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Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, now living in Cheshire, England. I started to write poetry nine years ago, as a hobby. I have enjoyed that new venture very much. My preferences are for long and micro-form poetry styles. A first book of poetry ~ Reason Without Rhyme, was published in December 2013. A second book ~ Fifty Seven Pebbles, was published in September 2015...I am presently compiling the content for my third book. Thank you for visiting my Blog which is regularly updated. COPYRIGHT: The entire copyright and content of this Blog belongs to the author Eileen T O'Neill. Nothing should be copied, reproduced or hosted as per RSS feed by any other party. {This particularly applies to the USA company Feedspot.com}

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Retired Boots....

My two grandfathers both wore similar boots,
Laced up tightly and tied around their ankles.
Black heavy boots, habitually worn every day,
Many miles were walked before bedtime hours.
Imprints of the earth’s soil laden into their soles,
The toil of the land engrained into leathery hands.
Journeying between outlying abodes of kith and kin,
Tough old boots knew undulating countryside tracks.
Country men had a particular look in style and attire,
Trousers hitched high with stripey braces held at waist.
One had a white curly moustache and always wore a suit,
Both smoked ceramic pipes, filled with blended tobaccos.
Childhood memories were happy when visiting grandfathers,
They recounted stories which held my awe in great suspense.
In later years, the pairs of boots became vacant and unused,
Grandfathers and their worlds became static and chair bound.
Life no longer required old habits attached to working boots,
Comfy slippers became the uniform of more sedentary years.

©Copyright Eileen T O’Neill 14/01/2015
Poetry Jam Prompt: ‘Shoes or Feet.


  1. I enjoy this reminiscence, Eileen. I can just picture those black, heavy work boots they used as they worked the land. I like the description of their work attire too. Similar to the attire of similar men in the USA at that period as well. And, ah the work boots eventually unused....I guess it happens to the best of men (and women). Everyone eventually ends up with those comfy slippers and chair bound. Sigh.

  2. shoes also, clearly, have their statements to make

    much love

  3. This is a great tribute to your grandfathers, portraying them using their boots first and then expanding the image. Your poem also reminded me of the stories my own grandfather used to tell. A great poem!

  4. You have draw a picture, here, of the archetypal patriarch in the pre-nuclear, family of the last century where threads of stories, simple pleasures, familiar smells and work ethic were passed down by the heads of the extended family - the grandfathers. An affectionate and inspired piece of writing, Eileen.

  5. What wonderful memories of your grandfathers.

    I hope I can pass that work ethic down to my grandchildren.

  6. What a great way of establishing a story attached to working boots. Working boots for a working man or women. Nice.

  7. And aren't the boots what we as children notice first...after all they are easier for children to see than adult faces.

  8. Eileen,
    I am sure your gandfathers would thoroughly enjoy this poem.
    Such a nice tribute to them.
    Wonderful ...
    Happy New Year

  9. shoes are a function of our environment...harsh environment calls for different shoes than the beach....and it depends on our own needs as well...my grandfather was a fireman so he had his boots by the door...so huge and clunky...and we used to try them on...

  10. I like these memories of your grandfathers and their working boots, their style and lives. I was very fond of my grandmother's shoes as well and almost wrote about them.

  11. Grandpa boots. What a lovely memory! (Wish I had my father's old army boots.)

  12. The memories of grandparents always fond. Beautiful poem

  13. How life changes and the seasons are reflected in boots, makes you remember the precious and hope for the future.


I appreciate visits to this Blog and any comments left. I shall always endeavour to reciprocate. Thank you, Eileen