Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Poetry Stretch - Shoes

I'm taking a page from Kathi Appelt's poetry starters today. One of her poetry starters includes a poem about flip-flops and some suggestions for writing your own poems. Here's one I think could be a lot of fun.
Shoes make great subjects for writing. Pick a shoe, any shoe, and it will tell you a story. It may want to tell you about a special event--a wedding, a prom, a soccer game. It may want to tell you about how it hid from the other shoe? It may want to tell you about a previous owner. If a shoe has traveled many miles, it will have many stories.
So, that's the challenge for today. Write a poem about shoes, or an event where the shoes figure prominently, or a pair you wanted by couldn't have, or .... there's just so much to choose from!

If you need a little inspiration, here's one of my favorite poems from the book Shoe Magic by Nikki Grimes.

Rest your soles.
Spread your toes.
Curl, breathe deep.
There now, Dreamer,
Hush . . .

Poem ©Nikki Grimes. All rights reserved.
Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


    By Steven Withrow

    I want flight feet,
    twin sandals feather-soled,
    like Perseus who fought the hag
    Medusa, winged talaria,
    my steps cloud steps, mercurial.

    I’d like my ankles girded tight
    in earth-defying wires, toes
    clawed for grasping eagle outcrops,
    shoes unglued from ground, my
    socks Mars rockets!

  2. Prints on top of my shoes
    remind me of Elvis
    and his blue suedes.

    The King sang songs from the heart,
    and that's where we start.

    Because I always dreamed
    of dancing with my daughter,
    slow and steadily
    with a smile on our faces.

    But I haven't had her in my arms
    since she was four years old.

    The last time we danced,
    she had to stand on my feet.

    I can't have them shined,
    so they'll be there to remind
    me of what got left behind.

    Prints on the tops of my shoes,
    are giving me the blues,
    but that's just old news.

    by stu pidasso

  3. Stu Pidasso? Really? Why would someone who writes poetry and puts it on this website want to have a pen name like that?


  4. A Shoe Spiritual

    Click my heels.
    Leap my soles.
    Darn my heart--
    My socks have holes.
    Insteps dance.
    Laces sing.
    And I can make
    The floorboards ring.

    Tongues call out
    To Peter’s gate.
    I will not have
    Too long to wait.
    Click my heels,
    Tap my toes.
    Where these shoes go,
    Heaven knows.

    ©2010 Jane Yolen, all rights reserved

  5. Old Sneakers

    When I opened the box
    you were bright white,
    gleaming like TV teeth.

    Not anymore. Now
    you look kind of gray,
    like two old men—

    your skin covered
    with wrinkles and spots,
    weathered leather.

    Yeah, you remind me
    of my grandfather's hugs,
    good old sneakers.

    --Kate Coombs, 2010, all rights reserved

  6. Tap Shoe Jive
    by Nicole Marie Schreiber

    Clickety clap,
    Tippity tap,
    Hearing myself,
    Go snappity snap.
    Always moving,
    Always grooving.
    Rhythm and rhyme,
    Steppin’ in time.

  7. Bernie loves
    his Birkenstocks -
    not the knock offs.
    Only real.
    Falls for a girl
    in chic stilettos -
    (red kid leather,
    5-inch heel.)
    Bernie woos her,
    shoes and all,
    (B. doesn't let a
    stiletto stop him.)
    Starts to like
    the spiky things,
    tries them on...
    Girl is gone.

  8. Riding Boots

    We're riding boots.
    We don't wear out.
    We rarely touch the ground.
    In the ring
    On forest trails
    We mostly hang around.
    Riding rhythms of each horse
    Leather stirrups hold us in.
    We feel our rider on our soles.
    Who knew that feet could grin?

    © Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

  9. Tricia,

    Here's a poem from the "underlife" of shoes:


    We’re the well-worn soles of shoes
    reading all the sidewalk news.
    As we go along our way
    we broadcast headlines of the day:
    dots of rain
    wad of bubblegum
    bright stain
    of cherry popsicle
    that bled
    its sticky sweetness
    cool and red
    concrete cracked
    by root of tree
    telltale clue
    of injured knee
    ghost of ant
    whose remnants lie
    flattened from a passerby
    OH NO!
    Our bugaboo!
    We just stepped in doggy do!

  10. Here's mine:

  11. These are terrific. Especially the humor in Elaine's. I can see that becoming a childhood favorite.