Dave Steele


Dave Steele’s Interview Video Coming Soon


Foundational quote for image generation:

Excerpt from “Stand by Me RP”

When the night has come, and the land is dark,

And the moon is the only light we’ll see

No, I won’t be afraid.

No, I won’t be afraid.

Stand by me.

Just as long as you stand,

If your eyes, could see our world become

A tunnel so closed.

All your loved ones, faces fading, not to see.

Please don’t cry, just say you’ll try.

And lend me your hand.

For together we will beat this, this RP.

The painting captures a tranquil nighttime scene with a full moon illuminating a darkened landscape. A calm body of water extends from the foreground and reflects the moon’s glow. A group of slender trees stands in silhouette against the moonlit sky on the left, contributing to the quiet and contemplative atmosphere of the scene. The sky features various shades of blue and grey, creating a sense of depth and movement. The moon’s reflection on the water adds a layer of luminosity and serenity to the scene.

The image represents Dave Steele’s poetic rendition of “Stand by Me RP.” The night setting with the moon as the sole source of light symbolizes the narrowing field of vision characteristic of retinitis pigmentosa — a tunnel vision where the periphery darkens and only a central point of light remains.

The tranquility of the scene speaks to the resolve and lack of fear expressed in Steele’s lyrics. The reflected moonlight on the water could be viewed as a representation of hope and the support found in others. The song’s message, coupled with the painting, suggests that even as the physical world becomes more constricted, the emotional world can expand through shared experiences and the support of loved ones.

The serene atmosphere of the image, juxtaposed with the darkness, conveys a message of resilience. It’s an affirmation of strength and togetherness in the face of adversity, and the belief that unity can help overcome the isolation often felt in the journey through blindness.


Foundational quote for image generation:

Excerpt from “My Blind Secret

But still this pains invisible, to those that pass us by.

There’s some afraid to hold a cane, because of questions why.

Accused of making up our claim and made to feel a fraud.

Feel drained of all my confidence, feel trapped behind this door.

Now hardest thing to come to terms, that makes my days feel long.

It holds us back, knowledge they lack, for all who’ve got it wrong.

To hear they’re judge and jury, even though their facts aren’t straight.

Feel misdirected fury, wish opinions now could wait.

To take the time to get to know, the visions that we share. Come join me in this tunnel, hold my hand and show you care.

The image is a stylized portrayal of a human eye, magnified and occupying the majority of the canvas. The eye is detailed with a prominent iris, pupil, and reflective highlights. The surrounding facial features, however, are abstracted into geometric shapes and sections, each filled with a different color or pattern. Warm tones of orange, brown, and cream contrast with cooler hues of blue, creating a fragmented yet cohesive composition.

The sharp lines and angles that divide the image, with each segment potentially representing different facets of the personal journey one must face when dealing with a blinding disease. Despite the abstract nature of the facial features, the eye itself is rendered with a sense of clarity, standing out against the more diffused and varied background.

The central, clear eye may symbolize the residual vision that those with the condition retain, while the fragmented surroundings evoke the piecemeal loss of sight and the patchiness of peripheral vision. The disjointed shapes and contrasting colors could be interpreted as the turmoil and frustration described in Steele’s poem—the “invisible pain” of being misunderstood by the sighted world. The contrast between the vivid eye and the abstracted face also conveys the isolation that can accompany invisible disabilities like vision impairment.

The poem speaks to the longing for empathy and understanding—”Come join me in this tunnel, hold my hand and show you care.” The image echoes that sentiment, inviting the viewer to look beyond the surface, to engage with the complexities of living with retinitis pigmentosa, and to comprehend the shared humanity beyond the condition. It encourages a deeper look, to see not just with the eyes but with heart and understanding.


Foundational quote for image generation:

“But soon will come, a moment when I know she must be told when all the battles I have won are pass for her to hold. But for every unheard question, there’s an answer I’ve prepared. They’re written in each line, each verse, each poem that I’ve shared.

For every page I filled, I’ve emptied out my heart and soul, so one day she would know the way — that’s always been my goal.

So, Ellie, I hope years from now you’ll be there reading this. Know you can do amazing things whether RP hit or miss. My inheritance to you won’t be a passed down faulty gene, but knowing all lives beauty that this VIP has seen.”

The image is a vibrant and emotive piece that presents a female figure in profile, reading a book. She stands amidst a lush and colorful field of flowers that burst with life and variety, each blossom intricately detailed and vividly colored. The field flows into the dress of the woman. The background features layers of handwritten text, possibly poetry or prose, that fade into abstract shapes and swirls. The sky is a soft blend of creams and blues, giving the impression of a tranquil day. The woman’s hair cascades down her back, blending seamlessly with the floral patterns, as if her thoughts and the words from the book are taking root and blooming into the flowers around her.

The artwork can be seen as a metaphor for Dave Steele’s personal journey with retinitis pigmentosa and his concerns about his daughter’s future. The flowing flowers could represent the beauty and diversity of life, which Steele has experienced and wishes to convey to his daughter, Ellie. The flowers emerging from the pages of the book and becoming one with the woman’s dress symbolize the knowledge and beauty that he wants to pass on to her — an inheritance of appreciation and understanding of the world, rather than the burden of a genetic condition.

Emotionally, this image speaks to the complexities of parenthood and hereditary conditions. The woman’s peaceful engagement with the book amidst the vibrant flowers suggests a sense of acceptance and serenity, reflecting Steele’s hope that his daughter will live a full life regardless of the challenges she may face. It’s a poignant representation of his desire to fill her world with understanding and courage through his own experiences and the verses he has written.

Overall, the image captures the dual nature of Steele’s reality — the presence of a genetic threat alongside the profound beauty of life and the power of words to transcend our limitations. It’s a heartfelt visual ode from a father to his daughter, offering wisdom and a vision of life that is as rich and varied as the field of flowers before her.



Author / Poet / Keynote Speaker

Dave Steele is an award-winning poet, author, speaker, singer and advocate for the blind. Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in 2014, this genetic eye condition left Dave severely sight impaired.

In navigating this transformative period, Dave turned to social media, seeking solace for his RP journey and uncovering a world of misconceptions and stories of injustice faced by the blind and visually impaired globally. Fueled by his background in singing, Dave’s poignant performance at a meeting for those with RP and Usher Syndrome gave birth to the emotionally charged “Stand By Me RP” song, a moving reimagining of Ben E. King’s classic.

The following year, in 2015, Dave founded the “Stand By Me RP” Facebook page, which has since burgeoned into one of the world’s largest social media RP groups. Despite confronting declining eyesight, Dave fervently wrote two to three poems daily about his struggles, providing a therapeutic outlet for himself and serving as an unwavering source of inspiration for countless others navigating the complexities of RP.

His accolades reflect the breadth of his influence. As a finalist in the 2022 RNIB See Differently Awards for the Social Media Impact Award, Dave’s reach extends far beyond borders. In 2023, he achieved further recognition, being shortlisted for a National Diversity Award in the Positive Role Model for Disability category, a distinction earned from a pool of over 90,000 nominations. At the heart of Dave’s work as The Blind Poet is the use of heartfelt poetry to be a resonant voice for all affected by blindness and low vision. His mission, transcending boundaries, is to inspire others globally, transforming challenges into triumphant achievements, and resolutely proclaiming that “Disability isn’t an excuse to do less but a reason to be more.” Dave Steele’s influence, extending far beyond his own journey, is a testament to the transformative power of art and advocacy in the global conversation on blindness and disability

On Dave’s website, you will find his current projects, blog posts, event schedules, and printed books of his poetry.