The pawn


Thanks to Sonya for this week’s inspiring TLT image.

In their air-conditioned room in the heavens, they play, unseen by human eyes.

The massive, chequered table seethes with multicoloured pawns. Mars reaches out and picks one up. It looks like you. He juggles it, then loses interest and lightly tosses it to Venus, who glances at the pinched, tired face, and flings it in the air. Bacchus catches it, grins, puts a bottle of white cider into its hand, drops it and watches it plummet down, down, into an odiferous skip behind a takeaway in Glasgow. He and Mars laugh, delighted at the fun. Minerva frowns; she wishes they would take the game seriously.

You wake up, confused. You climb out. Sweet chilli sauce and relish have glued scraps of bread and burger to your clothes, your hair, your face. You forgot the cider, so you climb back in. The bottle is only half empty.

©Jane Paterson Basil

13 thoughts on “The pawn

  1. Evocative poem. It reminds me of the saying which I don’t think I can remember 100% accurately “When we make plans the Gods laugh at us” I loved Greek mythology as a child although here you have given them the Roman names. This sense of being controlled by something outside myself is what I have had a couple of times in recovery and it has been very frightening. When I had 2 psychiatric relapses in 2009 I felt like a demon was possessing my brain and forcing me to kill myself. This came after I self-harmed. I was so frightened by my reaction I have never self-harmed since then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I gave the Roman names because I think they’re familiar to more people.
      I’ve sometimes felt like a pawn in the game of the Gods. It’s a destructive way of thinking, taking away the incentive to struggle forwards.
      I admire you’re strength – I think I have already made that clear.


    1. Thank you! I hate to admit this, but the dream suggestion was accidental – I just figured that he passed out, drunk, and came round later. There’s no doubt about it, Bacchus was responsible for his predicament 🙂


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