William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Everything and Nothing

Letters and Figs

It was too hot yesterday evening to walk any great distance. I went to the first stop sign, turned right, then went to the next stop sign to where the fig tree is. The tree has swallowed the sign. There are ripe figs against the white letters. Letters and figs. I opened the mailbox and found one fig from my uncle, one letter from my aunt, and one stop sign […]

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Dream Baby

I met a young father holding a baby. I had no idea who they were. I took the baby in my arms, held him up against my shoulder, and spoke gently to him. He smiled. I don’t remember what I said, but I think it was something simple and silly, but true. It’s been quite some time since I’ve held a baby — not a thought one has every day. […]

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Ever Sunday

There’s a man we see looking at books in the thrift shops. He’s about our age, small, thin, and wears a wool cap in all weather, and at all times of the year. He’s thoughtful, always alone, seldom buys anything, and doesn’t stay long. Yesterday I said hello very quietly, and he replied with a kind nod, his lips forming the same word, with just enough breath behind it that […]

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A Reasoning Bee

The flower might be a rose — let’s say it’s wild, uncultivated, madly scented, and that you’ve come upon it on a path near a river. Or it might be a prize dahlia, or a humble marigold — and suddenly you’re on your knees, sniffing the clover in your lawn — honey, you think — and in that moment you are a bee — a reasoning bee, a bee with […]

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Cool Water

When I water our smaller, more delicate seedlings and plants, I use a child’s little blue watering can embellished with a smiling green frog. Not only does the can sprinkle well, the drops are tiny enough not to batter the plants. And inside, the water is refreshing and clean — I can see right through to the blue bottom and sides. I suppose it holds about a quart. Such a […]

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Dream, Sleep, Flower

Although I’ve recorded and published many dreams, I have not written about sleep itself more than to say in passing that I slept poorly or I slept well, which is, really, a way of avoiding the subject. What a terrible night, I say, — and then move on to other things. Or, That’s the best I’ve slept in forty years, as if I could remember each and every night, and […]

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Danny Boy

The distance between our farm and the next town was about eight miles. There was a place by the railroad tracks there where we bought hundred-pound sacks of three-grain and chicken feed. Opening a new sack of either was like opening a can of coffee: it was impossible to inhale enough of the simple-complex aroma. But how long has it been since we had goats and chickens? Let’s see . […]

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Nobody and the Madman

About two weeks and twenty blog entries in, I can pause here a moment and say that I like this new website. Not only has working on it been a positive, enjoyable experience right from the beginning, but to my eye, at least, the navigation and appearance are as simple as its purpose. I love that there are no visual distractions, and that there is plenty of breathing room for […]

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River Country

We parked in the lot near the immense black walnut tree. Its shade is dense this time of year, the moss on its massive trunk and lower branches still green. We’ve seen it in all seasons. We’ve seen it bare in winter, and in its golden profundity in fall. And it’s clear in its presence that wisdom isn’t something one seeks, because it is here. And only the mind is […]

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