Around my Secret Garden grew
Three ancient olive trees,
Protected and anointed by
Bright butterflies and bees.
The Bible called you “King of Trees”,
And even “Tree of Life”,
For you, the twisted olive tree,
Sustain yourself through strife.
A dove brought back an olive branch
To Noah, at the ark –
Since time began, revered by man,
Who, for luck, touched its bark.
In ancient Greece, dark rooms were lit
With lamps fueled by their oil,
While virgins tended to the trees
And tilled surrounding soil.
Ancient Greek philosophers
Extolled the olive’s worth,
Medicinal and magical,
It gave great nations birth.
Pillars of society,
To cut one down, a crime,
Offenders exiled or condemned
To die while in their prime.
Homer called it liquid gold,
Oil from the fruit was blessed
To use in holy rituals,
In sacred lamps was kept.
Jesus, in Jerusalem,
Prayed in the Mount of Olives,
And in the Garden of Gethsemane
He called upon his Father.
Jesus was arrested
In the Mount that fateful night,
And surrounding olive trees
Were witness to His plight.
Symbol of goodwill to man,
Abundance, peace, and power,
Your leafy branches form a crown
To praise men of the hour.
Olive branches, Olive crowns,
Emblems of benediction,
Oh, evergreen with silver leaves,
Your truth outweighs all fiction.
What secrets lie within your boughs,
What healing forces guide you?
Would I rise up strong once again,
If I laid down beside you?
Oh, olive trees, my olive trees —
Surviving drought and wind!
And if a mortal chops you down,
Will you grow back again?
Sandra Lee Smith , originally written 2007, updated 4-29-18 Inspired by the olive trees that grew in my front yard in Arleta, California.