Six In The Chamber




Title art by H.R. Giger



Online bullying is hot topic on the social networks at present. Particularly with mental health so high on the worldwide agenda. The following write and its companion piece, Inspiration of the Knave, challenge such, in a way that refuses to pander to the needs of the few for whom bloodlust is insatiable. I share it in the hope that it may inspire just one soul who has been subjected to similar attacks on the most transparent of platforms.


Love to all—to all, Do Love


Richard Charles Stevens



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Portishead “Strangers”





There is nothing more to me than meets the eye
Nothing harbored
Hidden from plain sight
Honest to a fault since I paired fault up with dishonesty
Have fought my corner passionately
Only when attempts have been exacted to dishonour me
Actually, I’m some way from combative
Far sooner relax than grind the ax and act erratically
Starting static ain’t my style
No emphatic need to rile
Rather live and let live too
Than live for kill and marvel view
Still, I’ve been assaulted with all manner of unkindness
By those who seem convinced they have and hold the cure for blindness
Hard to find the error in your ways when said ways have been misconstrued
Not the bloody minded type but will hold tight with lies assumed as true
Facts distorted to best fit the avatar selected
Make a monster
Tame the monster
Shame the monster
Best it
Test the waters by remaining passively aggressive
Make me feel I’m duty bound to learn a groundless lesson
Veer towards the curse whenever blessings stall the hearse
Anything to cast doubt on my worth


This is not reactionary prose
Have no need to treat a bloody nose
Only bid retreat when deemed as something that I’m not
Not to be defeatist, simply done to death with all that rot
Not to say I’m perfect by the longest farthest shot
But that to me has never been my lot
Flawed indeed, aware of imperfections one and all
Yet, not a solitary predilection to be cruel
Such has never been my nature
No bad bones or outgrown favour
Bearing grudges may suit drudges
Trudging through their torture chambers
While they’re signing their disclaimers
I’m the type to remain nameless
Clauses lead to thoughtless pauses
Just before our rights are wavered
Fighting losing cause once we endorse that kind of misbehaviour
Life’s too short to draw short straw with six left in the chamber


Mean less than harm
Far more inclined to charm than disarm foes
Enemies are friends to me
If only they could see as much
Indeed, my only wish would be
For joy to end their misery
No bittersweet symphony composed
Open arms and heart that bleeds to feed by intravenous means
Every artery ablush imparting gush to plant the seeds we need to reap the harvest of our dreams
Sometimes there are blues between the greens
Sometimes I cannot appear to move for losing ground
Sometimes it’s a struggle just to breathe
Sometimes I get tempted to surrender and stay down
Then I spare a thought for every frown turned upside down
By acts of kindness utterly profound in supernature
Not about to lie at this late stage
I’ve needed saviours
Genuine companions for whom I need not earn their favour
Life’s too short to draw short straw with six left in the chamber
But I’ll take half a dozen for the team
After all, it’s on account of these sweet souls I’m never less than seen
For that, my second wish is that they better every dream
Do so with the wind beneath their wings
For truly, they are the most precious things






Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill




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