William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Recently Banned Literature

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.

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

What Kind of Flower?

Snow on the lilac — my mother has already forgotten that day. Poems, Slightly Used, April 27, 2008   What Kind of Flower? A couple of days ago, I straightened up our woodpile, which isn’t really a woodpile, but a collection of trimmings too thick to recycle. There are some nice husky lengths of fig, a few pieces of fir and maple, a rhododendron stump harder than a rock and […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Great Gray Granite

There are all sorts of love letters in this world. This world is a love letter.   Great Gray Granite Well, I just can’t help it. I love being so old that no one knows how young I am — except for you, of course — you’ve known all along, since long before either of us was born. I was a rock — a great gray granite slab. Do you […]

Continue Reading →

Dusting — I Love the Little Chores

Love the objects in your care, and hold them dear, for who objects to love, cares more, for fear. “Dusting” Recently Banned Literature, September 20, 2014   Dusting I see objects much as I see words. They demand a harmony of arrangement, a certain space around them, and this in turn relates to the larger space in which they’re contained. A room is a page. A word is a hat, […]

Continue Reading →

The End of Me

What I know is not what I think I know. What I know is a secret I am told. That the secret is in a language I do not understand is not as sad as it might seem. For if the language was one I understood, there would be no need for words like these. And poems would not fall from trees.   The End of Me cherry blossoms will […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Enlightenment Is

I don’t have a lofty idea of myself as something apart, say, from the workings of my innards, or the flexing of my tendons and toes as I crawl around the yard pulling weeds, while my ears are engaged in the harvest of birdsong. I once entertained the time-honored belief that I might be an entity distinct from my body, but that belief has since given way to an acceptance […]

Continue Reading →