Image-ine: Red Shoes

A girl can dream

of stepping out
on the High Road,

a flame in heels
that’ll steel no beau’s

heart. What laces
each ankle in place

she’ll turn to take
his fancy and he,

blood pressure rising,
will let her lead and whirl.

“Red Shoes,” acrylic on board, by Nicola Slattery. Used with permission. © Nicola Slattery. Poem by Maureen E. Doallas, author, Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems.


Try your hand?

Write a poem of your own, based on the painting by Nicola Slattery or choose a line from Maureen’s poem as a starting place. Post on your blog and link to us (we love that), or just drop your poems here in the comment box.


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  1. says

    Just So Many Shades of Red

    Click your heels three times
    and you might find yourself
    afloat in a dream landscape
    glittering with ruby

    Or maybe it’s being swept
    off your feet that you prefer,
    a fiery castigada
    in a tango ballroom

    Sure, you can still slip your foot
    on occasion
    into that scarlet suede peep-toe,
    just the elevation you need,

    or kick up your heels in kitten pumps,
    even if they’re no match for the pair,
    red as red could be,
    that got you through the better part
    of your twenties,
    neither too low nor too high to take you

    Just so many shades of red –
    Tuscan red
    Chinese red —
    only one the true fit, the right shade
    to lead you

  2. says

    Red satin tied
    Toes wrapped
    En pointe and fluttering
    Over the stage like
    A butterfly’s wings
    Moving, enticing, exhilarating
    Leaping and turning
    Slow then fast
    I cannot stop
    Until, the applause
    Thudding like my heart
    Filling up my soul
    Then the shoes come off
    They’re red on the inside too
    From my blood

    • says

      Tracey, thank you for your poem. I like how you’ve tied the red of the satin ribbon to the body’s energy in the beauty of movement and also to the physicality of the bleeding caused by wearing the toe shoes. Anyone who’s ever seen a ballet dancer’s feet understands that image.

  3. says

    Lovely poems – Tracey’s poem makes me think of the original Cinderella story and her sisters cutting off toes to try and get their feet into the shoe. Hope my work will inspire more poems. I like the quote “Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” Simonides

    Please take a look at my facebook page – link from my web site. Thanks and congratulations on a good choice for president!

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