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

 

 

Shimmer’s Glimmer

Shimmer NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Evening gathers to call

Flocks to watering hole

And to glimmers of fish

In the sparkling bowl.

Palm to palm

Whispers calm,

As the pond

Drained but bright

Refracts sun’s glinting light

From silvery fins

‘Til a good night.

 

 

For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Shimmer

 

 

Living Wild

Female Nubian Ibex Osnat HalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

You have come to my

Backyard,

To my desert,

My home.

So why look

So surprised

To see me coming

Along?

 

 

Trivia:

Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) are desert-dwelling goat species that are found in mountainous areas of North Africa and the Middle East. The wild population is considered “vulnerable” and is estimated at only 1,200 individuals. Nubian ibexes stand around 65–75 cm (2.1–2.6 ft) tall at the shoulder and weigh around 50 kilograms (110 lb). They live in rough dry mountainous terrain and are a light tan color, with a white underbelly. Males also have a dark brown stripe down the back. Nubian ibexes have long thin horns which extend up and then backwards and down. In males these reach around about 1 meter (~ 1 yard) in length while in females they are much smaller and reach around 30 cm (~ 1 foot).

 

For Terri’s Sunday Still challenge: Wildlife

For Becky’s Spiky Squares challenge (even though this is not strictly a square …)

 

Salted

dead sea dry OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

In the cracked curl

Of earth

Baked in sun

And ancient salt,

The Dead Sea

Awaits a

Flawed flow of

Redemption,

Or a whitened end.

 

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Texture

 

Rain Fed Red

Red Anemones AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

In the depth

Of the winter,

Where so much

Appears dead,

Plan ahead.

For there are places

Where nature,

Finally rain fed,

Blooms into

Fields

Of red.

 

 

For the One Word Sunday Challenge: Red

For Cee’s FOTD

 

Flower of First Rain

sitvanit AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

It emerges in fall

Flowers preceding leaves

To mark the last

Breath of summer

And the bounty that winter

Will soon retrieve.

 

Colchicum stevenii grows in the Mediterranean region and throughout Israel, blooming between October and December. Its name in Hebrew “Sitvanit Ha’Yore” literally means “Fall flower of first rains.” Flowers range from 1-2 inches (2-5 centimeters), with petals shaped from straight ruler-like petals to egg-like. Petals’ hues can be lilac or pink to almost white. The bulb contain colchicine, a toxic/poisonous material that is used in medicine to treat arterial diseases and gout.

 

For Cee’s Flower of the Day

History’s Layers

ledge AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

Layered rock

Cracks and rifts

Blackened hearths

Tribes adrift

Weight of time

Overhead

Stories told

But not dead.

 

For Wits End Photo Challenge

 

In Memoriam to The Fallen

 

memorial candle flag

yom-hazikaron-memorial-day-

In this evening and upcoming day of Memorial

As Israel remembers its fallen

As parents, siblings, loved ones weep and mourn:

Let it be the last day of new pain

Let there be

Please, oh God

No more war.

Anywhere.

No more dead, no more graves

No more maimed

No more grieving.

Let the bloodshed be ended.

Let the warmongering cease.

Let those who entice pain, find ways of words.

Let those who live hate, open hearts, make new doors.

There’s a way.

No more war.

We’re all people.

All someone’s baby, sibling, loved one, neighbor, friend

We all share more than what can divide us

We all hurt, love, hope, bleed.

No more violence.

There is no need.

Let there be

Hearts that open

Light to hold, hope to share, peace to mold.

Let there be

No more war.

As we weep for the fallen

As we remember what happened and wished that did not

As we tally the terrible price

The unnecessary ripping

Every death, every wounding

Agonises an ache in our hearts

A hole in our souls

Let there be

From now on

No more war.

peace can do better

no more war