Feet are flesh

and have been flesh

for thousands of years.


      Saying wisdom is fresh

is the vanity of a present-age.

Better minds have spoken before,

challenged their own authority and

didn’t take death as seriously as

we do.

      Keeping honour was the only

crucial wealth, reciprocity and

the graciousness from host to guest.

      Mothers loved and mothers grieved

with same weight of worry of motherhood,

and lovers held hands, wishing for great blessings

to match their great love.

      Music was poetry and poetry was

the greatest gift of all bestowed, poetry

to keep humanity sane, stretching

further into the heights of immortality.

       Feet wore sandals, raced across

Mediterranean shores. Hands

were always hands too,

beautiful, complex, useful.

      Healers were rock-like with equal

shadows and solidity, attached to the earth,

rituals woven from the lion’s breath.

      Warriors too, took their virtue from

the mountains, climbed and often leaped –

breaking bones, arresting their pulses, lusting for fame

and a good afterlife.


My feet are soft like many who have feet I know.

Compassion still counts as the highest offering

offered from one to another.

The suffering of one resonates,

relatable across centuries –

a doorway-understanding

to the suffering of all.



Copyright © 2020 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Rasa Literary Review” August 2020



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


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