William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for August 2019

Bees and Berries

Goose Lake is still choked with lilies, but here and there a small patch of water is now visible. The muck slowly recedes, but there’s no shore, no place to put in a canoe, or to cast a line. By all signs, it won’t be that kind of summer. A fallen cottonwood branch lies across the part of the path that leads to the only other place of easy access […]

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Ross Freeman

How beautiful, and how strange, the sense of continuity, harmony, and balance that keeps a lifetime of writing and reading suspended, as it were, or meaningfully afloat — such is memory — and as I hold my glass up to the light, I am surprised to find it still full.   Ross Freeman He went to the window and closed the drapes. His typewriter on the table looked like an […]

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The Greeting

To accept the differences in children, loved ones, strangers, and friends, is one thing; to give thanks for them is another. Do both. And include, then forget, yourself. The moon is on the wane; and, once again, no one has the heart to tell her. A furry black bee is reveling in the blue flowers of the Agapanthus. Agapanthus: love, flower. July 29, 2019   The Greeting Now the greeting […]

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Sunday Stroll

Potted yard-gnome in a clump of dry grass girl at a window of unwashed glass and the shopkeeper turns it over and says look at the back here is the artist’s signature but I see bird tracks and arthritic hands the colored paths of an old butter knife and the child at the window is an old woman now so beautiful down from the shelf and the shopkeeper smiles when […]

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Poor Man’s Song

I have had my taste of country life, and of city life too. I have begged on my knees at the well, and my poor numb feet have known the pavement grain by grain. In each kind of life I have found an intimacy that gladdens every curse, and thwarts the common misconceptions. Each helps explain the other. The old graveyard that is surrounded by houses now, once stood alone […]

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I Love the Flower Girl

Politics is a filthy sponge. Do you want it in your sink? Do you want it in your mind? Yesterday evening, after two warm days, a cleansing ocean wind rushed into the valley once again. This morning the air is sweet and still. And I sense something else, which makes me say these words aloud: autumnal understanding. If I do not return your wave, is the loss not mine? For […]

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Wool Socks and a Walking Stick

There are days when thoughts are snowflakes that melt when they land, and I watch while they’re absorbed by the moss and leaves and debris on the path. I don’t worry after them. Nothing’s gained, nothing’s lost. They’re a natural part of the landscape, down from the clouds, returned to their roots. And summer herself is kind to them, like a favorite old aunt. Little children with no clothes — […]

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This Time Around

In this its second summer, the apricot tree is making great progress. One thing I love about it is that it does not need to leave its place to check on mine. Call it patience, call it wisdom, or a simple twist of fate, it knows I will come and reveal all. Hand on wood, leaf on face, the shady space still grows. And I suppose that makes me human […]

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So Sudden the Bird In Flight

How stirring, the seagulls’ cries from the Claggett Creek wetlands behind the houses facing north along Verda Lane. I heard their voices several times yesterday, both morning and afternoon, borne, like the scent of home-cooking, on the southwest breeze. Add to this, winging toward them at dawn, the great blue heron, silent, generally alone, though occasionally in the spacious company of another of its kind. I can almost see the […]

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