ἐλαία, Elaía

ἐλαία, Elaía! Why do you weep?

You, the blessed tree; you, the branch of peace.

You, of noble fruit; of oil pressed and sweet.

Elaía, Elaía! Why do you weep?

Elaía, Elaía! What have you seen?

Your groves a timeless sentry; your roots an ancient scheme.

Your boughs a gentle image; your canopy serene.

Elaía, Elaía! What have you seen?

Elaía, Elaía! What do you know?

Who has wept beneath you? What near you has passed?

Who has marred your beauty? What innocence they axed?

Elaía, Elaía! What do you know?

I am, by name, Elaía – known to grace and swords.

I am the root of nomads, of peasants, and of lords.

I’ve stood my ground for ages and witnessed sorrow’s tears.

These tears I have been drinking, and shedding through the years.

I’ll tell you of my weeping; I’ll tell you what I’ve seen.

I’ll tell you of my knowing of hearts and minds unclean.

Since time first bore a garden – in fertile soil unplowed;

From Palestine to Cyprus; in Hippo did I shroud.

My fruit they pressed for oil, my trunk they pressed for strength.

Their lives my tangled story; their deaths my measured length.

Anointed is my birthright; for prophets, priests, and kings.

A bittersweet existence; for sorrow sweetly sings.

In Gethsamane I sheltered, while tears and blood he sweat;

At Golgotha I trembled, ’pon me his death was met.

In Palestine I weep still, this land of hallowed grounds.

I witness their destruction; absorb their mournful sounds.

For ages they’ve been with me, nourished by my fruits;

This people I have sheltered, are bound to me by roots.

We share a fateful shadow, in this martyr’s land we keep.

Not knowing when the night falls, to cease the tears we weep.

With axe they hack my limbs off; with fire burn my groves.

With spite they ill replant me; to claim newly planted troves.

The sons and daughters begging, the mothers’ cries unheard;

Denied the right of being – by edict, deed, and word.

I am, by name, Elaía – known to grace and swords.

I am the root of nomads, of peasants, and of lords.

I’ve stood my ground for ages and witnessed sorrow’s tears.

These tears I have been drinking, and shedding through the years.

https://ofpeasantsandothermatters.wordpress.com/poetry-other-verse/

2 thoughts on “ἐλαία, Elaía”

  1. I am nobody... said:

    For Elaía longs for Luchnia.
    With only one there is not the other, because only the two will bring everything together.
    The birds will sing and the light will blaze, in many colors are the lights Holy rays. They witness together through pain and sorrow, thier message is a blessing of a new tomorrow.
    But the world will reject them for they don’t know, because this is the sorrow, the burden of old.

  2. Ah, the lampstand! Thank you … a lovely lamentation of holy light and holy sorrow. Dominus illuminatio mea.

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