William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Everything and Nothing

At the Flower Show

During the last few years of her life, my mother did not know the time, the day, the month, the season, the year, or the name of the town where she lived. She just lived. She liked music. She liked flowers. She liked apple juice. She did not like pain. Now, I know what time it is. But I do not know what time is. I like rain.   At […]

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Autumnal

Reading Thoreau to the ticking of one’s body clock, until a visitor, upon entering the room, is as likely to find a cricket in the chair as someone with a book in his lap — that’s how it is. Earlier this afternoon, a hummingbird kept returning to the front window to feed on her reflection. As I read the season, I see now that in the earliest chapters, many clues […]

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Passager

With practice, there comes trust and confidence in one’s own footing; a rocky path and its frequently changing grades is a joy and a meditation; there is no need to survive or prove or conquer; there is only the path, and there is not the path, but a kind of spirit-communion and spirit-passing; a presence, and not a presence. The same may be said of drawing and writing, or of […]

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Heron, Cricket, Moon

At one of the ten falls, up a side path through leafy shade where ferns and moss and piggyback plants abound, we came upon a great blue heron standing at the pool, statue-still. Noticing us, it turned its head, and seemed somehow to become an even taller, leaner bird, as if it had pulled its feathers more tightly around itself. Sorry for our intrusion, and hoping not to frighten it, […]

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Rural Route

We will leave early this morning for another long walk at Silver Falls. But the countryside we will drive through to get there is every bit as beautiful in its own way, and as worth walking, except that the walking would have to be done on roads. And so, that we may see one beautiful place, roads take us through other beautiful places, while keeping us apart from them. And […]

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Happiness

All of Herman Melville’s poetry, complete in a beautiful, one thousand-page book — the new Library of America edition, out just days ago, is already in this reader’s hands. This is another of those projects I enjoy so well, like the slow and careful reading aloud of Thoreau’s fourteen-volume journal, which I have currently under way, Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, and the complete works of other writers I have […]

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Alders

I acquire bits of knowledge as if I were stringing beads. But there is no knot at the end. And the older beads slip off into my lap. From there I take them up and hold them to the light. And back on the string, they are new again. The stream that leads to the falls at the north end of the park is running low, and much of its […]

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Delirium Detail

A full pint basket of beautiful ripe fruit — I picked the last of our blueberries yesterday. In the evening, the first flight of geese. The gentle summer continues. By the front step, on the big rhododendron, next spring’s flower buds have already formed. Before lunch, I ate one slice of a fresh, sour, Gravenstein apple. I could feel the juice on its way down, spreading a tart panic. It […]

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