SPANISH OLIVE TREE
You are a holy tree.
Your liquid gold anointed
the heads of prophets and kings.
Your silvery green leaf, a symbol of life and peace
was carried to Noah by the dove after the flood
and I remember other stories
from the long shadows of the garden,
in the bloody sweat of terror in the night;
the twisted bark my hand now rests on,
in this quiet valley of content.
For before he sent the dove,
Noah sent the raven through the thunder
to hover above the muddy ground.
Its keen sight pierced the darkness
then it swooped, breathless,
to scoop up the bodies from the sodden ground.
It brings me to sudden tears,
for those whose cup could not pass their lips,
whose lifeblood drained away,
or were uprooted and smothered
here in another Gethesemane
beneath this parched grey earth.
(From my book Siempre Siempre Siempre: Palores Publications ISBN 978-0-9556682-5-8).