Sunday, August 26, 2012

Poetics: 100 Bottles

Bottles by Borg de Nobel / / used with permission /

100 Bottles

When young we sang
100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
with all the windows open in
the church camp bus.

      It didn't shock Jesus, who was
   known to have enjoyed wine
in his time.

Still young I had
100 hangovers against my will
even with best intentions to
have just two drinks.

   It didn't shock Mama, who had
      grown as co-dependent
with my dad. 

Less young I said
100 times The Serenity Prayer
with twenty others struggling for
sober freedom.

It didn't shock Mozart, who was
   bone, breath, higher power
      for my soul.

Written for Poetics — Borg de Nobel  — at dVerse Poets. Our host, Claudia Schoenfeld, writes:
The cool thing about twitter is, that you constantly stumble upon lots of interesting people. A while ago, I found Borg de Nobel, a dutch painter in the twitter stream, checked her website and thought it would be cool to invite her to the pub with some of her paintings and have us write poems, inspired by her artwork.
I loved each of the paintings for this prompt, but the one with the bottles spoke to me. Thanks to Claudia for introducing us to Borg de Nobel, and for her great idea.



Brian Miller said...

we def sang the 100 bottles....and i def had quite a few hangovers...good to have those others too when it came to recovery...often they make the take...

Claudia said...

ha...think there's not really much that shocks jesus..felt part about your mom as my dad used to drink as well...and love the inclusion of mozart..bone, breath, higher power for my soul... think he himself went through much..great write

Fireblossom said...

Well, you know I love this, sister. I adore the part about Mozart. There are certain things I really couldn't live without... music... animals... but I can live without booze. So can you. How beautiful is that?

Heaven said...

I think we all have those hangovers at one time...I specially like the last part about struggling for sober freedom and Mozart ~

kj said...

i live without booze too. the substitution of mozart is about as healthy an alternative as the world can offer!

and the best part is: not just mozart.

the church camp bus: oh my, lydia, that is an image!


Mama Zen said...

This is incredibly good. I love your take on the prompt.

Rob-bear said...

And those 100 prayers
caused to rejoice
and say "Amen"
one Reinhold Niebuhr
(Reverend Doctor)
who wrote
that very

And lots of others,

carla bianca said...

I've never had a hangover but I want to experience one. lol Its best to experience life to the fullest while your still young. Let's start with 100 bottles of beer.
financial planner

Lydia said...

Brian~ Thinking on how most of us sang that song as kids has me wondering about the song's origins...

Claudia~ Thanks for the understanding and kind comments. And long live Mozart!

Fireblossom~ It is more beautiful than beautiful, actually!

Heaven~ It's cool that nearly everyone can identify with the Mozart part.

kj~ Another sista! What a life it is, once you decide to live it!
And as for the bus, picture this: the church name was on a banner strung along the sides of the bus. Hah!

Mama Zen~ Your comment made me happy.

Rob-bear~ Thank you for giving credit to the author of the famous prayer. I had forgotten the name of the man who gave this gift to the world.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

There's a famous story about Andy Kaufmann (best known as Latka in Taxi) that one of his many tricks was to sing 100 bottles of beer with an audience - all the way through.

It's been described as Comedy by Attrition - IE at the start you think "surely he can't be serious", then you will get a few people starting to leave - but finally people will find themselves laughing and carried along by the absurdity of it all

Lydia said...

Pixies~ I loved Andy Kaufmann so much! Can just picture him doing that and wish I could have been a part of an audience that sang it with him.....all the way to the end!

hedgewitch said...

I've always hated beer, and the taste of it--so abnormal am I, but I did love singing this song on the bus, because of the sense of comradeship and also order it brought. I liked that as a child--but the message you bring here of growth and self-awareness goes far beyond the words of the song. A cautionary tale, and also a tale of affirmation. Enjoyed it much.

Lydia said...

hedgewitch~ Thank you.
"because of the sense of comradeship and also order it brought." I never thought of that sense of order you described, but you are so right that it stopped me in my tracks when I read it. I bet you were a very aware child, just one of the reasons you became a great poet.



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