Poetry - Issue 15 | June 2012

Delphi

by Bonnie


Delphi

One day in this dry heat and we’re already
light-headed, what with the gigantic cleft
in the mountainside, the double rainbow,

constant tinkle of bells on invisible goats,
little spring pouring into a stone basin,
the dying fox beside the road, and

far below us, the silvery grove of olive trees.
We agree it’s easy to imagine radiant
Apollo striding up through the steep

valley on his way to kill the Python.
Early on the second day, we visit
ruined treasure houses, the Omphalus.

At the mouth of the Sibyl’s chamber,
I lean across the barrier into her
dark, cool, hewn room, whisper,

Why do we have to die?
Later, wine, lamb chops and to bed.
The dream woke me: your mother

(who died before we met) speaking
bright as a silver bell, We don’t.
In the morning, we drive down the valley

past goats grazing under ancient trees,
shadow and sunlight trading places,
the road second guessing itself

all the way to the little harbor
where we savour smelts, olives, and feta
in a pavilion at the edge of the sea.


About the author

Bonnie Bishop has lived in Italy and Greece and hitchhiked from Athens to Copenhagen. She has crossed Canada by train, marvelled at the terra cotta warriors in Xi’an, ridden an elephant in the jungle of Nepal and gazed at the Taj Mahal as the sun set and the full moon rose. Read her book, O Crocodile, (2013, Finishing Line Press).

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