Summer of Dreams

It is always important to know where we stand. But with that knowledge also comes the responsibility of holding our ground. In fact, it can be argued that if we don’t hold our ground, then we really don’t know where we stand. And if we don’t know where we stand, then it also follows that we really don’t know who we are. And if we don’t know who we are, we certainly can’t be comfortable with ourselves, or with the specific, peculiar reality that makes us who we are. In fact, we might not even be aware such a reality exists. And if we’re not aware such a reality exists, then what’s the point? And if . . .

Summer of Dreams

The neighbors hate me
because I plowed up our lawn
with an old mule —
an out-of-work friend of mine
dropped in to visit from a former life,
too tired and set in his ways
to retrain for a career in high-tech.

The lawn went under
in the warm, sacred afternoon.
We cut our paces in an easy rhythm,
to a quiet beat of tranquility
and forgetfulness,
while the atmosphere rumbled
with aromatic earth-song,
calling the birds,
calling the insects,
making the dogs bark —
the poor hobbled creatures
tied to pegs with dung-encrusted rope,
wide-eyed and desperate
for companionship.

We sank rejoicing to our knees
in the mellow-brown soil,
to the sound of slamming doors
and neighbors clearing their throats.
Hands on hips, not one of them
could fathom our joy,
confident there was a law against
plowing up one’s front lawn
and that a word with City Hall
would net them satisfaction.

I was visited once by a man
in a pickup with a logo on its side.
We chatted amiably.
Later that week I planted corn.
Now the tall stalks rustle in the breeze,
the mule sleeps in the shade,
and clouds of hostility brood
over driveways, garbage cans, fences.

“Summer of Dreams” first appeared in Barbaric Yawp.

Note: Poems, Slightly Used, a growing collection of work first published in my blog, Recently Banned Literature, can be found here.

Available from Cosmopsis Books of San Francisco

Winter Poems
by William Michaelian

Winter Poems (click to view cover)

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
US $11.95; $8.95 at Cosmopsis Books
52 pages. 6x9. Paper.
Includes one drawing.
San Francisco, June 2007
Signed, numbered & illustrated copies

Winter Poems displays the skills and abilities of Mr. Michaelian at their most elemental level, at the bone. Wandering amidst a barren world, a world scraped bare, he plucks the full moon like fruit from the winter sky, goes mad and befriends a pack of hungry wolves, burns his poems to keep warm. He is a flake of snow, a frozen old man, a spider spinning winter webs. Spring is only a vague notion of a waiting vineyard, crocuses, and ten-thousand babies. The author is alone, musing, reflecting, at times participating. But not quite alone, for he brings the lucky reader along. I’ve been there, to this winter world, and I plan to go back.

                                                            — John Berbrich, Barbaric Yawp

Another Song I Know — Short Poems
by William Michaelian

Another Song I Know (click to view cover)

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
US $13.95; $10.95 at Cosmopsis Books
80 pages. 6x9. Paper.
Includes Author’s Note.
San Francisco, June 2007
Signed, numbered & illustrated copies

Another Song I Know is a delightful collection of brief, resilient poems. Reading them, one by one by one, is like taking a walk through our common everyday world and suddenly hearing what the poet hears: the leaves, a coffee cup, chairs — and yes, even people, singing their songs of wisdom, sweetness, and light.

                                                            — Tom Koontz, Barnwood poetry magazine

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

Main Page
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A Listening Thing
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No Time to Cut My Hair
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Poetry, Notes & Marginalia:
Recently Banned Literature

Collected Poems by William Michaelian
A Larger Life
Monastery of Psalms
Friends (includes French translation)
Is It His Coat?
The Boy Who Wrote Letters
Forty Days, Forty Nights
Papa’s Song (clam chowder blues)
The Pilgrim’s Way
A Christmas Wish
The Teacher
The Literary Awakening of America
The Healer
The Enigmatic Child
What Happened to God
Reading Tristram Shandy
A Prefix of Obscure Meaning
He Knows
My Only Friend
The World I Know
We Do Not Need a Poem
Three Short Poems
The More We Are Looking For
I Hear the Earth
What Will I Give You?
Great Minds Think Alike
The Age of Us All
I Met My Spirit
Claim Denied
Summer Days
Greek Peppers
Another Hard Day
James Joyce Singing
How Many Stones?
At the Armenian Home
The Peace Talks
The Eggs of March
Armenian Music
If Poems Were Days
Once Again I Lied
One Last Thing
Everywhere I Go
Up Here On the Hill
Winter View
What December Said to January
Winter Poems
Spring Haiku
How to Write a Poem, In Three Lessons
The Walls Have Ears
Why I Don’t Buy Grapes
To French Vanilla and All the Other Flavors
It Was
Early Morning Haiku
Someone’s Mother
Fall Questions
My Old Black Sport Coat
The Clerk and the Windmill
Roadside Distress, Part 2
Magical Realism (First Prize)
Café Poetry Night: Two Poems
Short Poem for Spring
Short Poem for Summer
I Find Him Eating Butterflies
For the Sister I Never Had
An Absurdist Play
The Second Act

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