The Road to Perdition


I walked up to the pearly gates
and rang the golden bell
Saint Peter popped his
head out and he gave a hearty yell

He said 'what are you doing here
you're supposed to be alive?'
I said 'I blew my brains out
with a magnum 45'

'In that case I can't let you in'
Saint Peter sadly said
'You've got to take the
dark road to that other place instead'

I thanked him for his kindness
and he sent me on my way
I turned unto that evil road
and slowly walked away

The path was long and winding
and the scenery was bare
It reminded me of Kansas
when Dorothy lived there

I seemed to walk for hours
but it could have been much more
Then up ahead I saw a light
behind a wooden door

A man appeared quite suddenly
from where, I do not know
He said 'my name is Lucifer
but you can call me Joe'

He led me to the wooden door
and gave a mighty shove
The thing swung open slowly
and a light shone from above

To my surprise I did not see
the brimstone, flame or tar
Just a band of really happy folks
all drinking at a bar

Virginia Woolf and Hemingway
were sitting with Van Gogh
While Kurt Cobain was sipping wine
with Magdalene Kahlo

And Lenny Bruce was telling jokes
that made Cleopatra blush
And Hunter T. wrote frantically
As always, in a rush

Old Joe he only grinned at me
and slapped me on the back
'You didn't really think that
I would torture Kerouac?'

He called out to the bartender
and soon I had a brew
'I must admit" I said to him
before my beer was through

‘I expected something different
in the land of pain and dread'
Old Joe gave me a wicked smile
and this is what he said:

'Take a look around you son
and tell me what you see'
I saw ten thousand people
not including Joe and me

And suddenly it hit me like a
bolt out of the blue
'All these people left the world
before their time was due'

Joe finished up his bottle and
he tossed it in the sand
He said 'son every one of them
has died by their own hand

You see they lived their Hell on earth
on that you can't deny
They know what pain is really like
so I don't even try'

So friends I am still sitting here
it's been a year or so
Tomorrow night I've got a date
with Marilyn Monroe

We're going to see Hendrix
at the Fillmore down below
And the word is Janis Joplin
will be opening the show

And I don't believe that Heaven
could exact a higher praise
They can keep their harps and

I prefer my Purple Haze...


  • Coyote

    Thank you so very kindly Marie🙂

  • Rozina

    An amazing poem! Thank you for sharing.

    • Coyote

      Thank you Rozina🙂

    • Goldfinch60

      What a wonderful poem Coyote, very well written.


      • Coyote

        Thank you kindly Andy. Much appreciated🙂

      • Saxon Crow

        Totally original, fun, thought provoking and just plain brilliant. Into the faves

        • Coyote

          Thanks S. That means a lot coming from you🙂

        • Doggerel Dave

          Yes that was great, C. And brilliant (Sax above) says it all. A yarn to be savored and enjoyed.

          So if you can give me a guarantee, I'll pop off tomorrow.

          • Coyote

            Wish I could Dave. I'd gladly join you. Thanks so much.

          • L. B. Mek

            21 verses and not a line out of rhythm
            if I would put music to this poetry
            it would have to be Tennessee Whisky
            by Chris Stapleton
            'You're lines are as smooth
            as Tennessee whiskey'
            what a poetic treat, in a read!

            • Coyote

              Wow, thank you LB. You've made my day🙂

            • Lorna

              So enjoyed this! Well done, clever and probably true!

              • Coyote

                Thanks Lorna🙂

              • dusk arising

                Never being a believer in the myth of St peter and the pearly gates, this is refreshing reading.

                Very well composed and extremely entertaining.

              • Coyote

                Thanks D. Glad you enjoyed it🙂

              • Draven

                This is an ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT poem. I couldn't stop reading it! Really witty with such a serious message too.

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