Saturday, July 23, 2011

Golden Boot



Golden Boot


Shoeless skinwalking
through a headstone garden
leaves no footprints
one by one disappearing; finds
no peace gravebrought
no bullets chambered in love.

Guns, war
and money dry up
the green earthbound
shadows, the blue springs
welled in the iris
of the single eye.

Forevernight creeps in,
in mushroom shoes
frogsfeet shadows
skull chaplet of sorrows,
with her autumn’s prey
rolling in castoff tumbleweeds

across the broken earth,
the shuffle of
her chaosskin soles
the antediluvian hissing
of pterodactyl wings
rubbing against leathered bone.

The world puts on
a golden boot lined
with nails, eats the stone
from a green absinthe cherry.
Guns and money grow
the hollow tree, steel leaved,

where our barefoot bodies
hang, the red swinging fruit
leaving no trace
one by one disappearing
no peace gravebought,
no bullets chambered in love.



July 2011



Posted for  Poetics  at dVerse Poets Pub

Brian Miller's prompt this week, On your Feet, featuring inspiration from Willie Cole's artwork, is to write a poem about shoes. (Not sure this is what he had in mind, but this is what happened.)



To see the image close-up of The Worrier, 
© Willie Cole, which inspired this poem, please visit

31 comments:

  1. Whoa! This is spectacularly good. I am in awe. Too good to even choose lines - they're all perfection, and amazing.

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  2. Oh Hedge...that chills my heart. Kudos!

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  3. skinwalking, gravebrought, forevernight and especially chaosskin soles... really cool how you did that!

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  4. Great write..esp.loved the penultimate stanza...chilling, sad & thoughtful...and all too true in this battered world of ours..well writ.

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  5. The golden boots indeed, how layered is that statement? Another wonderful piece with depth that can tunnel into this dark soul! I still am in awe on how you do it, though I am learning! Thanks for sharing, always glad to read your pieces!

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  6. Oh my! This is what happens when our attention is turned to the world, especially with the events of this weekend. Joy, as always, I am so humbled when I visit your space and read your work. I sincerely hope to know my own voice the way you so proudly display yours. I think this is an absolutely fantastic, and much needed, response to the prompt.

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  7. Oh my. Such strong, unique images in this thought-provoking poem, Joy. Deep sigh, here.

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  8. Forevernight creeps in,
    in mushroom shoes
    frogsfeet shadows
    skull chaplet of sorrows,
    with her autumn’s prey
    rolling in castoff tumbleweeds

    I'll avoid quoting the whole thing back to you as I loved it all. Marvelous, multivalent, and magnificent!

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  9. Willie Cole's work is so cool. Your poem is a great poetic response to The Worrier with its feeling of pain and compression. I really like how you've compounded words together to do for poetry what he did with shoes for sculpture.

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  10. oh snap hedge this is filled with delicious imagery...the golden nailed boot...tight...i think my fav lines are...

    the shuffle of
    her chaosskin soles
    the antediluvian hissing
    of pterodactyl wings
    rubbing against leathered bone.

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  11. I love "frogsfeet shadows." Love it.

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  12. Images abound in this poem! Succulent to savor!

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  13. The Native American tales of Skinwalkers are scary, but not as scary as the world you've described here.The first two lines of the final stanza are disturbing and stunning.

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  14. I have some favorite lines here like,
    "Forevernight creeps in,
    in mushroom shoes..."

    And, that ending is powerful.

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  15. As always you took me to a liminal place :) love the imagery

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  16. With skinwalking, gravebrought, forevernight,
    chaosskin, steel leaved, (the near
    Billie Holiday reference to
    StrangeFruit with "red swinging fruit"
    I think the score for new coinages
    here is higher than my current
    "bejeweled" one, honeypie. You definitely win
    today my dear. Thank you, Gay

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  17. Thanks Gay, and Mark and everyone else who mentioned it. Hope I didn't make the words too obtrusive--I tried to include a lot of words that are normally combined into one and blend them all in together--footprints, earthbound, castoff, tumbleweeds, headstone, skinwalking, barefoot, etc. I thought it fit the idea of feet inside shoes, both in pairs together. And yes, there's a Billie Holiday nod, for sure.

    Thanks to all who stopped by, read and commented on this dark little pair of slippers dancing armageddon's ballet.

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  18. a powerful shivering poetry... my best lines are:

    The world puts on
    a golden boot lined
    with nails, eats the stone
    from a green absinthe cherry.

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  19. a truly powerful poem - in reading the comments everyone is taken by a different part of the poem...the stanza that struck me was the last..the

    the barefoot bodies
    hang,the red fruit swinging
    leaves no trace

    all is lost over time....love, war and who or waht we are....bkm

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  20. Very powerful poem. I agree with Mark's observation about the effect of your compound nouns, much like the sculpture by Willie Cole.

    David

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  21. Opening lines sure pack a punch...

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  22. Favorite stanza:
    "across the broken earth,
    the shuffle of
    her chaosskin soles
    the antediluvian hissing
    of pterodactyl wings
    rubbing against leathered bone."

    This is really amazing and inspiring to me. Great write!

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  23. You're best -- and scariest -- OK, at the eagle-altitude of your best -- getting your verbal vat of invective at full boil. Disgust at all that is destructive in our species dances throughout the poem in lines at full boil:

    ... The world puts on
    a golden boot lined
    with nails, eats the stone
    from a green absinthe cherry.
    Guns and money grow
    the hollow tree, steel leaved,

    where our barefoot bodies
    hang, the red swinging fruit
    leaving no trace...


    You do let nature cover over our sins, perhaps like grave-dirt, or simply the dust of time -- "forevernight" "in mushroom shoes" and "frogsfeet shadows." Earth, hopefully, will survive our golden boots, though we may not.

    For me, the inflections of the invective here trace bloody boot-prints all over Utoya Island for me -- Ragnarok as, strangely, a militant Christian crusade against Valhallas of every pagan stripe ... Another dogmatic with an automatic rifle, rife with the justice of a deranged God. Sigh. I wanted to write a poem like this today -- maybe about a pile of victims' shoes in a heap by the waters' edge - but I'm just too damn tired of it all. Glad you did, though. Let's hang the *#$#-er upside down from Yggdrasil and read these ranns to the him. -- Nah, he'd be singing hymns of Heaven's gold glories too loudly to hear... - Brendan

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  24. This is stunning, Joy. Absolutely stunning.

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  25. This is an amazing write. Thank you so much!

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  26. Many thanks all. About to go do a second round on the prompt. It's been amazing seeing all the very different takes.

    @B: Thanks for the kind comment, and for totally getting it. The kind of ragnarok beast the gunman represents is the all-devouring wolf that swallowed Odin whole, perhaps. Something voracious and insatiable that in its own eventual destruction, still manages to take out our best with it. I saw this beast slain once in a certain Timothy McVeigh, but apparently it doesn't stay dead, either.

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  27. Amazing, Joy. I can only repeat all the compliments others have offered. This world is a scary place and I can relate to Brendan's being so tired of it. Raw evil smiling as it slits throats. You are so talented.

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  28. Thanks, Ann. much appreciated I am often too weary of it to write about it, too--every so often though it spills out.

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  29. AKA Tom Eliot:

    Truly, a great piece of writing.
    I could read this again and again... i have already and will do again.

    So many great lines. The repeat - no bullets... stunning!

    Accomplished and inspirational - u r da bees knees!
    You have made this poetry junkie very fuzzy headed.

    Looking forward to reading more of your work.

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  30. took my breath away then kneed me in the gut! stunning, powerful and terrifying!

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg