William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for November 2019

A Hymn to Love

Yesterday at the falls, the forest atmosphere was so complex, there was no way to know just how many individual scents had gone to make up the magical one we were breathing — the myriad births, lives, and deaths, the microscopic miracles wrought by sun, shade, light, and water. In the first moment, we were transformed; and, with the ripe fall earth deep in our lungs and warm in our […]

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Acapulco

My wife and I are picking our way through a narrow passage cluttered with stepladders, paint cans, and bits of old unfamiliar machinery; finally we squeeze through a partly blocked doorway into a dingy hotel lobby where we are unexpected and obviously not welcome; we are surprised ourselves, for we do not remember making reservations; the view through the front window is bright, colorful, and completely artificial — a series […]

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The Art of the Cumulative

Minding the details, relishing them, staying with them day after day through the years — we might call this the art of the cumulative. The ground behind the house is deep in yellow birch leaves. Here and there, they are suspended in spider webs under the eaves; some dangle from a single thread and twist and turn in the breeze. The fig tree, too, is yellowing. An hour ago, I […]

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Rain’s Light Reign

I woke up thinking of something white — bones, or maybe snow — whites of varying hues. A bone in the snow would stand out. Like a drop of soup on Sunday School clothes. There was the sense, too, of having traveled a great distance — of having been an old man on a narrow high-mountain road, with but an apple and notebook to sustain me. And the notebook was […]

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Honeysuckle and Lemon

When a young man rhymes, we smile and nod. When old, he is forgiven. When in between, we shake our heads, and think we understand him. Or do we just pretend? Fool that I am, I can never tell. But I wish him well. I wish him well. For that is love, and this is heaven.   Honeysuckle and Lemon Paneled wall in oaken hue, piano in corner near wood […]

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Wings

Seen successive evenings at dusk: two great blue herons, streaking home toward the Claggett Creek wetland, as distinct and as similar as two different thoughts. And where were they, I wonder, before their last flight of day — the outcome of whose life, arisen in whose brain? Both evenings were clear. But now clouds have moved in and the atmosphere has changed. Will this lead to a change of thoughts? And […]

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I Could Fall for You

There was one leaf which seemed to know the best, and so taught falling to the rest. And love’s been naked ever since. Love’s been naked, and that is all we need confess. October 14, 2019   I Could Fall for You I could fall for you, like the first leaf, before falling is fashionable, when everyone else is still clinging and green and oblivious to change. I could fall […]

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Crutches

The coffee helps. The hot water it’s in. The cup that holds them. The hands it warms. The thought that tells them, “That’s hot, put it down.” The mind that conforms to the shape of an old chair. Their squeaks and their groans. The coming of daylight. The dying of old fright. And then you are born. And your crutches are gone. [ 539 ]

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