William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for February 2020

Something Someone

Noted on the next-to-last day of January, early in the evening after dark: the first spring chorus of frogs, rising from the rain-replenished Claggett Creek wetland. The next morning, a very strong southerly flow, upon it riding the deeper-further-farther river smell — and the welling sense of something else: the awakening multitude. Blooming by the wayside near the graveyard something someone softly said January 31, 2020

Continue Reading →

If I Say Love

The sky, a tree, a rose, a fish, a flower — but what holds it all together? If I say love, will you smile? — You, a woven galaxy of nerves? You, with your suppleness and warmth, and the science of your eyes? Never mind what the Greeks said, or Darwin, or Shakespeare. Open wide your gates. Shed your raiment. Put down your shield. Behold our trembling flesh. Is it […]

Continue Reading →

Death Treads Softly

For every heart-breaker, there is a love-maker; for every flower, an hour — a death, a life.   Death Treads Softly Death treads softly past the nurse reading at her desk. When morning comes, another bed is empty. Winter is long, the old folks let go one by one. We strip their sheets and scrub the floors, send their bundles to the laundry. But the ones who live are hungry. […]

Continue Reading →

Bright Red Robin

The star forgets my name — the crocus just the same — But one thing they remember — or so it sometimes seems — To shine and bloom again — to bloom and shine — As if I were here — almost — and only meant to sing —

Continue Reading →

Letters, Journals, and Poems

This afternoon I finished reading the third volume of Thoreau’s journal — the third of fourteen, as published in 1906 by Houghton Mifflin and Company. And I am set to begin The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, after reading the introduction for the fourth or fifth time early this morning. As with Whitman, I continue my habit of reading aloud — except in the case of The Letters of Henry […]

Continue Reading →

Be Mine

Beautiful old-fashioned valentines. There’s a box of them here in my mother’s desk that she kept from her grammar school days. Delicate, simple, intricate, ornate, all with familiar names. Off to the library, now, to high school, to marriage, to war. Home again, home again. To clothesline. To family. To a walk through the park. And what have we here? Someone’s initials, in the heart of the sycamore? “Old-Fashioned Valentines” […]

Continue Reading →

Long Island Line

In the form of his complete poetry and prose, Walt Whitman has been a daily companion of mine for the last three months. Today I opened and closed the uncommon-common book of his life for the last time — but not, if I am granted the necessary health and a similar span of years, for ever or for all time. Clearly, there is much about our time that would not […]

Continue Reading →