferred by lips of bitter swell


Acquitted well to fierce resistance
Precious few could claim such untamed willing and persistence
Spilling from his veins
The penicillin of the strange
For many branded him deranged
To see a villain named and shamed
To tie him up and tie him down in rusted manacles and chains
To buy them ample time until he had forsaken his own name
Taken in his prime
The lion prayed for one fine day
When just one soul would gaze into his eyes
Feel disinclined to fade away


The universe resided here
Not yet traversed yet diamond clear
Crystalline reflections
Bedecked in jewels of ornate chandelier
Never less than every stretch sincere
Fear replaced with heightened sense
Attuned to feral instinct
Camouflaged so well that many blinked and duly missed him
Stealthy not when stalking prey
For this was not the lion’s way
Enemies presented nothing less than friends as yet unmade
If only those who heard him truly listened to this brave
Then face was not the only thing that they would stand to save


Within chest of the man
Beat the heart of a lion
Lounging in shade
Chewing rind of remains of the day
While awaiting one kiss before dying
The kind of big cat one could always rely on
Even when he slept
And demons crept
He left a light on
Prayer outgrown
Self-care enthroned
For one glance in the mirror made it known no fade away need chaperone
Besides, a lifetime felt too long atoned
To grow bouquet of flowers in his bones


Within this stronghold
Single blood red rose
For just one soul who gazed upon his own
Sat beside him
Gave his silver mane a playful stroke
Grew the strangest flowers in his bones
Learned his powers
Watched intently as this big cat roamed the plains
For spilling from his veins
Were seeds of hope
Precious few could claim such untamed willing to see every last one sown


And so, with that
The lion shed inconsequential skin and stood full grown
Disinclined to fade away
To play the games that mortals play
Called out to the lost
To ward them home
And thus became the famed keeper of souls




Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill




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