most trees stand straight
and tall in the trunk
with a high sun-infiltrated canopy
spreading various shadow
but the olive wrests itself
up from the ground
spiralling and twisting through its axis
sheathed in scarred bark
over this core the spring screen
of dotted yellow flowers
hangs as a rough crust or shield
accosting breath
then giving place not to green
but grey glowering foliage
turned metal side out to the wind
or parched in summer dust
likewise its fruit
that needs work to become edible
bitter and simple on the tongue
with the taste of departures

Other poems by Tony Beyer

Men's Gossip