Palestinian Olive Harvest


Yesterday there was lots of rain. It started before lunch and carried on till early evening when it turned to sleet and briefly to flurries of light snow. The wind got up and walking along the street it felt like someone was throwing pails of water, or sleet, into my face again and again. I actually found it quite invigorating.

When I arrived home from work I stood in the kitchen and looked out of the window on to the garden, watching and listening. I love the sound of rain, especially when I am warm and dry inside.

Standing, looking, listening yesterday, it brought to mind a poem I wrote while in a very dry, hot place, picking olives during a work retreat called Being Peace with Sanghaseva in 2015, the first year I went to Palestine.

Palestinian olive harvest

the sound of english raindrops
in palestine
as olives fall on
black tarpaulin
in a grove
near a village
by a settlement;
a sound from home,
in a place far from home,
that is beginning to
feel like home.

the dust and heat rise,
cover my body outside,
fill my heart inside.
now and then a donkey brays,
now and then we stop
for sweet tea made
on a fire of dry sticks.

we move from tree to tree.
conversation ignites, dies down:

inside, the rain continues to fall
long after I have left
and the harvesting is done.

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