Poems by Siblings

Photo by Cristina Byrne | Actress Alyssa Lou Ann Allen

Photo by Cristina Byrne | Actress Alyssa Lou Ann Allen

I’m a warrior.

I’m a women with dark fire within.

I’m lifting up mountains and praising the gods under the sun while I sing.

This land’s an unfortunate gift we’ve been given,

One that we’ve squandered away.

I fight to define her,

I carry her,

and protect her.

Keeping the demons I can at bay.

- Larissa Nemeth

Photo by Andrew Tanglao

Photo by Andrew Tanglao

You think you’ve stared into my soul,

Do you?

            Watched me exchange trainers

for my teacher heels

under my desk;

            contrived to sneak

up behind me to snigger

                                         while I clicked

in haste to class, late for lesson two.

 But rewind and you disappear like an overexposed ghost; it’s just me and my own two

feet in the dawn,


                             to socks

                             to soles

And that combination clicks

like a train

on rails

            I’m on my way, cushioned in sneakers

waiting for a bus in cold iron light, ground firm beneath my heels

 We’ve been trained

our whole lives to

bear the scars of these pink and puckered heels.

From Payless to red soles,

celluloid sneaks

stiletto spikes encircling our imaginations;

they corral, they protect, they beat us back into ugly cliques.

 You’re a woman?  You choose.

Stand out like two fingers clicked

at you with your tray of champagne in hand, or

                                                                               slide onto a last chance train

carriage unnoticed? sneak

or walk tall? fade to

chameleon gray or hobble through your night as the life and soul-

from which wounds will you faster begin to heal?

 Then there’s the fear, the Achilles Heel.

YOU CAN’T WIN is tattooed up your calf and it’s just clicked

that no matter what’s in your soul

or how hard you train

or how much you have to

give, you’re damned

at ground level or six inches closer to god, not safe in platforms or sneakers

  And whether sneakers

or heels,

or sandals, or square toes-

like the beating of an underfloor heart, the click-

the stomp – they reverberate, build me up as I train

to separate mind body and sole.

  Yes.  I see you sneaking your way up to the cliques

At the top, the eschelons of power, hell round a boardroom table,

Straining to appear alpha.  I may switch shoes when it suits. 

                                                                                                But you

                                                                                                Have swapped your soul.

-Leah Mullen

Photo by Cristina Byrne

Photo by Cristina Byrne

To whose fingers play the music

I bow for style

The rhythm upset my ears

The lyrics left me blind

Notes had me resigned

Neither matters

For in the end it is

The strum that has us combined

Twisted and rubbed

Take a look at these hands

They are not even mine

And yet here I am binded and blinded

Able to sway

Here, music for all.

- Thomas Byrne

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30 means,

Italian food,

Spanish wine,

French kisses,

And an Irish bar.

30 means,

live happily,

grow naturally,

dream freely,

And speak honestly.

30 means,

Less of over there

And more of over here!

30 means,

whatever I want it to mean

defined by me!

-Cristina Byrne


Poetry Project: Shoes

Illustration by    Bruna Mebs

Illustration by Bruna Mebs

Dr. Martens 8 Eyes

By Larissa Nemeth

These boots they have tongues

And speak volumes

 they say

Fuck you 

Or fuck me.

They take me miles.

Through dirt, city grime

Up mountains

Down alleys.

Do you hear their heavy heels?


Where we have gone

Where we are eager to go.

In shirt, pants and jacket

Still naked without them.

Like a warrior cinderella

This pair is my sole mate.

Combat-ready but steady wishing for peace.


For the Love of Shoes

By Christina Ihnken

 Head over heels only happens in flip flops,

Falling in love, that still requires real shoes.


Collect all the colors, brown, white, red, and black,

On a plastic shoe rack, arrange them neatly,

Put yourself on display completely.


The ones you love dearest, bring them everywhere you go,

That’s what the trunk of your car was secretly designed for.

Never confuse comfort with fit, fearlessly face buyer’s remorse and regret.


Scuffs and scars inside and out, worn out tongues,

Uneven base, old shoe boxes filled with faded receipts,

A crisp love letter as proof for stumbling into playful pitter-patter.


Your cobbler knows you better than your bar tender.

Are a pair of shoes soulmates, and we are the third wheel?

Barefoot, the new trendsetter, hide your sole but reveal how you feel.


A Start to Unfinished Shoe Poems

By Cristina Byrne

Sometimes I wear them,

And sometimes I don’t.


So, what is the occasion?

I need to remember to think of the season

And does it go with what I am wearing.

 Do you think I should change them?


 Are they real?

Or are they fake?

Said a kid about some other kids Puma’s.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“Just look at them, they look fake.”

They look like real shoes to me!


Apparently, Billy Joel says,

“Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers,

You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers.”

Yet, Wale (the rapper) gives this good advice,

“If they’re gonna judge you for life

Say we can’t always be fly

We gon’ be good long as them sneakers white.”

 And wasn’t there a story in Narcos,

About Pablo’s mom stealing a pair of shoes

So he wouldn’t get made fun of in school.


Some have many and some have few

Some have old and some have new.

So, “Where do my sneakers go at night?”

I know, I know,

Where you left them last,

 Or up someone’s ass.

So, if the shoes fits

don’t quit,

take a stand and lend a hand!