William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Sweat the Gold, the Place You Kneel

I moved two tiny oak-sprouts from the garden into clay pots today. One was growing next to the six-foot redwood stake at the end of a tomato row; the other was near the base of our vine. For now I’m calling them the vineyard oak and the tomato oak, the latter at the risk of a little clumsiness for the double-o vowels. The main roots on both were surprisingly deep. There was no way I could dig far enough without damaging the vine or the end tomato plant. And there was scarcely, if any, lateral growth. But I’ve watered them in, set each pot on a brick in the front flowerbed, and thus far their leaves are still fresh and firm. There are other oaks in the yard — among them one or two in the iris bed, and a dark-green beauty a few inches tall growing in the shade of a white birch tree, near a hosta, surrounded by Creeping Jenny. All of the oaks appear to be the same kind, with small scalloped leaves, like those growing along the edge of the nearby wetland, and which, though they are probably more different than I remember or realize, also remind me of those growing in the foothills of Central California. I think I will call those imagined oaks.

July 22, 2020

Sweat the Gold, the Place You Kneel

Sweat the gold, the place you kneel,
where oaks are bones and dreams are hills,

heaven knows, but whom to tell,
what the lone dove really feels

when they hold you up
and drive in the nails.

Recently Banned Literature, June 3, 2014

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Recently Banned Literature

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