Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Saturday, October 03, 2020

OctPoWriMo 3: If I Wore Glasses . . .

If I wore glasses while I slept,
would I see into the future, past the news anchors
who raise their voices, slightly hysterical,
as they probe the latest press releases,
the newest cases of Covid, the denials,
and the factoids that swim atop the truth.
Would I learn anything
about what comes next?

In my dreams, I travel again to Greece,
to Delphi, once considered the center of the world,
where on the hilltop stadium, chariots,
driven by the chosen, once competed in games.

Below, overlooking the valley,
I find the Oracle dedicated to Apollo,
its rounded columns of stone marked
“Know thyself,” and “Nothing in excess.”

I follow the nearby sacred stream to a cleft in the earth,
and breathe deeply into that wind of prophecy.
Like sybils of old, my words will not be heard
until spring. But, when I wake,
those words of promise vanish, like vapor.
I’m not heartened, even
when the scent of laurel
lingers in my room.

    Oracle at Delphi (Camp, 2004)

Memories of a sabbatical trip that Allen and I took, as independent travelers, to countries along the Mediterranean still flavor my writing when least expected. I hope you enjoy -- and join me -- in trying to write that poem each day of October. Celebrate!


  1. Great side by side evocation of the modern and the ancient approaches to healing. Poignant memories of Delphi, too!

  2. Oh Beth I can see you have itchy feet. I sleep with my specs on...and all this time I thought I was a visionary clairvoyant type:)