Ode to an Olive (Draft 5)

Ode to an Olive (Draft 5)

Apostolis missed
his dearly departed wife.
Only the olive grove was a comfort now.

Ferocious are the winds of fate

Not so many years ago,
Apostolis and his wife cried
for a young Mother they never met, and
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

But his daughters grew
rambunctious
wild parties, wild plans

Whirlwinds twist souls,
plans fated in the wind

This time he didn’t know
who the hordes would be.
follies and corruption
crushing austerity, but
Clytemnestra married the mayor.

She said, “Daddy
don’t worry
politics is new.”

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

Apostolis missed
his dearly departed wife.

Chloë wanted to build
a luxury resort in the olive grove
for rich Europeans or Americans,
said, “Daddy, finance is modern.”

Ancient are the winds of fate,
ferocious like a ferret at the door

[more stuff to go here]
[to be continued]
[notes: she comes home with the new husband…tornado… murder…As the sun rose, she rested under the gold-tipped olive tree]
… “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 6)

[a few changes and an addition. not quite to the ending]ODE TO AN OLIVE (DRAFT 6)

Apostolis missed
his dearly departed wife.
Only the olive grove was a comfort now.

Ferocious are the winds of fate

Not so many years ago,
Apostolis and his wife cried
for a young Mother they never met, and
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. But
ne’er a word to confront him
though he saw that
weasel at a fair once.

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 but not on Crete…”, 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

But his daughters grew
rambunctious
wild parties, wild plans

Whirlwinds twist souls,
plans fated in the wind

This time he didn’t know
who the hordes would be, saw
follies and corruption
crushing austerity, but
Clytemnestra married the mayor
though he had had six previous wives.

She said, “Daddy
don’t worry
politics is new, and
Theseus is a clever man
with business connections.”

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

Apostolis missed
his dearly departed wife.

Chloë wanted to build
a luxury resort in the olive grove
for rich Europeans or Americans,
said, “Daddy, finance is modern.”

Ancient are the winds of fate,
ferocious like a ferret at the door

Freaky weather systems on the news:
hot fronts like the flush face of
an ECB banker hearing “Drachma”,
cold fronts like frigid pale faces
drained of blood by a Dracula who
might run wild through Brussels

But Apostolis wasn’t worried —
had many Euros in his local bank,
but then again…

A clash of fronts approaching,
very rare thunderstorms
and an epsilon on the wall

They said, once in 500 years
for such weather conditions
and the olive grove looked fragile.

Storms on his mind, Apostolis’s
eyes rained on thoughts of his young daughter
the image of a young Mother he never met, and
he wept that day in sorrow and worry, wished
she could have seen the olives grow more

Clytemnestra called,
“Daddy, don’t worry
I’m coming home
with my husband Theseus.
I love him more than you’ll ever know
and he is such a clever man.”

Odd weather is fate
like a weasel in politics

Chloë called,
“Daddy, don’t worry:
I’m flying home
to set the finances”

When the epsilon is
on the wall, prophets say,
a ferocious loan is like a wolf:
it will eat all your sheep

A peak of sun and Apostolis missed
the golden hair of his departed wife,
and he heard rare thunder while
he waited near a rare
gold-tipped olive tree.

“Daddy, daddy,” yelled Clytemnestra,
as she approached from afar with a man,
but she stopped in her tracks at a shrub.

“Clytemnestra!” said Chloë
stumbling out of a car. And
the sisters hugged from afar.

Ancient are the winds of fate,
ferocious like a monster at the door

Apostolis missed them and
lifted his arms to the wind,
“Darlings of the olive grove,
run here before the storm!”

The girls ran to him,
Clytemnestra with her husband.

Apostolis struck him down
with the thunder clap of his fist.
“Fiend, fiend. Monster!
I will get my gun.” And
he ran toward the house
as the rain poured down.

The girls ran and screamed,
“What? What?”

“Fiend, fiend. That creature
is your Father.”

[more stuff to go here]
[to be continued]

— Douglas Gilbert

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4 thoughts on “Ode to an Olive (Draft 5)

  1. This is really evolving into quite the drama. I think Sophocles would be proud. I like how you repeat some things throughout the poem, it’s kind of like a song, seems melodic and musical. The winds of fate…ferocious and ancient. A perfect description. Your drafts are coming along great.

    1. I added a new draft. I don’t know if I should rush to finish the plot or fix what I have so far. I don’t know that it’s going to make any sense. It’s getting less poetic and more nonsensical. Too late to make it a comedy or make it into scrap paper– oh, I can’t make it paper, ’cause it’s not on paper. Oh,well, no fun if I can’t tear it up… I’m getting very lost… I’m hoping as I write it I’ll know where it’s going… It’s requiring too much explanation and its lost its poetry. Maybe finish the plot and put in the rhymes and cut stuff out or add 10 billion words — that’ll help. Maybe a trillion, yeah, then I’ll have more to work with.

      1. What a twist in the plot! So she married her birth father unknowingly? So i’m assuming from Apostolis’ reaction that the birth father knew he was her father before he married her? Hopefully the olive grove will make it through the storm ok. I think your poem is coming along good, i don’t think it’s lost it’s poetry…

    2. Thanks. I’m using parts of plot lines from ancient Greek mythology and
      Sophocles, but it’s a little different. It’s the Oedipus thing… and some economics professor wrote a book about how the currency is like the ancient Minotaur legend or something… I have the reference somewhere… I think mine will be different… Maybe the more mixed up I am the better it will be…But then, it’s going to need some sort of conclusion that at least has the appearance of making some kind of sense…It has to look like it means something…

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