The Shoe Leather Express

Writing and Comedy from James Harris

Category: Poetry

Nine Lives

Another year passes and I am not famous
Rather listless, beset by hidden rages. Best stay in,
Picking out the past on melancholy’s string.

Now the string picks out another, the afternoon your car
Left you at a country lay-by, standing contrite,
like Madame bobbing apples, who came up without a bite.


I made it shine
But you didn’t love me
So I let the snow fall.
But still, you didn’t love me
So I became a snowflake
And joined it all.

Lightheaded IIed

The wilderness

He fell into the mass of men
And cynicism sustained him:
Drank deeply from that bitter cup
And every time it tasted good.

Saying, ‘Cynicism, you’re my sun,
You help me through the death of friends,
Because of you I believe in only rain
The wilderness and thoughts of love.’

After the election

The whole city felt built on vanity that weekend, and
Even to write a line like cracking rocks. To tell lies
Though was easy, and they did so, the white-shirted
Traders unsure why their hearts were unmoved.
David Cameron meanwhile just didn’t get that
A certain person didn’t want to hear him talk about money
But more to watch boats on the crystal-sludged Thames.
Down there, a man was building a sandcastle
On which he’d written ‘Take pic, leave tip,’ and as he chiseled
From time to time the brown coins rained down.

Image at

       Image from mazz_56 at pixabay.

New York and London

New York and London they dream of each other
And when one rises the other’s in bed,
Neat New York which peers over the ocean
Tucking its skyscrapers in. And London
The businessman is sure to come calling
To the place he remembered Liberty last;
London and New York will dream of each other
Until the ocean rises, till the cities fall.