William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Songs and Letters

Night

They approached him as if his mind were a cactus, when it was really a colorful old bus on its way through the desert. “A Sad Mistake” Songs and Letters, January 7, 2008   Night I picture a man with a typewriter in his lap, sitting on an old wooden chair beside a rusted mailbox, a field of wildflowers behind him. There is paper in the typewriter. Looking down from […]

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Watercolor

The weather term wintry mix makes me think of a salad without cucumbers and tomatoes, with carrots and cabbage and kale and lettuce of various curls and crinkles and hues, and perhaps an orange slice or two. On the street, though, with the wind in my face while climbing the hill, I’m not met by tangy vegetables and apple cider vinegar, but with rain and ice and snow. Clumps and […]

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Sore Feet

Does it take self-discipline to let the body work its daily cures and wonders, or simply patience, understanding, attention, gratitude, and love? And where do these things dwell, if not in the body? answered the dove.   Sore Feet For the willow tree philosophy is one more leaf on the water. Songs and Letters, March 5, 2008  

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Little Children

The body, in its wisdom, carries the mind along. The mind carries the body. Each is in, and of, the other: the mind is in the body, the body is in the mind. When the mind falls to rust, the body becomes an historical monument, an old cracked liberty bell, venerable, purposeless, inspiring sympathy and awe. When the body falls to rust, the mind becomes a storyteller whose face is […]

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Still Farming

Still Farming

As an old farmer of the written word, I know that in my deepest cultivation I’m really just scratching the surface, and that the strange crops I bring forth, the cactus and the flower, are food of brief duration, and that when I’m gone, the land I care for and hold dear will be safe harbor for my feeble literary bones. Once, many years ago, while we were engaged in […]

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Discovery

Above rooftops and trees, between clouds, there is a familiar collection of stars and planets — a small gathering of faithful friends, inspiring and nonjudgmental. And yet how many millions of miles and years are between them? And what of the space between us? Surely, it is imagined.   Discovery Late one night, when he was very old, they found the great astronomer holding a ruler at arm’s length, measuring […]

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Clouds

There are mornings when the mind has no particular need or desire for clarity. Or it might not be the mind at all; it might be the world that has no need or desire to show herself — as if she’s just out of the bath, her skin fragrant and naked and warm, and in no hurry to put on the day. How foolish the mind would be to say, […]

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Inheritance — February 8, 2019

Inheritance — February 8, 2019

 

Inheritance

Every winter,
we pruned
the same
long
rows
of vines.

Now we’re older;
some of us have died.

I see the vineyard in my mind:
the brush is tangled, leafless, waiting.

Songs and Letters, February 4, 2007
Winter Poems, Cosmopsis Books, 2007

Inheritance

Obituary

Old poems, buried here, and here, and here. I wonder at their names and birth dates, and the lives they must have led. And I wonder if they will live again, and if what they say was ever really said.   Obituary I was by there yesterday Someone left a light on in the house Does the neighbor have a key Or was it someone else                           Mercy me Her poor […]

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