Street Preacher


I’m currently working on a new book entitled, “Things That Go Bump in the Night, Poetry of Fear and Fright.” It included several dozen never seen poems, which are far too frightening and grotesque for publishing on The Creative Exiles. This piece is one that I’ve been working on this piece for some time, and despite it having a fearful theme, I felt it would be relevant to many readers due to it’s content.

Street Preacher

Where he came from, no one knows

Flat brimmed hat and long black robe

On a busy street with traffic flowing

A fiery crusade with a mystical knowing

His words came strong

His sermons long

“The time is near!”

“But have no fear!”

“It’s not too late to renounce your hate!”

“Be forgiven, it’s the price of admission!”

He gave the sinners the golden key

Ask his father, then take a knee

Prayers of salvation fell on deaf ears

As they had for countless years

Drawing laughter from the depraved

Confident sinners, not needing saved

But he never waved, never failed

His message strong and quite detailed

Morning, noon, and every night

Preaching of the coming blight

With a tightened face and hardened eyes

Of one who’s seen that other side

He thumped and shouted, “judgement day!”

“The coming beast, then hell to pay!”

Listing troves of evidence

“We’re aligning towards apocalypse!”

Weather patterns, failing crops

Lightning strikes on mountaintops

Empty pews and collection pans

The falling of the race of man

“You’ve abandoned him!”

“And you swim in sin!”

“You must repent!”

“Or face torment!”

He cried out more, but still they laughed

Ignored his warnings, and went on past

For forty days he held that corner

Animated like a good performer

But not a single soul, no, not a one

Gave a care to the tales he spun

Then one day, the man was gone

Sinners laughed and carried on

A few days later another came

Different face, but dressed the same

Ignored the corner, but chose the club

Then set up shop in the local pub

Minions gathered as the money flowed

While digger girls surrendered clothes

He also spoke of judgement day

“It’s just a game, the pious play!”

“There is no heaven, and neither hell”

“A power grab, you know it well”

“The men in robes are worse than any”

“Hurt the children, grab every penny”

The rules they write, they do not follow

Their actions weak, their words are hollow

“All for me, but none for thee!”

“Yet the righteous see what they want to see.”

For days and weeks, he threw his darts

Helped to feed their blackened hearts

For forty nights, high court he held

Wilder tales and his crowds did swell

And then one day, like the preacher before

He disappeared, was seen no more

But unlike the former, they missed him so

Wondered why he had to go

Forty days and forty nights

One brought darkness, one brought light

The opening act to judgment day

A lengthy test to see the way

Whether heaven or hell; either up or down

Wield the pitchfork, or lay hands on the gown

Then the rider came riding, with his bow and his crown

Disease and the plague were unleashed on the town

And after the suffering, a red horse then did follow

An armor clad rider, bringing war to the hollow

Then a third on a steed, in his hands were a scale

A hunger, so painful, then soon, famine would prevail

Starvation for months and then a pale horse,

A sinister rider with the look of a corpse

And behind the horse, came a devilish creature

With the face of a demon and the robes of the preacher

“Your time to repent, has come and then went!”

“Now forever you’ll dwell, in the fiery depths of hell!”

Das Ende - The Street Preacher

Additional Reading

R.J. Schwartz is an American Poet and Author.

His complete works on The Creative Exiles Website can be found here

The Gypsy Thread is a huge collection of his original work

Ralph also writes on HubPages

Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

6 thoughts on “Street Preacher

  • March 5, 2023 at 7:02 AM

    Ralph I am also working on a collection of horror poetry. I love the directions you move with your writing I find many similarities withing choices made. I think it is time to dig into some of your new books. Your friend. Jamie

    • March 5, 2023 at 1:20 PM

      Really cool. I had no idea you were into horror. This book is just about finished, the cover art is set, now it’s just a matter of me doing final edits.

  • March 8, 2023 at 12:56 PM

    Very powerful, fearful, poetry. I am thinking we had better straighten up and fly right before the four horses approach. Great work!

  • March 10, 2023 at 6:09 PM

    Wow, Ralph. Powerful stuff to be sure. Good luck with your book of horror poems.

  • March 11, 2023 at 7:49 AM

    This might be one of my favorites by you Ralph. I do love the mention of the horsemen. I’ve been trying to write something on the horsemen of the apocalypse as well. It seems like nowadays we are at a crossroads of choice too dark or light, good and evil. Nice work

    • March 15, 2023 at 1:21 PM

      thanks, I agree with you. The world is at a delicate time, and the darkness is attacking


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