Remain

Featured art by Maren Klemp. Click title image to visit her studio.

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Gary Jules “Mad World”

you have to be mad in this world
to think you can change it
you have to be crazy
you have to be wild and you have to be brave
in the cold light of day
find your own right of way
less your headstone be readily engraved

you have to be true to yourself
let the critics have their views
for there is little left to lose
that they can take
unless you play their game and make the same mistake
it’s their version
let them have their say
and should the hurt of burden outweigh fervor to remain
you can prefer to turn and face the other way

you have to be you
learn your own unique truth
reacquaint with your youth
on the way
hold firm to your roots in the hastening rain
feel them sting as they sink through awakening clay
bleed from gaping veins
to vegetate the faded plains
in the wake of graduation
to homecoming day

you have to stop running from demons
to see them revealing the feeling
they’re hell-bent on stealing
venture into caverns of your mind
that have been formerly resigned
to hide away the shade that masquerades each ray of light
remain upright
through maiden flight
and rise up like a paper kite
to paint the skies of greater height
than all but the most naked light
make your name a way of life
and live it wild and brave
give back to yourself
what mental health derived to take

you have to break to fix
you have to take to learn to give
you have to swim the breadth and width
to see the depth
you have to sink before you rise
you have to blink the pinkest eyes
you have to think less than you leap
to lean ahead

you have to dream
to feel awake
you have to fever for embrace
of something deeper than the grave
and be the keeper of this place
face your demons
taste their fear
before they fade and disappear
you have to be the overseer
with the blindest faith
to change a world they say is due to change
embrace the bloom of each day
wild and brave

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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