The stains upon the bar

tell of many sad tales

of love, loss and tragic lives;

and drink to drown out the wails.


Another washed out soul

seeks the solace of the glass,

to wash away the memory

of another broken pass.


Another wheeler-dealer,

another gambling god,

another weary player

bet his life upon the sod.


The rings around his eyes

mark the toll of tell tale signs,

the vacant stare, unshaven chin,

you read between the lines.


Just one more shot to dull the sting

of a life that’s breaking down,

another drink to hide the lines

of another washed out frown.


He staggers out

onto harsh lit streets,

head gently spinning

on unsteady feet.


He knows that it’s near,

he can hear the call,

just over the road

and down past the mall.


Shuffling along

with an unsteady gait,

cell phone ringing,

who cares, it can wait.


Eyes now blind

behind stinging tears

but it’s not enough

to allay his fears.


And there it is

in a hazy dream,

a small footbridge

over a lazy stream.


He grips the rails

with trembling hands,

there’s no point telling her,

she won’t understand.


Then just for a moment

he catches a glimpse

in the soft flowing waters

and it makes him wince,

for the wretch that he sees

is not the man that he knows;

there’s a stranger staring back

from dark waters below.


With a shuddering sigh

and with tears streaming down,

he’s leaning over;

feet leaving the ground.


For a moment he’s flying,

so alive and so free,

he’s no longer afraid,

just a strange kind of glee.


He doesn’t feel the water

as it closes overhead,

he doesn’t feel the chill

for his soul has already fled.




Written by Darren Scanlon, 25th November 2013.

Revised 12th July 2015.

© 2013 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.



19 Comments Add yours

  1. Annie B says:

    Darren, this is so powerful. I can feel his despair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Neyse Bustamante says:

    Darren, I love your poems. You are very talented. Your gift is a beautiful gift from God. I wish you well. Do you have any on love? I would love to read them if you do. God bless … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Neyse. I do indeed have some on love. I will try to dig one out for you.


  3. joylennick says:

    Another heart-wrenching poem. I felt the poor man’s despair. Well done. A happier one next time?.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A romantic one, no less! Will post tomorrow.


  4. olganm says:

    Powerful and lyrical. Looking forward to something quite different tomorrow. Thanks Darren.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. beezknez says:

    Oh my goodness how many ppl have been near this edge or know of someone I know I do n love n worry every day You have captured the hopelessness the sheer aloneness of what this person has been going through hinting on a secret also one is not sure if the man is also suffering alcoholism & has done something perhaps loss all the monies him n partner had Yes your poem is like a mini story leading the reader through what I felt with every step fear wanting to reach out n stop him tell him nothing is greater than his life

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, been, for you kind words. If my poetry touches the reader in some way then I have the only reward I am looking for. If it helps… then that is the cherry on the cake. Keep Smiling 😊


  6. beezknez says:

    Hmm word press must think i write too much it just posted my comment before I’d finished lol Your poem for me also captures the extremes of depression n the pressure of society how Things Money n likes can become so Priceless more so than life The inability to communicate if at a loss It’s so Huge Your an incredible writer I am a luckily lil 🐝 that you came n left your print on my blog otherwise I wouldn’t likely be none the wiser you exist This is absolutely brilliant in every way
    ThankYou for giving me your time I think your a treasure chest n am looking forward now to reading more n more of your writes Your raw n make a person feel very connected to life through your writings 🌻🐝:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See… this…. YOU and others like you… this is why I write, (especially poetry).

      I’m not interested in money, (no, seriously. I have spent many long soul-searching weeks in hospital these last years and have re-evaluated my life), there is so much in my life that money cannot and never will be able to buy. My family, my health and my friends are priceless and my life would have ground to a halt years ago without them all.

      You are all the reason the ink flows through my veins and long may it continue to do so!

      Keep Smiling 😊

      Darren. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent, like your entry for #BlogBattle.


    1. Thanks Marje, but this is the wrong poem, (oops!). The correct entry is “THE END OF THE DREAM”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, both are excellent! Thanks for the link to “The End of the Dream.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Susan Langer says:

    Such a sad poem about alcoholism and what it can do to you. I can feel the gut-wrenching agony in the poem. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Need, Susan. Many people have demons stalking them and unfortunately sometimes they win.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Sorry Susan… that should have read “Indeed” not ‘need’ 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Susan Langer says:

        Oh…tht makes more sense although the alcoholic does feel the “need” or impulse to drink. I know this because my ex is an alcoholic so I had a lot of years of Al-anon. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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