70 year old traffic

i honk the horn, it is silent
the whippoorwill is silent
all about are rusting
and whatever can be done
will not stop the rusting,
it is you time and small rain.

i want aging wheels to turn
and it is you air
that will not allow it,
up in trees and sky
and whatever it is you do,
no one really knows where you are.

here is the metal roof and doors
and dashboard;
springs pushed up through seats
where passengers sat on
road trips; faces remembered
on brownie cameras.

i sit, keeping junkyard relics behind
me from budging an inch
moving about as fast as dead
batteries and headlights
lying on the ground, lying
in old tire treads.

yet, there is the wonder of stars
each night, and of
fireflies lighting up all radio
tubes and big band songs,
and of keychains with a
sweetheart’s photo being held.

i want no world where i can’t
hold a memory
and it once was sitting inside me,
not sprayed on with coats
of a paint, but rather were the ones
who enjoyed the ride.

Copyright © 03/19/2015 Ð Ṝ Ƣ Ñeedle & Ŧhread®


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®


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®


Mobster squad

Spontaneous (“Market

Street Gang”)

– Irish American



sticky fingers of

pickpockets pinching

officials and

labor slugging



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





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®


Of a child and an elephant

For Sumi…

Dusk in an Indian village


out the day, allowed


of cooler air to spill


for the night…

it entered carrying

old wooden buckets 


with darkness.


The village slumbered,

yet she remained awake

thinking about her friend.


She, a child, had a special

relationship above the


with an elephant of the


at first, they only


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 


a pond,

she was very brave,

full of love –

both full of kindness.


Nothing the village elders

could ever


would equal the 

bond that

this small girl and


felt, the sound it

made muted


rustling in the 


A lonely life it now 


after she sadly waved 


left for another


the elephant 

no longer trumpeted,

no longer saw her


in the pond, only its own

slowly aging.


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


See how they run

They walked on twisting rails

through bootblack


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


unshaven faces

– creeping

under boxcars like neighbors

dogs under

porches looking

for stray cats.


Inside, hiding, tramps faces

with patterns of light,


of age

– much as cobwebs

where slants of sun trickle



Sunday morning (faith man


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®


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®