Five Poems by Raffi Wartanian

A Dream Interrupted 

Raffi Wartanian performing in the village of Chinchin, Armenia.

In my dream tonight
We kissed
And I sank
Into the warmth of your embrace
Only to awake to the rattle
Of a rain soaked day
And the countless questions
That stand between you and me –May 2012, Baltimore, Md.


A Flight To The Bay

Roads carved atop mountains
Motorbirds puttering overhead
Carrying restless souls
Eager for love, reunification, relief

Cabin fever
Cabin fever
Let’s fly higher
Where it’s clearer,
Where stacked stones
Tumble to dust
And hollow obsidians
Dig deep into the ground.

We are spectators overhead
Ooh-ing and Aah-ing
At snow-capped peaks,
Shimmering oceans,
Lush forests,
Infinite deserts,
Burning canyons,
Headless mountains,
Mutilated meadows,
Thirsty lakes,
Grounded birds.

The faster we dash to our destinations,
The greater the oblivion.

This is the airport.
Air. Port.
Ticket. Exhaust.
Immigrants. Employment. McDonalds.
Restrooms. Diversity. Consumerism.
Screaming babies.
GQ Magazines.
Baggage. Baggage.
36,000 ft. above sea level.
Off we go.
The destination is the journey.
A wounded soldier.
An armless refugee.
An obese child.
Screaming babies. Screaming.

Have a safe flight.
May the Earth bless our soul
And forgive us
For marveling at her majesty
As we invest
In her destruction.

–October 2011, Airplane to SF


Every Day

Every day
I paint you more
I play you more
I fix you more
Because I love you,
Mi Amor 

Every day
You inspire me
And sometimes you disgust me
Because I know
Within you rests
This incomprehensible, beautiful you
For which I have toiled for years to extract
Only to scratch the surface

Every day
I play your melody
And search for harmony
I find a way
To (try to) add beauty to you
And come closer
To your purest, simplest

But there are days
Of thankless toil
And utter devotion
Peering through bleary eyes
Fending off exquisite dreams
Only to be met by resistance
Devastating resistance

Until I return to you
Seconds, Hours, or Days
Seconds, Hours, or Days
And I am wooed again
By your enchantment

–January 2012, Lutherville, Md.


Orange Trees

Orange trees can grow in cities
And litter the streets with tantalizing, wormy juices
Leaves peppered with
Citric music bursting into forbidden songs

We dance here
For what else is left
To do
Under the shadow of
Towering steeples
Once minarets
Once stones
Once earth

That transports us back through centuries?

–February 2012, Sevilla, Spain



Necesito más amor
Más tiempo
Para bailar
Para entender
La significada
De sus ojas
De su lengua
Porque en eso
Hay estrellas
Y lunas
Y agua.
No quiero hablar
Porque en palabras
No hay mysteriosas;
Solo en silencia
Determinamos la significada
Del existencia.

–October 2011, San Francisco


Raffi Wartanian

Raffi Wartanian’s work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, The Huffington Post, and World Policy Journal.


  1. Dear Raffi,
    We shall sing with you always …
    We will share your music…
    and unite with your young spirit …
    To continue our and your dreams
    To reach The epic of Ararat…


  2. Raffi jan,

    Thanks…..I am proud to say I know you !!! I know with your help Armenia will flourish.

    Serov, George

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