The Delphic Oracle

"still busy accumulating influences"
- Lawrence Durrell

Aesthetically there is nothing much to see

except itself

a place of rich transgressions, tears

& insanity

It is built on two enigmas

neither decipherable

a sort of mute challenge

For once the sea

seems diminished

a light wheezy creaking

like a man rowing across water

Apollo killed the Dragon

& left the corpse

of the gigantic dead beast to rot

The atmosphere is so pure

one hears the stroke of his great wings

all other considerations seem confused

Once again the historians

begin to stammer

Is not truth two-sided?

While one is uneasy

it is not with a sense of fear

so much as a sense of premonition

One has sudden moments of panic

What is here, one feels

is intact in its purity

The long winding roads leading away

coil like the sacred serpent

towards the centre of the earth

[after Lawrence Durrell, Spirit of Place. Ed. Alan G. Thomas (1969)]

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