Ode To An Olive (Draft 1 and start of Draft 2, start of Draft 3..[.yikes no end part])

Ode To an Olive (Draft 1)

[Based on news and speculation: U.S. Companies Brace for an Exit From the Euro by Greece]
(This might be an OK beginning for a first draft. I probably should look for some more references.{Should I admit that I have no idea who Sophocles is? When I look it up, I hope he has something interesting to add. I just have a vague idea that there were many “wild and crazy philosophers” in the ancient world who covered every philosophy that we still currently debate. }. I’m just running blind with names I’ve heard. — should I be caught with ignorance, I will deny I ever said this to the mission impossible team…)

I love my olive trees
and the first pressings of optimists
manageable arguments heard
like ancient Sophists
cash-starved, and secretly
worried about drachma quakes
on a Friday night.

We’ve heard there’d be
a midnight train to Athens
50,000 euros to play against doom,
pay for a pressing matter

My daughters are
extra virgin fans —
can serve the traditional
with local spice and flare

But they are desperate
to leave me, the ancient one
and my columns

I’ve asked them to read Sophocles
but they are going on scholarship
to a new world before
the Romans become afraid

This time I don’t know
who the hordes will be

My family home is safe
the philosophers tell me,
ha and we are the original alpha

—————-

Ode To an Olive (Draft 2)

I’ve started on an outline for Draft 2 which is moving towards a tragedy I thought I’d do as long as we’re talking about Sophocles which I read about a little. I’m going to try to make it short but it’s getting to be difficult. Anyway, I started on it.

ODE TO AN OLIVE (DRAFT 2)

Not so many years ago
he and his dearly departed wife
cried for a young Mother they
never met, and they wept that day
in sorrow and joy, wished she
could have seen the olives grow

Her babies were left
under an olive tree, abandoned
in the dawn that day when
the mother’s joy never rose
in the blackness of her shame

The babies grew, and
walked in the shade, had
silly escapades, laughed at
pressing matters
under the olive trees.

He told them
babies come from
olive trees

He had loved his olive trees
and the first pressings of optimists
politicians managing arguments
like ancient Sophists
cash-starved, and secretly
worried about drachma quakes
on a Friday night.
Cousin had the worry beads
and the _______ wine…

No worry: there’d be
a midnight train to Athens
50,000 euros to play against doom,
pay for a pressing matter

His daughters were
extra virgin fans —
served the traditional
with local spice and flare

But they were desperate
to leave him, the ancient one
and his columns of numbers
and of olive trees, because
they’d been to the Oracle
and were terrified by the words:
“When your father is slain
in the name of family
you will find gold…”, so
they professed and protested
too much love for the old man
who wasn’t very old at all

He’d asked them to read Sophocles
but they were going on scholarship
to a new world before
the Romans became afraid

This time he didn’t know
who the hordes would be

His family home seemed safe
the philosophers told him,
ha and he was the original alpha

… “Daddy the banks are closed…
[ Oh this is awkward and messy. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it… arg, ugh, … phooey ]
————————-
ODE TO AN OLIVE (DRAFT 3)

Not so many years ago
Apostolis and his dearly departed wife
cried for a young Mother they
never met, and they wept that day
in sorrow and joy, wished she
could have seen the olives grow

Her babies were left
under an olive tree, abandoned
in the dawn that day when
the mother’s joy never rose
in the blackness of her shame

Ferocious are the winds of fate,
odd weather like a ferret at the door

Rumors told Apostolis
who the father was.
Saw that weasel at a fair once,
didn’t say anything.

The babies grew, and
walked in the shade, had
silly escapades, laughed at
pressing matters
under the olive trees.

Apostolis told them
babies come from
olive trees

Odd weather is fate
like a weasel in politics

He had loved his olive trees
and the first pressings of optimists
politicians managing arguments
like ancient Sophists
cash-starved, and secretly
worried about drachma quakes
on some sneaky Friday night.
A cousin had the worry beads
and a drink of tsipouro for luck.

No worry: there’d be
a midnight train to Athens
50,000 euros to play against doom,
pay for a pressing matter

His daughters were
extra virgin fans —
served the traditional
with local spice and flare

But they were desperate
to leave him, the ancient one
and his columns of numbers
and of olive trees, because
they’d been to the Oracle
and were terrified by the words:
“When your father is slain
in the name of family
you will find gold…”, so
they professed and protested
too much love for the old man
who wasn’t very old at all.

Ferocious are the winds of fate,
odd weather like a ferret at the door

He’d asked them to read Sophocles
but they were going on scholarship
to new worlds before
the Romans became afraid.
Chloë went to finance in New York,
Clytemnestra to new Athens.

This time he didn’t know
who the hordes would be

His family home seemed safe
the philosophers told him,
ha and he was the original alpha

[more stuff to go here]
… “Daddy the banks are closed…
[ Oh this is awkward and messy. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it… arg, ugh, … phooey ]

— Douglas Gilbert

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5 thoughts on “Ode To An Olive (Draft 1 and start of Draft 2, start of Draft 3..[.yikes no end part])

  1. Great poem. I love olive trees too and black olives are one of my son’s favorite foods. If only love and olives could solve this financial mess. I’m sure Sophocles would have something interesting to add – he would probably write an award winning play about what is going on in Greece right now. I try to keep up with what is going on in the world but the World is so big and there are so many problems. I have so many questions and what seems like so little understanding of financial problems and solutions. It seems like most everyone is in debt..scary. When everyone owes money but doesn’t have it to pay, then what do you do? I just hope for the best for all involved in this situation…

    1. Thanks. I started on a Draft 2 which I put underneath. It’s a mess. Geez and I still can’t figure out how to format. I wanted to change the first draft to a red color so you could skip down to the second draft. Didn’t work. I guess I should have posted the second draft as a new post. I just thought I’d avoid clutter, because if someone sees the second one as a new post they won’t read the completed first one which is not too bad. Phooey, no easy way to do this…. Oh wait, I think I see what I did wrong with the color…

      1. Maybe worse… I put a longer Draft 3 under the other two. Well, I’ll work on it later. I’ll probably do yours too later tonight or in the morning.

      2. I don’t think it’s that awkward or messy. I think it’s coming along great. Babies come from olive trees huh? Makes sense to me. That line made me smile even though it’s sad that they were abandoned. “Odd weather like a ferret at the door” that’s an odd line, are ferrets wild in Greece (like squirrels maybe?). I’ve never heard of tsipouro before – i looked it up, i think a drink of that would be pretty good right now…I haven’t had a drink since vacation when i bought a small bottle of wine to keep in the hotel room because i was having trouble sleeping in a strange place.

    2. Thanks. I was thinking about the expression, “The wolf at the door” and about “ferreting out things.” So I mean that the truth will be discovered. I don’t know if they have ferrets in Greece, but I think that “to ferret out” is a metaphor that is used sometimes. Actually, I should look up tsipouro too. I don’t know what it is either — I just saw it mentioned in a news article about some people sitting around in a village deciding how to vote. I was looking for some names to use.

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