Blog, Image-ine, poetry, visual poetry

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.


Purchase The Novelist, by L.L. Barkat now!

Your Comments

18 Comments so far

  1. Melissa Rubio says:

    Very beautiful :)

  2. L. L. Barkat says:

    Love the flame in heels :)

    That artwork is marvelous!

  3. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    I like so much of Nicola’s art; this piece could go so many ways. It was fun to come up with a poem invoking the effect of red shoes.

  4. Red Shoes

    At the heart,
    a little girl’s dream,
    standing high
    in heeled red shoes,
    takes her miles
    into her light
    where she is
    neither shelved
    with those shoes
    society imposes,
    nor toppled
    off the pedestal
    status builds
    Rather, with each
    balanced step, she
    rules the stars
    that twinkle in
    her mother’s eyes

  5. Deborah says:

    You achieve a lovely playful lightness here, Maureen! And the illustration is perfect – a winning combination.

  6. I love the sound of the tango in this poem, Maureen. The artwork is beautiful. Inspiring images in both pieces.

  7. Mixing a little NPR in with TweekSpeak. I love all the inspiration the muses share so freely. Thank you.

  8. 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

  9. Tracey 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

    • 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.

  10. 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!

Share with our Community

Post a comment

Take How to Read a Poem

Get the Introduction, the Billy Collins poem, and Chapter 1

How to Read a Poem by Tania Runyan

Free with tweet

Subscribe to our newsletter

Grab the Quote a Day Widget


Poetry for Life? Here's our manifesto on the matter...

Poetry for Life: The 5 Vital Approaches

Help make it happen. Post The 5 Vital Approaches on your site!

Learn to Write Form Poems

Whether or not you end up enjoying the form poem, we've seen the value of building your skills through writing in form.

One reader who explored the villanelle was even featured in Every Day Poems!

How to Write a Ballad

How to Write a Catalog Poem

How to Write a Ghazal

How to Write a Haiku

How to Write an Ode

How to Write a Pantoum

How to Write a Sestina

How to Write a Sonnet

How to Write a Villanelle

They Bring Poetry for Life

Meet our wonderful partners, who bring "poetry for life" to students, teachers, librarians, businesses, employees—to all sorts of people, across the world.

All top
I am

© 2015 . Powered by WordPress.

Daily Edition Theme by WooThemes - Premium WordPress Themes