Thirteen Ways of Looking at Shoes

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Shoes

i
shoes carry the world’s burdens.
in our time
few decisions that affect us all
are made by barefoot people.

ii
some people are like shoes.
you put them on
they fit
you smile.

iii
other people, like shoes,
can press you
hurt you
make you whimper.

iv
it’s not wise
to purchase shoes
on the Internet.
try them on first.
same with people.

v
some people
have many pairs of shoes.
others, only a few.
what’s important
is that they give you comfort.
friends are like that, too.

vi
as people age
they look for comfort
in a pair of shoes
and in their mate.

vii
when shoes wear out
on the inside
they are useless.
you should throw them away
even if, on the outside
they look fine.
when people wear out
on the outside
too often we throw them away
even though, on the inside,
they are beautiful.

viii
old people
may not wear
sexy shoes.
that doesn’t mean
they are not
on the prowl.

ix
people wear
different kinds of shoes
for different kinds of activities.
if you try to run
in 5” heels
you will fall.
if you try to tango
in steel-toed boots
you will step
on your partner.
resilience is a key indicator
of success.

x
shoes come in all colors
and sizes:
black
brown
yellow
white
red
big
small
wide
narrow.
diversity offers more choices.
that’s a good thing.

xi
if your shoes are too big
you may stumble.
if you are too big for your shoes
you will crash.

xii
shoes have their own
stories to tell.
they protect us
on our journey through life.
choose them with care.

xiii
don’t be afraid
to go barefoot
from time-to-time.
your shoes won’t mind.
touch Earth Mother
honor her
with your gratitude.

 

Image: Vincent Van Gogh Wikipedia Commons Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Image: Vincent Van Gogh
Wikipedia Commons
Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Today, for dVerse Meeting the Bar, Bjorn has us pretending to be cubists, using words rather than art media. I went through a spell years ago in which I wrote a number of poems based on Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at Blackbirds. For the moment, I’m sharing one of these that had been originally posted in 2011…so it’s been a while. I hope to come up with something new later today. Mine do tend to lean toward philosophical reflections rather than pure imagism.

Try it–it’s fun.

 

Art is Messy–dVerse Poetics

Chester Arnold in his Studio

Artist, Chester Arnold, in his Studio

This poem is about a problem–my problem. My office, writing space, is also my would-be art studio. And here’s the problem. I’m a perfectionist (borderline OCD?) and can’t write in a chaotic environment. I long to paint, but can’t endure the mess.

Today for dVerse Poetics, Grace prompts us to write to the amazing photographic display/art of Emily Blincoe. Her arrangements appeal to me for their organization, color, implied texture and pattern. In response, I share with you my (not-too-poetic) dilemma.

Art is Messy

I uncap each tube,
inhale deeply, feeling creativity
seep into my body
through the sense of smell.

Lay them out, then,
one-by-one,
color wheel-like:
red-orange-yellow
green-blue-purple
and all the shades
in-between.

S-t-r-e-t-c-h
that canvas
tight, tight-tighter yet.
Sort brushes
by number.
Drop cloth, easel,
light source.

Perfect.

Uncap tube.
Inhale emptiness.

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your beautiful work.

emily

Photo: Emily Blincoe

 

 

Goodbye, Old Friend

NPR

NPR

Goodbye, Old Friend

Lengthening shadow on the fairway.
He walks alone on that final hole.

We watch him leave—
It wasn’t so much the greatness of his game
as the integrity of his life,
the care he showed to each person.

His smile lights up the heavens.

Yesterday, the world of golf lost a King. Arnold Palmer, who made a lasting impact on the game in so many ways, finished his round. In life, the Grand Slam eluded him, yet still his record on the PGA tour was in every way impressive. But more so, his person. Arnold was a truly loving human being. I see that as being the Grand Slam of living.

I’m sharing this with dVerse Quadrille…my third link. Sorry if I overwhelm Mr. Linky, but this man is worth a tribute, even though the poetry is so-so.

arnie

Seamstress–dVerse Quadrille

Seamstress

She sits in her window,
in the old white rocker,
sewing shadow-memories
into a cohesive whole.

She’s alone now—
no one with whom to share
beauty, the texture of her life,
peppered with pain and giving.

Sunshine seeps through
half-opened blinds.
Still she waits.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons--Labeled for Non-commercial reuse.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons–Labeled for Non-commercial reuse.

A second Quadrille for De’s prompt at dVerse Poets’ Pub…a poem of 44 words, using the given word SHADOW. Please join us.

My original response to this prompt is here.

of a gray september day

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

of a gray september day

this early morning
(pewter-skied day),
i long for shadow-slices
undulating among rocky crags,
swooping into tree trunk crevices,
unraveling ribbons
of golden sunshine–
light tickled by grass threads.

yesterday, they clung sensually
to a solitary rose,
her beauty now swept
beneath a leaden shroud.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

My favorite prompt, the Quadrille, a 44-word poem (exactly, exclusive of the title)! This week De is looking for the word SHADOW in the poem itself. Stop by dVersePoets Pub with your Quadrille and sip delight by reading the submissions of other poets, sharing comments, too. The prompt is open all week.

 

poetry lurks outside my window–dVerse Open Link Night

12-9-14-006

poetry lurks outside my window

i
chickadees surprise
tree branches alive with dance
then only stillness

ii
outside my window
leaves don foliage for death
so many unknowns

iii
leaves—gold crimson bright
each one a work of beauty
too many ignored

iv
cupped, catching the rain
curled leaf-maws hold pure water
life-source for our thirst

v
what seems like dying
leaves fallen to earth in heaps
promises rising

vi
bare branches reach out
offer their fruit to wax wings
satin loveliness

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto Cedar Wax Wing

This is the day we get to play with poetry, any form, any topic, for dVerse Open Link Night, and I hope to see you there.

Autumn has crept in. This morning 37 degrees and windy and I had to cut short my walk, letting my North Dakota-born husband finish the route with the dogs. By the end of the week, it’s supposed to be up in the 80’s again. That’s how it is in Northern Nevada. 

 

Listening Woman–dVerse Poetics

Listening Woman

Image: Wikipedia Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Image: Wikipedia
Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Thirteen of us sit in a circle around Darleen, our friend of Native American descent, our friend who shared a deep spiritual journey with us that was different from what we knew. Over the months she shared the beauty of the American Indian traditions—beauty that enriched our own understanding of the Great Spirit without taking anything from our own beliefs. Beauty that helped us to behold the wonders of creation with fresh insight.

Today, she introduces us to the talking stick. A large hawk feather wrapped around a stick with leather and beads. It is used in tribal councils, and for our purpose in group discussion. The stick is passed around the circle to the person who wants to share her views. Only the person holding the stick is allowed to speak. Everyone else listens.

eagle feather soar
words born of thoughtful silence
spirit wisdom speaks

Posting a 2nd poem, a haibun,  for my feather prompt at dVerse Poetics.