William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Canvas 824 — Patience

Canvas 824 — January 17, 2017

I wonder, is it possible to cultivate a patience so gentle and profound that it outlives the flesh? Or is patience a pond we bathe in, and cannot defile with our death? We were greeted by a friendly, talkative woodpecker yesterday near Goose Lake — a young bird more intent on socializing than carrying on its regular craft and trade. Watching us from a bare trunk not five feet away, […]

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Aging, Confession, Stars

As long as this body is in the world, and as long as it remains lit from within, the urge, the desire, the need, is to tell all — the instinct, the drive, the purpose, the dream. I am my own living and breathing confession, and by this confession, my life is fulfilled. I walked very early this morning on streets shimmering with particles of ice. The sky was almost […]

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His Own Clock Ticking

Expecting snow. Expecting rain. Expecting spring. Expecting soup. Expecting carrots. Expecting beans. Expecting love. Expecting death. Expecting wings.   His Own Clock Ticking A human aware of his own clock ticking, I give you the weather — as it relates to my own, which, having just bathed, is moist and warm and promising sun — a day begun precisely so, is all that matters, and must not be ignored. How […]

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The Old Road

One Hand Clapping February 2004

Who knows why, but this morning I find myself thinking about jackrabbits, vineyards, and dust. These are but a few significant emblems of my childhood, which, rather than ending, gradually became the insanity I labor under today. Polliwogs, crawdads, slow-moving mossy water. The sound of our tractor in the distance, the tractor and my father pursued by a cloud of blackbirds looking for bugs, seeds, and worms. As I look […]

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A Poet Making Scrambled Eggs

Emily Dickinson wrote a poem — I saw her put it on — thro’ the open window — and thro’ the window heard her call it — Snow. “Woman in White” Early one January evening.   A Poet Making Scrambled Eggs A poet making scrambled eggs imagines chickens scratching in the yard, warm sun upon a never-painted fence, an old dog napping on the porch stoically resigned to all its […]

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And What Is This Earth Ship

Back to the falls — but not the same falls, no; never have we seen the water rushing so madly; never have we heard it thundering so loudly on the rocks below; the creek in torrent, fed by laughing streams dancing across the path on one side, and spilling over ferns, moss, rocks, and downed branches on the other; a dusting of snow all around; the temperature about thirty-five degrees; […]

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Someday

All smiles late yesterday afternoon, our twelve-year-old grandson told me that earlier in the day he had looked me up on the internet — I googled you were the words he used. I said, You did? That’s funny, I didn’t feel anything — at the same time realizing that from this point on I would begin to seem a little different in his eyes, as this portion of my life […]

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Wisdom Remains

It needed many years, but when I finally realized that as a writer I would not be famous or successful in a way that would pay the bills, and when I understood what a lucky thing that was, the self-imposed burden of the idea fell away, leaving me light, free, ready, and glad for whatever may come. Painful as it was, I do not regret the process; I am not […]

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