Picking Olives

April 30, 2017

Picking Olives

Angle Vale


A sky hot April morning

hens scratch from stifling sheds

behind the rust and wire of their yard


earth is burred with brown couch

and the sharp spines of caltrop

red ants cross-hatch red clay


orange buckets and a yellow rake

under the dull green shade

of a leafed-in harvest


black Kalamata

half the old Greek farmer’s thumb

swung load of purple fruit


six small cuttings

smuggled from Skiros in his singlet

that dreamed a future out of dust


this could be somewhere else

stretching into an ancient arbor

of afternoon


pomegranate, fig, and quince

to where a dog's bark defines distance

and a handful of olives – the moment.



Picking Olives

Sandy Creek


There are barely two colours: green and grey.

The first, of dull drab olive from the hill;

and secondly, a close knit-sky that weighs

above the trees a massive crop of chill:

a long canvas the old man borrows from-

to pull beneath the trees. And she, whose shape

now questions the ground for answers takes on

a small grizzled piece of the same cloth to cape

her hair and shoulders. See with their sticks

and pails what strange creature they are become-

who mine the long ripe hedge and heavy pick

of hidden fruit. Winter winds its own numb

sheet about the scene - hemmed with wind and rain.

Two pale ghosts who harvest summer days again.



©Jeff Guess 2017




Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

What are the 'Essentials' of a Good Poem? - Markings 150

May 15, 2019

Please reload

Recent Posts

April 28, 2020

April 27, 2020

April 24, 2020

April 18, 2020

April 14, 2020

April 1, 2020

March 31, 2020

March 21, 2020

March 20, 2020

March 15, 2020

Please reload