Like a legion of ancient
Roman soldiers
suffering silence in the sun
an ancient olive grove
stands boldly, face to face
with the pressing, midday
Mediterranean heat

For nearly 20 centuries
it waits, tirelessly
for the searing star’s command
as undaunted by passing
thoughts of time & death
as it is content to thrive
putting down roots
ever deeper
at a rate of one foot more
for every passing century

Proffered trunks
like chiseled chests
stand firm
stand tall
thick undulating limbs
buck coltishly
‘gainst the shifting, sand-hewn
swords of pressing winds
outward, upward
towards the sapphire summer sky
rolling leaves viridian
on the one side
shimmer silver on the next
flamboyant tongues flicker
urging peace with life’s rhythms
surrender to its flow
its feasts, its famines
its dawning, its dusk
in silent harmony
I might have heard
them sing..

Dance dauntlessly
in the fierce
and biting wind
friskily, like a sea of rippling silver leaves
in the sweet and gently
shifting breeze, Be quick
to make waves of joy
of rage! Bear fruit
– abundantly
then in silence, yield
to each and every
pulsating caress
of the glistening, fire-white
fecund, golden star