William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

New Poems & Pieces

Jung and Easily Freudened, Specimen 1

I used to have dreams about work not done. I was behind on the farm, I was late, the necessity and importance of the job had completely slipped my mind. An example: suddenly it was April or May, and I realized I had forgotten to prune ten whole acres of vines. Always, or almost always, the dreams culminated in a feeling of guilt and shame. It has been many years […]

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Blossom, v.

See how the fig tree declares her passion before her leaves are on, how the dogwood, winded down, is bridal in her bloom, how the birds, busy in your branches, have shaken you, and flown. “Revelation” Recently Banned Literature, April 22, 2014 Twelve Poems, Poets International   Blossom, v. Carry me in, carry me out — you, a shoe, and I, a wet petal on your sole.

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A Fairy Tale Pirate

In a sky so still, sparrows, like steam from a kettle, or arrows, that know where old gods go when they fly. “In a Sky So Still” Recently Banned Literature, May 20, 2014 Twelve Poems, Poets International   A Fairy Tale Pirate There is, these days, the habit of reading aloud the journal of Henry David Thoreau, which affords a better hearing of that extensive part of him which he […]

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Coming of Age

If I truly love the absence of pain, how can I not also love its presence? I am not above life and unique to choose. In this transient human disguise, I cannot even reliably, or consistently, distinguish between the two. Indeed, it might well be, and it might be well, that they are one. April 5, 2019   Coming of Age A light supper, a thunderstorm, and a sturdy hut. […]

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Disaster

During my San Joaquin Valley childhood, there were still a few boxcars used as homes, tucked away in odd corners on useless bits of land. Nestled in mounds of chickweed, with old blown tires and chickens in the yard, they seemed like seeds scattered by a giant’s hand, or fruit fallen from a tree in a homegrown fairy tale. Life inside could not have been comfortable, too cold in winter, […]

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Long Time Passing

For weeds in tight spots, I use an old folding grape knife we brought from the farm. It was given to my father back in the Seventies as an expression of thanks by a man for letting him work for a short time to meet a few immediate bills. If I remember correctly, his employment lasted two or three days, and was ended not by my father, but by the […]

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Oaks Remember Poppies

A friendly neighbor out walking is glad to see us. After exchanging greetings, he reaches out as we pass, and almost touches my shoulder. Someday we might even know each other’s names, and then forget them when we’re older. And someday when it’s warmer, we will be colder.   Oaks Remember Poppies Sunflower sprouting in a paw-print. A pot on the step by the door. Oaks remember poppies. We forget […]

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Wobbles

The crocuses we planted near the sidewalk and which had their first bloom last spring, doubled, tripled, possibly even quadrupled this year. Like love, the bulbs are spreading, and in so doing, they are making their own fertile ground.   Wobbles a squeaky old tricycle and a squeaky old man love is the child who gives him her hand

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Then and Now

Flies on the screen late in the fall, worn out and slow, less rumble than show, in shiny old armor. The grapes gone, the vineyard leaves yellowing, the weeds spent and dry. Not a drop of rain. Walnuts drying in big wooden boxes leaning against the shed. In front of the house, at the side of the road, a boy steps out of a big yellow bus. Thoughtfully, absently, presently, […]

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Piano Man

The printed certificate with ornamental border shows that I was born in 1956, on the twentieth day of the month of May, in the small town of Dinuba, in the county of Tulare, in the central part of the San Joaquin Valley of California, southeast of the much larger town of Fresno. The third of three sons, I was named William on the third day after my glorious Sunday afternoon […]

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