Featured art by Carlos Quevedo. Click title image to visit his studio.



Mental health is a very real issue and not one I ever take lightly. The following verse tackles PTSD, of which I am personally affected, and all the positivity in the world cannot change that fact. That being said, I can empathize. And, I can also share with you all a verse which highlights how I choose to refuse letting it define me. Such is my wish this day and, if this can help one soul on the verge of capitulation to take a step back and breathe, then my words have true reason and meaning.


Love to all, to all do love


Richard Charles Stevens



Listen to Live Reading




Listen to Suggested Audio


 Madonna “Frozen (William Orbit Instrumental)”





PTSD affects so many lives
Is a very real affliction
One of vicious repetition
As it strips us to the bones
And proposes our cognition
To be underneath its sole jurisdiction


Imprisoned in our shells
Its kiss requests that we not tell
Of that we know full well is owed to contradiction
Refusing us permission to bid injury farewell
Blunt edged trauma casts its spell
Within which sits a lonely cell
In quietude we learn to dwell
Befell of its condition
Midst tortures of our inward hells
Where every road veers off towards perdition


Should we suffer episode
Then we are known to blackout
This is when we tap out
As it feels like not a single soul is listening
Screaming on mute
We commute to the shadows
Resolute to the path that appears the most narrow


Shallow are the waters
That our fraught thoughts tend to tread
While it picks away the threads of hope
And hems them in with dread
Scatters syringes within dingy fringes of psyches unsightly for all uptight twinges
Acting in spite to blow doors off their hinges
Leaves us wide open
Unkindly impinges
We live with the pinch as it gives scarce few inches
And fritters our will to explore the ellipsis


Anxiety strikes on untimely invite
While our time dishonoured plights incline to origin of blight
Keeping us right where it feels we belong
In a crash site as wide as it’s frightfully long
Makes us erratic
Endangered by static
Emphatic in panic and drastic in habit
Opportunity may knock
That’s not to say it unlocks chains in faith that we may actually grab it


PTSD is a pitiless beast
One of fitful decree
No acquittal
No release
To the bitter bones below
Its growth is unbeknownst to all but those who feel alone surrounded and bestowed of woe when grounded
Many artists drown in their own trauma when informed that true to form their hopes and dreams will be dismounted


Head space need not be so overcrowded with a spotter
Should safe haven be alloted
Then we may be in with shot of locking in a sanctuary
One enigmatically unbounded
One undressed of clause
That knows to never once raise sword
A place to simply feel adored


Bereft of condition
One of kindly repetition
Redesigning our cognition
To be underneath enlightened jurisdiction
Should we teeter over chasm
Then it only takes one pair of hands to drag us back from brink and settle in until we’re adament
That shadowscapes within
Exists a light source to inhabit when the blackout bids we back out and feel badgered by each happenstance


Holding hands
We brave the waves and break the chains that bind us
Gazing forth we blaze the trail
Unveil all that behind us
PTSD leaves us frail but it need not define us
With sound reason to prevail
When regaled of lights that guide us


We are each kings and queens
No disorder to our theme
When we are very simply seen
Through eyes that dare to share the dream
Prepared both here and there awhile
To find the ceaseless in-between
And fill the colliseum when we scream


We may feel pain
It may well be obscene
As it strips us to our bones
And proposes then to feast
Is a very real affliction
One of spiteful repetition
Which is why we need safe haven to retreat
To release the tears
Unleash our fears
And steer the vessel back to calmer shores
Some place we’re forevermore adored
Bereft of condition
One of timely repetition
Some place we can bleed
Undressed decree for all our flaws
Some place we can breathe through open pores
And simply be
More than our forsworn PTSD






Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill




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1 Comment

  1. In a crash site as wide as it’s frightfully long
    Makes us erratic
    Endangered by static
    Emphatic in panic and drastic in habit

    It’s certainly like living in a crash site. A plane crash site, widely scattered and with parts missing. I adore this Lion, it’s perfect and living with borderline personality disorder and a degree of mild PTSD, I’m stood beside you. Gazing out to the ocean, hair blowing in the breeze and a few sick jokes to blart out at the wrong-but-right moment! I love the music, I have the CD.

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