THE ARCHITECTURE OF PLACE
at Delphi 2010
We are part of it –
at break of day, we dwell in certain ruin.
Sunlight shafts between stone.
Spired cypress, goddess-sacred,
stand as shadow to columns
cut from the mottled granite mountain.
From these heights, we look down
upon a river, lined with olive groves,
snaking its way to the Gulf of Corinth.
One bird is singing its heart out
from the top of Apollo’s temple.
In the otherwise silence,
we ask the Oracle why all this
– the sun’s rising, lost glory, the beauty of relic –
matters so to us.
In a pungent trance, she does not answer.
Yet the riddled thought comes to us –
all the small green hopes
seeded in feathered droppings
take root and reach,
fracture the face of things.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
What was trail disappears among rock and slide.
Unable to see what lies ahead,
I search for sure footing – no blue diamond
mark on bark, no cairn or arrow. Venture
into the unknown, full of trepidation –
all I know is to keep going. Reaching
the summit, then descending,
I can see a far way down. The trail
now obvious as yellow bricks,
dropped bread crumbs, a puma’s spoor.
Not because I’d passed this way
before – no, nothing,
no stone turned or branch broken,
looks familiar. Of course,
the trail is more visible, peering
down from a higher vantage.
But in this sudden seeing, it’s as if
the chronology of unfolding matters –
the random twists and turns
take on the look of cause and effect,
form a pattern – like a child’s
the moral of a fable – laid out
behind and before me all along.