Older Poems (#2)


The Great Maps of the World as Trodden by Foot

I wonder how many centuries of feeling are held in the grooves of the foot?
There once was a man who hadn’t worn shoes for seven years.
He trekked over mountains, and treaded desert powder
with the familiarity of an old friend,
the walking paths etched in his hardened skin.

I too must circumnavigate the earth.
I’ll unbuckle my shoes and walk barefoot
down the narrow city laneways
past the stencils of political tricksters,
navigating the labyrinths
where the concrete bumps and buckles
from the escaped roots of trees.
The hard, cool bluestone under my soles,
the Weeping Lovegrass tickling my toes.

Talus: the uppermost foot bone forming the ankle joint
with the tibia and fibula.

Calcaneus: the largest foot bone, forming the heel.
Formally known as the calcaneum or os calcis.

Navicular, sesamoid and cuboid bones: the first a little ship
navigating the footpaths of the world,
The second a small seed stuck between toes,
the third a cube: origin unknown.

Phalanges: the bones of the toes, two for the great toe
and three for the others.

They help connect the foot to the ground and the leg to the foot.
I must tread the earth carefully.
Walk barefoot.

Published in Invisible City.
Issue 5 Mapping. 9-10.
and with Tom Civil and Sherry Mclean
in Neopoetry: Poetry/Audio/Video AV Compilation,
curated by Rebecca Canon, 2004.