Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bleeding Olive Tree

This poem was an exercise for a creative writing course. We were assigned to write a poem that defends a particular group of individuals, idea, person, nation, etc, that either is in dire need of defending or would generally be regarded as my 'enemy' or antithetical to my beliefs. This piece was written from the point of view of the given 'defendee'.

*Artwork provided and created by Wes Butler

An olive tree stands outside my window,
its leaves silvery green,
its massive trunk gnarled and
twisted like the dreams of a feverish
child, and where its roots invade the brown soil,
I see blood overflowing,
this red liquid trickling down the hills of
Galilee, to inevitably stain the sea,
this blood coursing through both our
indistinguishable sun-weathered arms,
these appendages marked by
wrinkles, brown age spots, scars,
all a testament to our equality,
and yet our mutual hatred found
in this bloody battle for land
is always the victor, holding his hands
in the air, mocking us, taunting us.
I yearn to provoke him in return,
flailing my twin arms in the air,
with a white flag at the tip of my
fingers, this pristine cloth undulating
in the Mediterranean wind, dueling
with Hatred, but my weapon is feeble,
the white cloth falling to the blood-stained
ground like a discarded bloodied tissue,
one that has claimed defeat, but
my longing for a space where your
glimmering Uzis, green fatigues,
and sharp, pointed noses no longer occupy
my land, my home will never cease,
and so I bring a far heftier weapon to
our duel, I fight with my life,
and while the memory of my white flag
diminishes, you will remember me by
a startling roar, blazing flames,
all extinguished with saline tears.

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