Ravaged

She sits slumped,
rot gut whiskey bottle
clutched in hands.
Stitch in side, she aches.
Time blurrs
lost in last nine shots.

Pennies by her feet
tossed by do-good passerby
don’t jar her mind.
Can’t think straight or at all.
Too far gone to live
not quite enough to die.

bottle-2257787_1920Written for Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Jilly is hosting and asks us to take one or two well known adages and significantly change them! Can you find the two I’ve used?
Photo from Pixabay.com Answer Key: Stanza 1 from “A stitch in time saves nine.” and Stanza 2 is from “A penny for your thoughts. ”  Explaining further, in case you’re not familiar with having a stitch (pain) in your side:  often happens to people when they’re running … or can be a sign of other medical problems too. 

45 thoughts on “Ravaged

  1. Adda August 28, 2018 / 9:51 am

    Oh my god… how chilling! The last 2 lines are so true for so many. Awesome poem with such vivid description of despair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 28, 2018 / 1:01 pm

      Sometimes I really don’t know where the words come from. Yesterday’s “earth” prompt took me to a place of calm and beauty and todays….to the dark side!

      Like

    • lillian August 28, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      Thanks, Laura. Yes….the first stanza came pretty quickly and then somehow that “penny for your thoughts” adage popped into my mind and the poem went to a really dark place.

      Like

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:45 am

      For some reason, I took the idea of making the adage obscure a bit more literally….and went to the dark side. “A stitch in time saves nine” turned into a stitch in her side and the nine shots of rotgut blurring time…..and “a penny for your thoughts” into her being too far gone to even have her mind jarred by pennies given to her. Ah well………I’ll go with the humor next time.

      Like

  2. kim881 August 28, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    I love the way you played around with ‘a stitch in time…’, Lill, But how tragic those lines:
    ‘Too far gone to live
    not quite enough to die’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:45 am

      Thanks Kim. Went over to the darker side for some reason….and the two adages became quite twisted!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jillys2016 August 28, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    Excellent images you included in this portrait! The ‘stitch’ and ‘pennies’ are wonderfully woven in and I also like how you added the figure of speech in ‘can’t thick straight’ – nicely crafted!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:46 am

      Thanks, Jilly. Went to the dark side with this one……..after reading and chuckling this morning while having my coffee….I’ve LOVED all the cleverness and humor in folks’ takes on this prompt. Ah well….next time I’ll go for the lighter side.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glenn Buttkus August 28, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    You rocked the prompt, creating a stalwart tome of darkness that stands on its own; the adages twists are just extra goodies. The homeless, the lost–there seems to be a pandemic these days.

    Like

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:47 am

      Thanks, Glenn. For some reason…went to the dark side with this one. Glad you enjoyed and thought it met the prompt. A little obscure for many.

      Like

  5. Jane Dougherty August 28, 2018 / 4:52 pm

    I like how you unpicked the phrases and wove them into something different. Very satisfying poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:48 am

      Ah, thanks Jane! So appreciate your comment here as I was really feeling I’d missed the mark after reading all the wonderfully clever and humorous takes on it. Glad you enjoyed.

      Like

      • Jane Dougherty August 31, 2018 / 1:05 pm

        I don’t think humour was obligatory 🙂

        Like

  6. Charley August 28, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    Craftily done! True wordsmithing that avoided the laughs — sometimes that’s best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:49 am

      Thanks, Charley. So glad you enjoyed as after reading this morning, I was chuckling at so many and really enjoying and then thinking I’d missed the mark by going so obscure and dark with this one. Glad you enjoyed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charley September 9, 2018 / 3:53 pm

        Obscure and dark is always a viable option! Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond.

        Like

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:51 am

      Well….I took the idea of “obscuring” the adages a bit literally and somehow came out with a portrait on the dark side. Glad I put the note at the end!

      Liked by 1 person

      • V.J. Knutson August 30, 2018 / 11:05 am

        That’s the thing with these prompts – never know where they will take us.

        Like

  7. qbit August 28, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Ooh, ow! That’s a tough one. Great way to pull it into the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:52 am

      Thanks. Somehow, I went to the dark and more obscure side of the prompt with this one.

      Like

  8. rothpoetry August 28, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    Seems there are far too many people in our world who live in that place between life and death!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:52 am

      I do agree. Unfortunately, this word portrait can and does fit too many.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Singledust August 29, 2018 / 12:35 am

    i pictured a lost homeless person feeling so worthless, like the pennies tossed at her. it was quite heart wrenching for me, but you did really so well on the choice of adages here Lilian

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:53 am

      Thank you. Yes….I’m afraid I went to the dark side and took the idea of “obscuring” the adages literally. Glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dorianna August 29, 2018 / 6:12 am

    Well written poem, sad circumstance indeed to be that far more dead than alive. Nice twist on adages…quite obscured for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:54 am

      Yes…..I really went to the dark side and took the idea of “obscuring” the adages very literally. I’m thinking too much so after enjoying my reading this morning and chuckling over my cup of coffee with all the clever takes on this prompt. Ah well…..diversity is good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dorianna August 30, 2018 / 10:22 am

        Hey, dark side works for me…I often travel there as well…thought it a good job.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Abigail Gronway August 29, 2018 / 9:48 am

    How touching. The last two lines in particular grabbed me: “Too far gone to live
    not quite enough to die.” I found the first adage, but not the second one. Very nicely done. I love how you wove the words of the adages into your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:55 am

      Yes — second one was perhaps too obscure and changed around. “A penny for your thoughts” and here, in this portrait, folks have tossed pennies at her, but she is too far gone, they do not jar her mind (produce any thoughts) because she is literally too far gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. katiemiafrederick August 29, 2018 / 1:38 pm

    Gabba Gabba Gabba Do of Alcohol
    Reducing Inhibitions of Gated Community
    Neo Cortex in Frontal Ways
    Teaching
    us
    Self
    Fulfilling
    Prophecies
    of Mechanical
    Cognition Machine
    Mind FearFull Stagnant
    Ever GRoWinG Colder as
    Mother Boards without Mother’s
    Milk of
    Free
    Joy
    Courage
    Kindness Wisdom’s Love
    Dancing Singing with no
    other Medicine but is
    as Alcohol
    is
    just
    a symptom
    of the Insanity in a way
    of life that’s deader than Live..
    other than that Hi Lillian nice to see you with SMiLes
    and not a drop of anything but Dance that Sings thE LiGHT oF LoVE FReED..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 30, 2018 / 7:56 am

      “a symptom of the Insanity in a way of life that’s deader than life.” Yes. You’ve said it well in your reply! Good to see you here, Katie!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sascha Darlington August 30, 2018 / 12:15 am

    wow. You’ve brought to life the image of someone who has hit rock bottom. Those last two lines are sad and chilling.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Paul Sunstone September 4, 2018 / 11:22 pm

    Very well crafted. Sad, of course. But I think you’ve captured alcoholism in its homeless phase.

    Like

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