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Mandi Roberts


. . . and so the tradition goes that in 70 AD Titus leveled the wood

surrounding Mount Moriah to burn against the limestone Old City walls,

and Gethsemane’s olives were chopped to aid the conquer of God’s city.

Olive roots never die

Though the thick, gnarled boughs

That cradled the sigh of anointed misery were roused

To siege the city.

Steep Old Walls, castle-cut

And stained with aged blood

And centuries, fought. But the olive-oiled fire exploded

The rock for Titus.

The West grafted itself

In the Gentile way

To roots of True wealth, as battles raged dirty with decay

And dark lamb blood spilled

Old, aching, violent Mount

Seized and long missing

The Man of account who really knew it, walked lamenting

Peace salted by tears.

Peace that will never come

Under its high Arches

‘Til Armageddon through the stone-blocked Eastern Gate marches

A new Jerusalem.

Until then, children, two

To a camel, ride

Barefoot and hoping, down cobbled streets mankind claims, defiles,

Selling olive sprigs

For shekels, mere branches

Gain them a living.

Sprigs snapped from new growth whose ancient roots felt Christ’s wise weeping.

The tree Titus chopped.

It grew back reminding

Life after water-washed

Transgressions, brought in a dove’s rainbowed beak, warning the cost

Of future of fire.

Olive roots never die.

But grow back wizened

And gnarled with life, living for the Eastern Gate opened

Fighting souls spring forth