Monday, February 17, 2014

Olive Tree Chivalry and Other Acts of Kindess

On my daily afternoon walks, I pass a kaleidoscope of orchards, vineyards and olive groves, where fragrant fruit trees and knotty grapevines are meticulously pruned and impeccably tailored, in anticipation of the next spring bloom and autumn harvest.


Smiling, I greet the olive trees that stand in perfect alignment, forming an umbrella of an arbour that beckons a romantic stroll. They stand tall and still, as if on guard, until I pass by.  Knowing my schedule, (and just seconds prior to our paths crossing), they seem to uproot themselves on cue,  to confirm that the road ahead is safe, and then, just in the nick of  time, they jump back into place, pretending to be lazily basking in the warm rays of the afternoon sun. Later, on my way back, their heads bowed, upper trunks slightly bent over, they 'take off their hats', as they bid me adieu, having completed their act of chivalry for the day.

Almost immediately, the mountains come into view, and even though they are across the valley, their peaks pierce the skies above and the thick vegetation below, specifically to keep an eye on me, until I reach the neighbouring village, my designated destination.

Once there, I stop for a moment to rest, before making my way back home. Catching my breath, I find myself, time and time again, wondering who might have occupied the now abandoned stone house, on the hill across the road. It hovers above me, like a trainer tracking my progress, as I catch my breath, then quench my thirst, and having just struggled with the steepness of the incline, I imagine a proud pat on the back.  Just when I start to get comfortable on the weather worn, wooden bench, I hear the screeching of a silent whistle, warning me that I'd better get a move on, so as not to lose my momentum.

For a few minutes, the trek is downhill, and I am grateful for the spectacular, unobstructed views of the coastline. The calmness of the sea, in contrast with the rugged, rocky terrain in the distance, rejuvenates me. Suddenly, a strong gust bends branches and the congregation of leaves waver in the wind, many ready to fall, in compliance with the season.  I marvel at this multitude of plant life, closely nestled together, like rowdy kindergarteners posing for their first class photo, dressed in casual attire boasting favourite animated heroes, which they try to emulate, as they smile playful, toothy grins for the camera.

Midway between the two villages, a powdery half moon quietly appears on the scene. Still sleepy, it hides behind the opaque shade of a blue blanketed sky, gathering strength for the midnight shift - a permanent position.


Around the bend, an unveiled, bare grapevine takes centre stage, and like a prima ballerina, it strikes a pivoted pose, proudly showing off its scrawny frame, evidence of persistence and hard work during the season. Yes! I definitely see a semblance of dancing swans, frozen in its stillness.

 As I take the turning into my own neck of the woods, a flirty drizzle catches my attention, and I imagine the collection of critters that must seek refuge from heavy rains under the canopy of the leafy trees, that borders the gardens of the last little church in my vicinity. And I am home.


 Thank you for visiting.

All images: Poppy

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What the Tide Replied

Have you ever spoken with the sea
on matters too foggy to foresee?

When your judgment, hazy from emotion
clouded any sighting of clear notion?

And, after friendly offerings of advice,
and couple of rolls of the 'decision' dice,

neither enticed, convinced, nor sufficed
quite like that of the ocean's?

Flowing and fluid, a miraculous, watery mass
grounding giants of stone 
in a vast, liquid glass,

its powers of persuasion, 
and the wisdom in its waves,

a sudsy message splashed,
and on the sand engraved,

 for me, 
to search and ponder,
 consider and decipher -

 hydro hieroglyphics
of a deep, aquatic cave.

Thanks for visiting!


All images: Poppy

Door Detour

How many times
 have I dashed by
 these old, dated doors,

scurrying to escape 
the sizzling woes of 
insufferable summer heat?

Other times, 
during siesta silence,
 I seize the moment
 for quiet guidance,

 to search for traces,
clues and close-ups, 
on faces fluted, chipped,
 worn out;

cosmetic character flaws, perhaps,
 but strong footsteps to solid souls.

 Further down the cobblestone,
gates, freshly painted
to look smooth and sleek,
provide a framed perspective,
and an exclusive peek into
 a courtyard of potted petals.

All quite charming, 
these updated, made-up metals,
 but where's that marked intrigue,
   that lost mystique, so present in
 their wrinkled, weathered elders: 
the wooden, but charred, 
the hollow, scarred, and marred,
 the mossy, crooked and ajar?

The last of these gems,
 en route to my own residence,
bordered by a grove stacked
with bitter, black fruit,

a stony structure stands
 sound and solitaire, despite
  its broken window and door.

And, although 
exposed to elements 
unforgiving and unfair,
it bears no evidence
in its stoic air, of a
 core, torn or dishonoured.

Thanks for visiting!


All images: 
Poppy View

Sharing at:
Poetry Pantry

A Wish for the Witchy

Scrawny, twisted twigs 
growing from thick, gnarly branches,
 like warty fingers of a witch,
sign a signature of scratches.

Behind the still and chill
of sticks and stones,
the sky is filled with motion,
as fluffy clouds float lightly by
toward valleys and the ocean.

I wonder...
Who lives here,
 in this cold, closed house,
whose garden grew no flowers?

Or had it?
Briefly, perhaps, for a spell,
before they were devoured,
by wicked winds or creepy things
that feed at midnight hour!

A few steps away, a sleeping feline, 
unaware of the wide world around her,
dreams of birds and mice and everything nice,
(a list for Santa, and his flying reindeer).

I wish, for the snow,
when it touches this home,
to softly cover its scratches,

to brighten its face
with powdery lace,
in glowing, crystal, white patches.
 And when it bounces off walls,
and in batches, free falls,
to lay a blanket,
 on its bare, lonely branches. 

Thanks for visiting!


 All images: Poppy

The Girl Sitting in the Sun

Who is this young woman
sitting in the light,
her dark tresses, thick,
 her lips, shiny, and bright?  
I sense I've seen her 
somewhere before.
I feel our paths crossed 
a long time ago,
to faraway lands, and
 half-opened doors.
Yet, eerily, I still
 hold her close,
to my heart.

Her eyes, 
painted and pencilled
in rich, smoky hues,
are drawn with precision
 to intrigue and amuse the
vibrant youth of her being -
 she lives for the moment!
  Her future is foreign,
faraway, unforeseen.

there's something about her
  that's strangely familiar!
  If I could just hear her voice,
it would all be much clearer. 
after listening very closely
to what we would say,
I'd take our advice,
and meet her today.
Just the two of us,
here, in the mirror.

Thanks for visiting!

Sharing at:
Poetry Pantry


December at My Door

It is raining outside my door.

A downpour of pellets
pierce and poke
  coppery vines,
 like an old, itchy cloak!

 Diagonally, the droplets dive
on to thirsty fields,
and 'expectant' groves,

 as boughs bearing
 gifts of citrus and olive,
drink, rest, and grow,
before the upcoming
 first fall of snow.

In seconds,
 sculpted, black balconies
are squeaky clean,
their engraved, tangled vines,
buffed to a sheen.

Geraniums, splattered and splashed,
their petals of red,
 pushed, shoved and lashed,
struggle against 
the rain's beating hand,
prevailing over its force,
 in the end!

 This morning,
December rain
knocked on my door,
and tapping the doorbell,
it begged and implored
for undivided attention.
So, I listened: all morning,
and into the eve,
until, tired and drained,
 the rain took its leave.

Thanks for visiting!