William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Songs and Letters

The Mad Artist

Fifteen years. Do I really remember this, or does this remember me? . The Mad Artist Yesterday I was waiting at a light when a mad artist quickly sketched a little girl in front of me in the crosswalk. The girl looked up and gave me the prettiest, craziest smile — a smile of freedom and recognition. I replied with a silly grin. This made her eyes shine, even brighter […]

Continue Reading →

The Ghost in You

The Ghost in You

              How strange — I feel cold, almost as if I were alive.        “That, my friend, is the ghost in you.”                                             Songs and Letters, September 30, 2008 [ 828 ]

Continue Reading →

Closing Time

Even if I could remember what was passing through my mind when I was writing this poem thirteen years ago, how important could it be? Stumbling on it today, I’m simply glad that it is a poem; and I’m glad it’s still willing to speak to me. And what does it say? It says, Come in, come in. Whatever it is, whatever it was, is all forgotten and forgiven now. […]

Continue Reading →

August Days

August days are a recipe for longing: they bring scented dust and dew, the first nocturnal kiss upon veined leaves that are beginning to resemble my mother’s hands. Though much of summer lies ahead, autumn is creeping in, feigning patience with vineyard rows, gently coaxing the fruiting bough, Soft the yellows, purples, reds, soft the folds upon her unmade bed, soft the light on her faded gown, My mother holds […]

Continue Reading →

The Observer Observed

Is it possible to read about, or listen to, the experiences of others, without filtering them through, or comparing them to, one’s own? I don’t suggest that an unbiased comparison would be of lesser or no value. In essence, that asks the same, or nearly the same, question: Is it possible to consider one’s own experiences non-judgmentally, as other than a series of successes and failures, or a source of […]

Continue Reading →

Pantheon

Destroyers advertise themselves. They break down one’s door to get in. Makers must be found. They reveal themselves to seekers. Fortunate are they who go forth freely each morning, with no stone to drag, or that they must first roll away from their gloomy sepulcher. Fortunate are they who have a stone, and who know they have a stone. You have given it great thought. Do you now see that […]

Continue Reading →

Weeds

Weeds — June 22, 2020

Let’s just say these sprouted here, and that we decided to let them grow. Let’s say the rain came, and that our hoes and shovels broke. Let’s say we are weeds ourselves. Yes, and before we die, let us recognize the truth.   Weeds I love the weeds growing around my door, Familiar, independent, working without pay. They would be on a hillside if they could, And someday will be […]

Continue Reading →

Not Dying

This piece, another entry from Songs and Letters, was written August 3, 2005. The friend referred to is Glen Ragsdale, the artist who did the painting that appears on my book, The Painting of You. You can read a little more about Glen and see his painting here.   Not Dying After my friend told me he was diagnosed with cancer and had been given a year and a half […]

Continue Reading →

The Living and the Dead

Sometimes, when the bow is not taut, the arrow flies much farther.   The Living and the Dead A pair of starlings are feasting on something in the maple tree outside my window. The tree has just begun to bloom. Its larger branches are covered with moss, some of it old, much of it new. The birds have found something to eat in the moss — newly hatched insects, or […]

Continue Reading →

Wild Carrots

Seventeen years — hyacinths are there now, shaded by a rapidly growing volunteer cedar. My mother is gone. We live in her house.   Wild Carrots It just occurred to me that wild carrots have sprouted only once on the slope near the sidewalk in front of my mother’s house. That was about three years ago. My sons and I noticed them while working in the area. The roots were […]

Continue Reading →