William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

In the Half-Lit Damp I See a Face

In a dream last night, I was visited by one, or two, or three white-haired gentlemen I apparently should have known, but who were only vaguely familiar. They knew my name, but I did not know theirs. They seemed to be waiting for me to remember. Finally, I confessed I was at a loss, upon which one gave me a hint, a rather long and mystical-sounding title of a musical piece. This I almost remembered. I envisioned the words against a dark background on a nicely designed cover of a compact disc. Yes — long ago, he, or they, had given it to me as a gift. But I did not know where the gift was, and felt sure it must have been lost. I said, “You have no idea what this room has been through.” And the room itself was strange, nothing like the room I work in now. There were no bookcases; there were no paintings, drawings, or photographs on the walls. Around the perimeter were narrow tables, on top of which were cardboard boxes overflowing with papers. Yes — the music — I could almost remember it now, and I wondered if it might be in one of the boxes. Maybe there was hope.

In the Half-Lit Damp I See a Face

In the half-lit damp I see a face —
that which remains after storm and smoke
have passed its way, then drifted on.

What becomes a man,
are the little things he does;
what defines him,
is all he loves.

In the half-lit damp I see a face —
so much older than it was,
an archaeology of thoughts and dreams.

Beyond my touch, it records
the evening cry of birds,
the scent of dusk,
the beating of wings.

Poems, Slightly Used, June 13, 2008

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Categories: Dreams, Poems, Slightly Used

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