Sunday, 20 May 2018


Old sot he is, drunk of drunks,
professional proper up of bars,
jars, jugs of, pints of ale, chased
down with a tot or two or three
or maybe half-full glass of warming whisky.

He smiles that inebriated smile he smiles,
guile he has, animated, bothers others,
other patrons with his drunken idle chatter,
slurring each and every word. 
They’ve heard it all before,
his inane views on world affairs,
how his wife bleeds him of each and every penny,
so skint is he, so stony-broke,
hasn’t any coins to rub together,
pours out his empty grasping heart.

They know his game and play it,
just to get rid of him,
buy him another pint, tell him “Now fuck off!” 
He laughs out loud, slaps their backs. 
“Cheers mates!”  he grins as he swills down
another dose of that lovely golden nectar.

He is not done yet,
watches eagle-eyed as others leave,
checks their glasses, downs the dregs,
smiling smugly as if he has won some clever game. 

Bar emptying, he gathers up the glasses
hoping for a freebie for his effort,
but now so unsteady, he falls,
smashes glasses as he hits the floor.  
The barman (now pockets full enough)
finally chucks him out.

He staggers out, smug and happy, singing loudly, heading home.

At home his family wait,
shivering in their frightened bodies,
quivering in their troubled minds,
fear showing in their blackened eyes…

they never win his mindless drunken games.

He always wins.

Anna :o]

Brenda (cheers Brenda) at The Sunday Whirl has us writing using the following words: Bar, check, animated, wait, loud, laugh, drunk, queen, eagles, family, win & hearts.  (I must admit to being naughty as I didn’t use ‘queen’ - as I would have had to force it in.)

Also shared with the good folk at Poets United, hosted by Mary – cheers Mary!

Image:  Courtesy of Pexels.


annell said...

Such a good job with the words...the one word I could not force into my poem, "drunk." And it colored your whole poem!!

brudberg said...

I couldn't tell that this was made from a wordle, you did an excellent job of writing the tragedy of booze... I think winning like this is like loosing the least.

R.K. Garon said...

Wonderful and creative description, (photograph) of a piece of life.

Susan Anderson said...

You caught this so well...and to think it was done with certain pre-chosen words. Some great wordsmithing here.

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

The sad realities of a drunken life especially for the family.....

Mary said...

This poem gave me chills. You really created a vivid word picture of this drunk of a man. I could see him really and feel for his family wondering if he will be able to get home after yet another night out. Whew!

Anonymous said...

Such vivid visuals -there are no happy endings for a happy drunk. You wove the prompt words so well and inconspicuously!

Robert Bourne said...

stark and real a scene repeated many times unfortunately... with booze and drugs

Truedessa said...

I could sense trouble as I was reading, a chilling tale of the hazards of drinking. Excellent job with the words. If you hadn't mentioned the prompt, I would have never known.

Wendy Bourke said...

Brilliant writing! This is so impactful - so eloquently rendered - and the details: WOWZERS!!! Fantastic!!! What a heartrending drama - starring a man so bereft of self-esteem, he has poisoned his own mind to the point that he is toxic to whatever place he is in. Beyond, being a masterful piece of writing, this is an important work that achingly showcases the issue of alcoholism and the toll it takes.

You really blew me away, on this one. Love it! Love it! Love it!

Sherry Marr said...

The denial of the drunk, blaming his wife rather than his drinking for the lack of money. I was most struck by the picture of those waiting at home for, as a child, I was one of them. And as an adult had one last encounter with a drunk. Sigh. A good write, Anna. You nailed it.

Magaly Guerrero said...

The tale stumbling and causing dread in the poem is powerful and so well told--I feel the fear of the family, the trembling as they think of what might come...

If you had not seen your note, I would've never thought it came from a list of words. Brilliant. And terrifying in its reality.

Loredana Donovan said...

Described alcoholism perfectly, a sad state of affairs. Thank you for visiting Magic of Words.

Geo. said...

This poem has a life of its own, identifiable by diverse readers. It is well done --conciliatory and cautionary. My sincere compliments on your skill.

dsnake1 said...

i couldn't tell it was from a prompt, a wordle. excellent job!
the drunk, if it is just a one time binge, he will just have to sleep it out. if it is alcoholism, that's another story. :(

Sanaa Rizvi said...

My goodness this is powerful! You describe alcoholism perfectly here.

Thotpurge said...

Agree with previous comments- you rocked the seemed effortless.

ADDY said...

Brilliant. I know this scene so well.

colleen Looseleafnotes said...

What a gig! So sad! You wrote me under the table.

Sara McNulty said...

This flowed so well, you would never know it was written from a selection of words. wonderful!

Myrna R. said...

You did a fantastic job with this prompt and tell the sad story of alcoholism.

Jenny Woolf said...

Thought provoking, as always. You seem to be inspired by the limitations of having to use certain words. I like the twist at the end of the poem.

Brother Ollie said...

The drunken life and those that orbit around these folks. Your poem rings true!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A dreadful tale, and very well written, all too realistic.