Weighted

Weighted SmadarHalperinEpshtein (2)

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

The weight of the world

On his shoulders.

His heart thumps a fatigue

In his chest.

Eons stretch

Since certain with brawn

He sought

With his strength

To impress.

 

 

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: open topic

 

 

Ancient Crush

Yam lower stone for crushing olives AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

You’ve seen nations

Rise

And fall,

Felt oil

Extracted

From trees’ toil.

You’ve seen

The farmers

Tend the soil,

Bread dipped

To nourish

Heart and soul,

As children laughed

And played

And lived

And died

Through centuries of

War and spoil,

While you remained

Above the boil,

Till peace returns

For olives’ roil.

 

 

Note: The photo is of an ancient base stone (called “Yam” in Hebrew) of the grinding stones that are used for the first step of extracting oil from olives. A current-day olive grove can be seen in the background to the left. Olives were first domesticated about 6,000 years ago, likely in the Mediterranean basin. Documented history of deliberate oil pressing can be found as early as 4,500 years ago (around 2,500BCE).

To this day, making olive oil involves several stages of crushing and rinsing to extract the oil. In many places, olives are still harvested by hand or by beating the fruit off of the trees. The olives are then washed, and crushed by milling stones (traditionally between a bottom stone like the one in the photo and one or two mill stone that stand perpendicular to it and roll around the base stone). The millstone/s were historically moved by use of man-power or animal power, and in some places still are. The pulp is placed in woven bags or baskets, then the baskets themselves are pressed. The liquid from the press bags gets drawn into a reservoir where oil is left to settle and separate. Oil is then skimmed off and allowed to settle again, sometimes repeatedly, to remove impurities.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Ancient

 

 

The Sultan

Portrait: Sultan Saifuddin of Tidore, Czartoryski Museum, Krakow

 

“Kesultanan Tidore does not betray its people,” the Sultan waved his hand to dismiss the envoy. “We are not Ternate,” he added, ignoring his advisor’s frown.

The envoy left, stiff-backed, and the Sultan sighed and rose from his seat. It was past time for lunch.

“I do not like the Portuguese any more than I like the Dutch,” he admitted.  “Neither have our well-being in mind. But the Spaniards have helped us resist the Dutch’s dogged attempts at making us their puppets. I will not become Ternate.”

“The Sultan speaks wise words,” the advisor bowed. “As for the trade?”

“I will take the Dutch’s payment for the cloves my people grow,” Sultan Saiffudin’s smile was tight, “and I will gift it to my people, whose support I trust more than that of the Dutch East India Company.” His smile dropped. “Make no mistake, the Dutch’s only aim is monopoly.”

 

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Raja Ampat, Indonesia

 

 

Tower Story

Bell Tower NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Stories tell

Please

Old tower,

Of the people who crept

Up your stairs

In all hours

To ring bells,

To escape.

 

Set amidst the new

Buildings

You house

Hope,

But no bells,

As you still welcome

Whomever

Needs a moment

To gape.

 

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Tower

 

Part Of History

Old Live Oak Cemetery, Selma, Alabama

Photo: C. M. Highsmith, Old Live Oak Cemetery, Selma, Alabama

 

“There is glory in the graves.”

“No there ain’t. There is only death in them graves. And bones, if they ain’t turned meal theyselves yet.”

“I’m only reading what it says, Gramma.”

“You is only saying what is lies, then, and it don’t make it no more true in the sayin.”

“I’m sorry, Gramma.”

“Hmm.”

Moss trailed from the old trees like cobwebs strung on homes for Halloween. There was eerie beauty in them. And sorrow.

“Why did you bring me here, Gramma?” she asked.

“Because it be part of history. Good and bad, you is supposed to know it.”

“It looks really old.” And peaceful, she didn’t add.

“I hear tell they’s started buryin’ here about 1830. Didn’t have no old live oaks then, or young’uns. Just dead peoples.”

“When did they plant the oaks, then?”

“Nearabout 1880. They trees is pretty, Chile, but they graves still got no glory.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Selma, Alabama

 

 

Wheel No More

ToysRUs times square SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

It went up.

It went down.

It went all the slow way

Around.

It’s no more

Nor the store

But it sure was

There

Before.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Wheel

 

The Silent Dunes

dry path OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

Walk about

The quiet earth

Where water used

To rush.

Meander in

The silent dunes

That nestle elder

Paths.

Wander into

Times long past

That witnessed nature’s

Wrath,

And let the calm

Like ancient balm

Seep through your

Whole

Into your soul,

To nourish you

With hush.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Meander in 47 words

 

Never Again

Never Again OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

May never again slogans of harm,

tattoo death on hearts, souls, and arms.

 

 

 

Note: On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we mourn so many lost to deliberate ugliness that nurtured systemic cruelty and harm … and when some try to deepen horrors by claiming the suffering hadn’t even happened … May we find a path out of hate and violence, and away from whatever catchy slogans used to justify a pseudo-superiority. For in reality, we are all one, and the terror of racism leaves none of us unharmed.

For Linda’s One Liner Wednesday

 

Learned Limbo

brown wooden desk table

Photo: Stephen Paris on Pexels.com

 

It has long lain

In limbo,

All voices ebbed

Into dust.

As silent letters

On chalkboard,

Watch the desks

Left to rust.

At one time

Children chanted,

Poems rose

Learned by heart.

But they’d grown

And time hastened.

School-house days

Did not last.

Now it sits,

Heart quite emptied,

And still waits

For the past.

 

 

For the dVerse Challenge: Limbo