Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Zywa Feb 2023
As a child I roamed

the grounds, barefoot through puddles --

and I still do that.
"Het Bureau - Het A.P. Beerta-Instituut" ("The Office - The A.P. Beerta-Institute", 1998, Han Voskuil), page 130

Collection "Not too bad [1974-1989]"
Mark Toney May 2021
concrete jungle heat
suffocating cityscape
~ bare feet loving grass

Mark Toney © 2021
Poetry form: Haiku - Mark Toney © 2021
Payton Hayes Feb 2021
Tell me, what is it like,
to crooked-roll the dice, to
always get snake-eyes, to keep
slipping on  ice?

Tell me why he talks, tell
me why he walks, the
way he does, like he's barefoot
on the coals.
He's barefoot on the rocks.

All those dice sit in your cup.
"C'mon girl, just fill 'er up."

And tell me why he laughs
at all those broken hands,
          and broken hearts,
      and palms of sand,
and crooked dice,
that fell, through
cracks, and on the lines,
out of their hands, into your eyes.

You said, "Sometimes, I see better,
when the sand up here is wetter. That girl
tried to take the gritty pain away —I didn't let her."

"The sand I put there, in her eyes," he said, "reminded her
of all her lies, and I never did forget her."
This dream poem was written in 2016.
Honestly, I don't even remember the dream this was based on, but it has a neat rhythm!
Maria Mitea Sep 2020
On the other side of the village, there lived an old woman.
Every day, she walked barefoot on a country dusty road,
passing by our neighborhood.

In the summer, we played all day long in the dust,
We, curious children, asked:
- Why do you walk barefoot when every villager wears sandals?

She didn’t answer, she didn’t speak.

We, waggish kids, threw at her feet thorny branches.

One day my mother heard us giggling in front of the gate,
as we planned an attempt to hide some stones in the dust,
and cover it well, make it unnoticed, wondering if she can hit her feet,
bleed and scream from pain, and scorn us all ...

“ Why do you do these children?
Don’t you have any respect for old people?

You better ask her  those words of healing, only she knows in this village!”

Big curiosity, and fearful eyes, looked at each other.

The next day, all children in the neighborhood were waiting for the barefoot “witch”  

It rained for one week!
When it stopped raining,
She walked barefoot again.
She walked towards me.

Silence dropped down from the sky,
and silence rose up from the ground,
and trees stopped moving their branches,
the leaves watched her touch my forehead.
My heart stopped beating.

She touched my forehead and after whispering to herself,

“ White little bird, fly in the sky, fly back to the ground,
touch the hard rocks,
White little bird, swim in your mother’s milk,
breathe fire in your wings,
breathe fire in your wings,
fly again into the blue sky, and again return on the ground”
I never learned those words she whispered to herself, but
I have repeated them every day since then.
Patterson Jun 2020
There is something undeniable about this new aesthetic:
Barefoot and barely presentable
as I slow-dance in the kitchen at 3am
Nobody but me, my shadow and a gentle grey kitten who patiently watches me pour another cup of coffee.
I stir in cinnamon,
a taste that's heedy and all too sweet against the roof of my mouth.
So strong it makes me want to gag,
and yet I sing under my breath:
old tunes I have no business remembering
and lullabies brought to me on the wind
[singing] all you have is fire
-and the place you have to reach.

My mother wanted a girl she could put together like a jigsaw.
A girl who would sit still and patiently endure
the effort it took to construct
the perfect plat, perfect updo
perfect winged eyeliner, perfect blush
perfect poise, perfect dress,
Perfect daughter.
Instead she had me
a muddled and confused thing
with a tangled mess of curls and eyes that couldn't quite look away.
Something with ***** fingers that knew the give and take of every leaf and blade of grass
something that couldn't sit still on creaking church pews
because for all the beauty they pursued, she'd seen the unmatched grace of rolling thunder
and the indisputable life of the ocean.
While other girls watched the boy chase the girl to a perfect kiss
she worshiped the women who took up their weapons and refused to keep their peace. - A child raised on a steady diet of Victorian poetry, Greek myth and poison. Stitched together with images of Artemis, Scottish women and a heathenish name.

My mother would lead me in prayer each night before bed, hoping against all hope to change what was in me. But my father made me wonder if I could be a knight one day, taught me to sing their vows of honour and justice during those ungodly hours when sleep was far.
The hours when his blood called to us both in its ancient tongue. The hours where his stories became my Bible. The hours when the smell of lemongrass and rain filled the house.
The hours when I would be barefoot and dancing in the kitchen
Barely presentable yet undeniably free.
It's 12 June and finally I am starting to come to better places. Finally I am beginning to sleep without sleeping tablets. Finally I am beginning to do what's best for my mental health.
Lily Apr 2020
let’s live our lives

let’s live our lives like
small children,
children so precious that their simple presence
evokes tears in the eyes of the most
stoic father,
so precious that the image of them
snoring softly in their Thomas the Tank Engine bed
causes the stressed mother to smile a mile,
so precious that when one of them
pushes back the blonde, wispy hair of the other
the photographer can’t help but laughing as she
captures the moment

let’s live our lives like
children who are not afraid of nails and rocks
in the backyard, but who are
obsessed with finding that elusive
white grasshopper that their uncle
promised was there,
like children who endure countless foot baths every day
in the heat of summer but the pads still blister
and their feet still turn brown
but they don’t care,
like children who have just smelled a flower
for the first time, who have experienced the
sharp pain of a first bee sting,
like children who are in awe as a deer
peeks quizzically at them from above the bush,
tail twitching, eyes twinkling

let’s live our lives like
children who make up odd games that
they remember years later, a complicated one that involves
Patty Cake, jump rope, tag, and somehow
hop scotch and charades as well,
like children who wander away from their house
for many hours, exploring like Columbus,
drawing detailed maps of their small neighborhood,
beautiful crayon stick figures dotting the horizon,
like children who capture and dote on an assortment of
toads, grasshoppers, frogs, moths, and butterflies,
like a child who thinks the worst sin is to
**** an animal that the Lord has made

let’s live our lives like children, with a
loving and unwavering faith in the Savior,
with eyes unaltered by the
whips and thorns of life,
with minds unchanged by the
Judas Iscariot’s of this Earth

let’s live our lives like
small children

let’s live our lives
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
English Translations of Russian Poems by Vera Pavlova


I shattered your heart;
now I limp through the shards
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Winter―a beast.
Spring―a bud.
Summer―a bug.
Autumn―a bird.
Otherwise I'm a woman.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Immortalize me!
With your bare, warm palm
please sculpt and mold my malleable snow.
Polish me until I glow.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


on the one hand joy;
on the other sorrow.
Sorrow is weightier;
therefore joy
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


A muse inspires when she arrives,
a wife when she departs,
a mistress when she’s absent.
Would you like me to manage all that simultaneously?
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Stone Wall

You, my dear, are my shielding stone:
to sing behind, or bash my head on.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Remember me as I am this instant: abrupt and absent,
my words fluttering like moths trapped in a curtain.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


I have been dropped
and fell from such
immense heights
for so long that
perhaps I still
have enough
time to learn
how to
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

God saw
it was good.
Adam saw
it was impressive.
Eve saw
it was improvable.
—Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Three versions of Vera Pavlova's "tightrope" poem:

I test the tightrope,
balancing a child
in each arm.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I walk a tightrope,
balanced by a child
in each arm.
—Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I test the tightrope,
balanced by a child
in each arm.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Vera Pavlova is a Russian poet. Born in Moscow, she is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in music history. She is the author of twenty collections of poetry, four opera librettos, and the lyrics to two cantatas. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker and other major literary publications. Keywords/Tags: Pavlova, Russian, translations, epigrams, woman, female, shards, seasons, scales, tightrope, child, arm, sorrow, joy, shattered, heart, broken, glass, limp, limping, barefoot, snow, sculpt, mold, polish
Mohammed Arafat Dec 2019
The main street whitened.

It’s snowing outside,

in this moonless evening.

Squirrels look out their burrows.

Owls try to find shelters on top of the high leafless trees.

Across the Street, walks a homeless boy,


trying to cover himself with his arms.

No family, no house, no toy.

Walking barefoot into suburbs,

is his thing.

Nothing left but his memories.

Nothing left but his nightmares.

Nothing left but his fear.

He walks on the wet asphalt,

and the cold mud.

He looks into windows,

finding a different world;

babies cradled,

others put to sleep,

kids fed,

while playing together,

behind the closed doors,

happily, around their parents,

and around the dining set.

The smells,

of winter dishes spread.

Inciting his appetite.

He lost his family,

Because of, either, devastating wars,

or unfair starvation,

either after reaching the shore,

or before asking for immigration.

Mohammed Arafat

No matter the degree of happiness we reach, homeless kids should be remembered.
Chantell Wild May 2019
He bought her sandals.
The best ones she ever had.
They were hers and
she loved them.

She was the barefoot
kind of girl.

It came to her
that he had laid a path
for her to tread upon
by gifting her with shoes..

It was up to her
to take the first step.
And to keep walking.

On land
Across the sky
And through the mind.

Keep walking
until the time comes
to stand still again.

To take off the sandals
and feel grass underfoot.
I forgot my broken sandals at the home of somebody special and he bought me a new pair.
Next page