The sugar-house

The puddling furnace for the pig iron T-rail
for the fat-cat, clean shaven
rail riders who wore silk shirts made in the
sugar-house. ….they donned
shapely trimmed facade clothes and the
white jib to protect their
thumbs; sat at the stumpy bars drinking
bourbon cold with the
saw-ice. ….carried around daguerreotype
self-portraits, “O you robust
sacred reaping machines;” you ran the
sweat shop company stores
and handed out paper-mâché script to
feed your caulked iron kettles. ….
goods sold to the unsuspecting paintbrush
public, whitewashed by the
‘hook’. ….they wound up poor, fiddling like a
riddled old homeless person
on a tarnished spoon; winters cold and coffins
filled, plaited into daisy fields.

Copyright © 07/14/2015 fishbonepoetry®

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The deepest secret

rows of windmills painting the sky

 

With dark colors

with raindrops

 

wet is the water

 

her tears dry as they roll down her face

she sits 

 

statuesque holding a bowl with

stones holding water

 

A goldfish watches and dreams

the bench is wet

 

empty is the sky of sun

water is empty

 

she cries no more.

 

Copyright © 06/27/2014 Ð Ṝ Ƣ Ñeedle & Ŧhread®

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Of love and an innocent moon

when pails filled with moonbeams

 

Sit on painted chairs in moon dust

and are cast upon

 

the world, i shall then write

of love

 

pulling words from heart shaped 

lockets on stars

 

laying in fields of midnight sky

you laying covered with dark purple poppies

 

my fingers beneath you caressing

as meadows do of wildflowers

 

my palms walk through moonlight

on your skin yearning to pick petals of color

 

i kiss the rose of your lips.

 

Copyright © 05/22/2014 Ð Ṝ Ƣ Ñeedle & Ŧhread®

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Mobster squad

Spontaneous (“Market

Street Gang”)

– Irish American

criminals

 

sticky fingers of

pickpockets pinching

officials and

labor slugging

 

they

had the sly scheming

in the (“Newspaper

Circulation Wars”)

 

hearts like flint

often wore “masks”

– used the crowbar

carried the burglar bag

 

buffeted by Chicago winds

building

canyons

gray

 

to the drink of prohibition,

tommy guns spit out

death like old couches

in tenement rooms

 

tombs of the law

 

 

under the table cash with

 

 

 

a blind eye.

 

Copyright © 06/20/2014 Ð Ṝ Ƣ Ñeedle & Ŧhread®

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Of a child and an elephant

For Sumi…

Dusk in an Indian village

closed

out the day, allowed

thimblefuls

of cooler air to spill

Fresh

for the night…

it entered carrying

old wooden buckets 

filled

with darkness.

 

The village slumbered,

yet she remained awake

thinking about her friend.

 

She, a child, had a special

relationship above the

Commonplace

with an elephant of the

forest…

at first, they only

exchanged

glances, not enough of

an escape from

their daily chores.

 

How sweet the early morn,

washed as in a bath

by pouring rain

when they 

Entered

a pond,

she was very brave,

full of love –

both full of kindness.

 

Nothing the village elders

could ever

Observe

would equal the 

bond that

this small girl and

elephant 

felt, the sound it

made muted

leaves

rustling in the 

 

A lonely life it now 

led

after she sadly waved 

Goodbye,

left for another

country…

the elephant 

no longer trumpeted,

no longer saw her

reflection 

in the pond, only its own

slowly aging.

 

Copyright © 06/13/2014 Ð Ṝ Ƣ Ñeedle & Ŧhread®

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See how they run

They walked on twisting rails

through bootblack

souls

they smelled the silence,

the loneliness

steel rivets, each with initials

of a homeless person

– hammered deep into

railroad ties, they

held down

track, held down 

shadows of the fallen.

 

Hobos at the breast of poverty

destitution at their feet,

wrists held together by handcuffs

of the Great Depression,

and fate…

closed freight 

car doors like prison cell doors

in sacks,

carried empty tin photos 

of a tin family

– candles with no

 

Railroad bulls on leashes 

sniffing out musty clothing

and

unshaven faces

– creeping

under boxcars like neighbors

dogs under

porches looking

for stray cats.

 

Inside, hiding, tramps faces

with patterns of light,

splinters

of age

– much as cobwebs

where slants of sun trickle

through.  

 

Sunday morning (faith man

painted 

wet crosses on hobos foreheads)

that none tried to save

them more

– holy water dripped off 

rusted nails

into reluctant

 

POW’s to the shepherd, to the

rails, of vagrancy (waiting for

working papers in the next

town, in the next town)…

see how they run.

 

Copyright © 06/06/2014 Ð Ṝ Ƣ Ñeedle & Ŧhread®

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The spy

She sat in a railway station, silent,

one piece of baggage containing all of

her intricate, imperfect life – she was white 

as paper, skin like ice water, “you can’t

be bored dying in a dignified position;” any

sensitivity left dropping away as

do hairs off a comb.

 

A victor walked by, she thought, “what’s 

the matter, have you no religion… “

and then, a smiling copper – as if he knew

of her keeping a cupboard full of

alibis for all spying occasions, corked up

in old medicine bottles – she had no

proposition whatsoever on using a gun.

 

Sitting there, memories arriving as

do late trains – of when, as an

eight year old, skipped rope with half

a rope… of making someone bleed

regularly when she cocked the hammer,

rather as opening the flap of a tent

and stepping into the cold.

 

Of a nasty little man in a grubby mackintosh,

snuffling through pigeon holes looking

for her room key in a cheap hotel – peering 

through his spy glass in hopes of seeing clothing

draped over a chair – then dark alley waiting, one

round fired… she’ll be there awhile, not forever,

but a little while, holding her ticket home.

 

Copyright © 05/27/2014 Ð Ṝ Ƣ Ñeedle & Ŧhread®

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