William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Shall I Tell You?

Being right is such a small, fleeting thing. I would rather be loved, Or unnoticed, than looked up to, respected, and feared. It rained through the night — Shall I tell you about my wet feet? — about her smile when I came in from the yard? September 19, 2021 . [ 1233 ]

Continue Reading →

Sweet Yellow Lanterns

Fifty-eight degrees. Standing shirtless on the grass at dawn under a steady rain, face to the sky, I was surprised at how warm I felt. Twenty minutes later, inside, while finishing my shower with the water turned completely to cold, I was surprised again by how much colder the water was coming from the city well and up through the pipes that run under the house. What, in degrees, is […]

Continue Reading →

Granite and Flesh

The level of relaxation I reach stretched out for a rest on my back on the floor is death-like. It might be for only a few minutes, or for half an hour, or occasionally even for an hour, but the sleep that comes to these muscles and bones is deep and profound. Arms at my side, toes to the window, face to the ceiling, I am, for a brief dreamless […]

Continue Reading →

Variable Gravity

Two and a half miles near, but not in view of, the river. A silence that is scent, the scent silent in silent assent. The ascent of this idea or thought: variable gravity. Let us suppose that on this earth, instead of gravity being a steady, predictable thing, it varies from person to person and day to day; let us know, through experience, that we cannot always count on having […]

Continue Reading →

The Patience of Ferns

Four miles of dusty trails, with side trips down to what is now a very low-running stream. No clouds, no fog, no mist, no smoke. Far off, on the other side of the canyon, the great echoing voice of a raven. The talk now is of rain, and the patience of ferns. Bare feet. Thirty-nine degrees. Even in drought, we outlive our own death. September 16, 2021 . [ 1229 […]

Continue Reading →

A Song on the Stove

I skipped coffee yesterday. That was a mistake. September 15, 2021 . A Song on the Stove I made some good coffee this morning. The taste varies, you know. I use an old pot. It’s the one my parents used back in the day. No special science, simply a perking paradise of memory and aroma. We’d go camping in the mountains and the pot would go with us. Or company […]

Continue Reading →

A Way of Life

Imagine a race of beings so in love with themselves, so jaded, so steeped in their bitterness, that they choose daily to revel in their own righteous filth. Impossible, of course. Yellowed cottonwood leaves on the trail. The trees shudder to think. Gray skies all day without a hint of blue, the smoke pushed east again for a time. Broken green husks of walnuts on the steps. Squirrels, or birds? […]

Continue Reading →

In So Many Words

Another nuthatch visit. This time, while I was filling the birdbath, one came down from the birch tree and landed on the edge, within two feet of where I was standing. Was the drink it took meant to satisfy it, or me? Both — and the water itself. There is no such thing as a foreign language in this musical world. September 9, 2021 . [ 1224 ]

Continue Reading →