A Prayer for the Nihilists (Bad Children Blues)

by Joseph Armstead

All we can hear is static
pouring out of the
of our MP3 players.
The songs are all
in the wrong format.

The music won't play.

Crossing the bridge,
Walking the gray boulevard
in the pouring rain,
not feeling the cold
alone with my wolf-pack
of friends, black leather,
old denim, tribal tattoos,
moving like frozen molasses,
struggling against the tide,
while the river
washes under us,
white water
against the tide
from the distant sea,
and each of us
about what we don't
or won't
in this life.

We are children without gifts
and Christmas morning was pre-empted
by the State of the Union address.

Too late to rage
against the coming sunset,
too late to rail
against the bright new dawn,
too late to curse
the Fates
and the Powers-That-Be,
too late to mourn
the loss of passing Time,
passing Youth, passing Futures,
passing lovers, ships
in a broken night,
too late to pass the torch,
it all flows
like cold green water
under the shadow
of a gray steel bridge.

The boulevard
holds the notes
to the music of our
ice-encrusted souls,
Fragile jewelry
from forgotten dreams
desperate dreamers.
All we can hear is static
pouring through the
of our MP3 players.

The music won't play.

Underground Window

Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller author, poet and computer technologist. He has authored nine novels and over two dozen short stories and been published in a dozen magazines and online journals. Really. And he writes poetry because there are some things that cannot be quantified within the framework of a plot-driven narrative. He writes poetry because he loves words and language. Sometimes he writes verse because he has trouble sleeping, but at other times it is because he has seen some image, some visual, that has sparked a dream of drama in his mind's eye. Mr. Armstead's subscription for behavior medication should probably be stronger than what it is.

Last updated August 25, 2011