Poem to Pythia; Beyond the Veil

Beneath the precipice, and below the affecting spires that hold fortune captive,

I drench my bells and silks and tattered scrolls in briny fumes.

Their steady whispers enter and dwell inside the corners of my ears,

and sidle their way into the fissures along my frontal lobe.

The pious smoke held your eyes to mine, a crystalline divide between the Earth and Apollo’s skies

that reach—up—up—up— beyond the veil.

Among stone slates, and betwixt cobalt steels and gilded tribute,

I catch stars in minor cracks that slink along walls of this room.

They show me blights and hollowed scores within this cave of disquieted spears,

and knead their way into the legends I’m fated to unfold.

A crevice dives with plunging curves, granting visions of roving springs and long-enduring deeps

that drift—down—down—down—beyond the veil.

They appear gently, and stoop as buckled shields upon the rungs and walks,

I grasp their laurel and gaze into holy founts portending doom.

Your goat shivers and hums upon the marble altar, a ghastly mask of fear,

and bleats out loud when by silver blade his neck-skin onward lolls.

Man’s questions issue from aching mouths, hoping Apollo favors thoughts both meek and profound

that sound—up—down—up—beyond the veil.

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