RD Armstrong, US




Three Poems from Fire and Rain

The Poem Will Save You

“even their nightmares are ringed with tinsel” Charles Bukowski

It’s the middle of May and a warm tropical rain is falling
turning dusty streets into greasy ones.
I’m reading the newest book of poesy
from my favorite, now dead, poet
and marveling at his clarity and the strength of his lines.
He said it
“The poem will save your ass from madness”
The poem will save you
while fat drops of acid rain descend
while the bills pile up
while the paint peels
while you wait and wait and wait
for something to change
it doesn’t matter what it is
as long as it’s something
The poem will save you
while your auto insurance climbs
while the phone screams your name
while the pipe calls to you
from the other room
while your heart considers the pros and cons of retirement
while the babies scream for attention
while your mind begins to go
while lovers dream of each other
while you dream of becoming someone else
while hookers hook
and junkies junk
and the stoner gets steadily dimmer
while the whole county flatlines
from a bad batch of crystal
while the beer goes flat
while the women come and go
while you jerk into the hollow memories of their
brief laughter
while someone lets the air out of your tires
and the wind out of your sails
and the joy out of your days
while the life seeps out of your windows
and each breath takes you farther away from
life and closer into death’s final orbit
while the warranty on your vcr runs out
while the internet sucks you dry
while the open grave waits patiently
and the orange waits to be peeled
and the lights flicker
and the ground moves
and the really important stories wait to be sold
and the needle crawls across the floor
at 3 a.m. like an inch worm
while you wait for it’s promise of happy stupidity
while you binge on lollypop dreams of power and glory
while they plot the next turn in your life
while the streets are overrun with anger
and revenge
while you grab as much of the pie as you can carry
while the 911 call goes unanswered
while the oven begins to look very inviting
while you place a razor blade on your tongue
and swallow
while you eat all the right food groups
and still get cancer
while you starve to death
on a diet of empty promises
still-born dreams and low-fat hopes

The poem will save you
The poem will save you.



Wall to Wall Emptiness

So it ends
not with a whimper
                          or a BANG
                               down to die
like an

My space is reclaimed
no more panties hanging
from the towel rack
no more soft nakedness
wandering through my life
like a field of
I am back
to my comfortable
in this cathedral of dreams
where the walls

            stand straight up

                                    and stare blankly

                                                      back at me

                                                                     like cows

                                                                              waiting on

                                                                                    the man



Red Petals

Like the curved blade
of a Samurai
I dream of pushing
my sword deep
into love’s scabbard
while scented petals
delicate and yielding
and drop
to the ground.

The moon is reflected
in the black water
of the well
its face is half-obscured
by the fallen blossoms of
yesterday’s beauty.

The garden path
washed by my tears
will soon be
covered with
a blanket of red and

The day does not
come easily.






Read Additional Poems by RD Armstrong

Book Fair Fire and Rain

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