Ariel and the Pythia
- pen, ink and graphite on heavy Bristol board - 75x90cm - 2014
the pictures above to see a larger image
first captivation (by the Pythia of Delphi)
that! She put out her hand
and plucked me from the air!
Free one moment: the next
Let me enlighten you.
I was caught by the prophetess; she was the first
to tame me. She never asked hard work of me;
I think I was the companion with whom time
might pleasurably be passed and understood.
And so her prophecies formed the texts
of my instruction on time and all mortality:
Each morning she would take her post, and read
requests for oracles; and answer: I was
her amanuensis, and wrote at her dictate.
I grew to understand the way her mind worked,
and followed the limpidity of her words
as she uttered them. But and this is true
the client never understood. Her forewarnings
were opaque until the end could be forestalled no more.
Then, a second too late, they were clear as knives.
She would smile, and let me look deep
into her deep grey eyes. I would spend the night
awake (I do not sleep) lying at her feet,
listening to her gentle breathing. At first light
she would give me my commission:
Take this, Ariel, and fly for me, she would say,
sealing the envelope. She knew my willingness.
Why am I telling you this? Well, you see,
I learned my educators semblance of duplicity.