Seventy Percent Proof

Seventy Percent Proof

A Poem by Paul Bell

What came first

The bottle or the glass

The bottle

Seventy percent proof

Thirty percent doubt

That always made her laugh

The proof of doubt

The glass half full

Her life half empty

There was a time

Once upon a time, there was a time

But that was then, and this is now

God, how poetic was she

That deserved a drink

Or maybe three

The neon sign across the road

Jesus saves

It shone a light

Well, it did at night

Which was alright

Cos electricity was really tight

The bottle seemed to disappear

Not a trickle, not a tear

Jesus saves across the road

Shining bright 

In the night

Seventy percent proof

He existed just to say

Thirty percent doubt

She would have laughed

Maybe a tear

But like the bottle

Sadly, she was no longer here.

© 2021 Paul Bell


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Reviews

A finely written but tragic poem and an even more tragic comparison! Have known and know a few who have taken a long lease on life in a bottle. Also, there are people who sip their comfort via holy communion or take comfort via peace and comfort from their own source, creed. Proof of truth is what is held best it can be, doubt is often an excuse. Tis cheaper to take advantage of that space than to buy booze, perhaps. The words, 'Jesus saves' wherever they are - are but letters, neither miracles nor magic - any more than liquor is. This is such a sad, sad piece of writing

Posted 1 Week Ago


Paul Bell

1 Week Ago

The drink has taken a lot of great people, even people around us who thought they could control it, .. read more
I did like this poem Paul. You twisted a logical theory. In my lifetime. I try to find wisdom in the drink. I didn't learn much. "Seventy percent proof, Thirty percent doubt". I do like those words. Thank you for sharing the amazing poetry and your thoughts.
Coyote


Posted 1 Week Ago


Paul Bell

1 Week Ago

The drink does take you on some journey, good or bad.
This a sad poem, with great contrasts; if the glass or the bottle is looked at as half empty instead of half full. It seems like she may have drank herself to death, ... and Jesus doesn't save anybody in my opinion, no matter where the signs are.... Seems like she was creative but troubled, and no one could save her. I've seen young people die from liver disease....even she would have laughed had she heard J say 30 percent doubt. The scene is really well described.
Best, B.
Well done.


Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Paul Bell

2 Weeks Ago

Drink is just so readably accessible, probably why it kills millions.
Betty Hermelee

2 Weeks Ago

Sad and especially with young people, thanks always Paul for your very rich poetry, and for being a .. read more
I am inclined towards the percentage more being 30% (or less) that Jesus Saves. A bottle and it's liquor is at least tangible. It's interesting that so many drinkers congregate around churches. Like they are trying to decide to seek help but can't repel the hold of the liquor. And the liquor most often wins the battle as you have written. Sad but true. 💛

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Paul Bell

2 Weeks Ago

Yes, just that final step to redemption. Life is cruel. How's things with you.
Marina

2 Weeks Ago

Busy, busy. Dodging Anti Vax protesters some days.
Paul Bell

1 Week Ago

What is wrong with those people.
I like the "Jesus Saves" contrast.
Just see it all unfolding outside a skid road hotel
Very nicely done

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Paul Bell

2 Weeks Ago

They do tend to be outside seedy hotels.
I like your imagery. The Jesus Saves sign across the street contrasting with the woman and the bottle of whiskey. By the way, I once worked in an elementary school and the principal, who was wonderful with kids, was named Paula Bell.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Paul Bell

2 Weeks Ago

Wonder if she's my long-lost cousin.
Shelley Warner

2 Weeks Ago

LOL, maybe so.
I enjoyed this read Paul. Anytime art makes us think or feel on a deeper level then as a writer you have done a very good job. Thank you for sharing this poem.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Paul Bell

2 Weeks Ago

Pleasure, Carlos, glad you enjoyed it.
Hello, Paul! :)
This was a run read. I wonder how much sense it would make after a few drinks at 70%. Thanks for sharing.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Paul Bell

2 Weeks Ago

Think I wrote it after a few drinks. lol

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Added on July 12, 2021
Last Updated on July 12, 2021

Author

Paul Bell
Paul Bell

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I like poetry and stories that tell me something. Sometimes the shortest poems hit the hardest. If I post something serious, don't worry, a funny poem will follow. Don't hesitate to tell me if my po.. more..

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