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®


fog, and much as the sun may loom

single lane, double yellow separated 
one from the other

like upper class other side of empty
railroad tracks

old rusted car, door hinged outside
nearly passes,

inside faces once familiar like erased 
school blackboards

they turn on an interior electric dome 
light, pull out a gas station

road map, search for their past

water over spills from clogged service station sinks,

seeps into clay floors
mud in streets

like retired footprints;

“gloomy day. sunlight is trying to break 
through the clouds and kill the fog”

dogs in a mire, wait for the sun to 
expose footpaths

pick up the scent,

raw afternoon disappearing
like used umbrellas

haggard look on shop fronts lift similarly 
as draw bridges

but water underneath runs in sewers,

cold in the morn scraped neatly off

stored in containers for another day;

day ends, sun cannot distinguish mist
from fog’s return,

returns like discarded cigarette ash,

breath and voices held within

over double yellow separated,

soon, puddles of it to wade through

splashed up on old rusted cars,

road now drowned with mist
a place to hide feelings in,

one, then one, 

Copyright © 04/29/2013 Ðark Ṝoasted Ƣoetry®


a deeper silence

sawed off a section by the railroad committee 

sawed off like a .12 gauge barrel 
sawed off, rolled to the ground
saw horse galloped off
(searching for frank l. baum),
handful of sawdust taken by termites
to feed their young
railroad tie no longer eating the tree bark,
stack of corded wood eating a fireplace fire;
big pieces of forest trees used to make
tables for poor houses
others, used as railroad ties to transport them,
clothes given them at birth already tattered,
already ragged
much like black and white prison stripes,
like forests, dwellers in a make believe wood,
hoping, hoping;
they touch the tree like a blind man touches
his face with a razor
when tree cutters come, they crash through
saplings like hounds do a fox
masses do not have a soul, was sold for clothing
kindling burns for railroad hobos like old
frying pans on wood stoves,
have to fight boxcar space with children’s dirty
faces, with dirty tears;
poor house bound, corner quick, slick rain track,
derails into a swamp
metal and creosote twisted wreckage, carpentry
on trains obsolete like new growth forests
survivors. too poor to die. but, one railroad tie
lies motionless
cannot emerge, is not rescued, marsh crane
to land on…
Copyright © 04/22/2013 Ðark Ṝoasted Ƣoetry®