William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Aging’

Pilgrim

I am here and I am not here — what better way to describe this early-morning walk through the fog, accompanied by what seems, and what might very well be, my almost tangible presence after death? The sublime vagueness of it, the feeling that, if it is necessary, it must be in unfathomable ways, the dawning of innocence with the coming of age. I will not tarry. Life is the […]

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Calendar

There is in November, a December way of looking at things. Cold toes in old shoes. Drunken birds, shrill red berries. Yes . . . This is the place . . . And these are your big round spectacles. The garden door is overgrown. There is rust on the hinges. In the creak of the wind on the spring of the latch is the hand of a ghost. Is it […]

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A Lesson to Remember

A Lesson to Remember

The following little story, which reads like a fairy tale — and would be, if every word of it were not true — is an old favorite of mine. Written in 2002 as part of No Time to Cut My Hair, it subsequently appeared in Ararat Quarterly in 2003; in Armenian translation in The Old Language in 2005; and in The Armenian Reporter in 2008. The accompanying image is from […]

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So Begins December

Winter Poems. It’s a slender volume, and its design is somewhat crude. But what does it matter now? Did it matter then? No. It was a joy to behold, and to see in my mother’s hands. Now I find it on her shelf, between Harper Lee and The Grapes of Wrath. Life is like that. So is death. All is good. Nothing blooms by half.   So Begins December There’s […]

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Wolves

Writing poetry all night. Some call it dream. Some call it sleep. In the morning the paper is blank. Snow has covered the ink. The graves. The hollow reeds. The bird tracks. Then you wake.   Wolves I sweep the floor, but not beneath your feet. Your brow defends the shadow fallen there. Frail sun leaves ice unscathed and windows cold. Another winter just begun, bolder than the last. Remembered […]

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This Deep Love

How can we know each other if we don’t know ourselves? Between these sweet, holy, terrifying glimpses, how? Into each narrow crevice and wide chasm go the stories we tell. By lip and by eye we fill, by wrinkle and tongue. O dear one, maybe this flower will do, this shout ’cross the pond. This deep love in the dark night of our blind spaces.

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Impressions

Two impressions met in the wind; each asked where the other had been; caught in a glance, both said; and passed again.   Impressions Year upon year, fall upon fall, the maple leaves on the path remind me of hands. And one must die to know what it is to be held that way — die to the branch, die to the stem, die to the light, die to the […]

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Maybe on a Summer Day

Twenty-six degrees. I’m reminded of a similar morning in my mother’s old age, when the furnace stopped working, and how for the entire time during its repair, I chatted with the workman while she stayed in bed to keep warm, snug and unperturbed beneath her grandmother’s quilt, secure in the haze of her thought and non-thought, as if her dementia were a pair of soft comfortable pajamas. Now my wife […]

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Burying a Bone

Whatever its origin, I am part of this universe, however it may have been, or may be, scientifically and imaginatively defined. I feel neither significant nor insignificant in the face of this seeming immensity. I am not small. I am not large. I am as much star as I am snail or stone. I do not fear the unknown. I am part of the unknown. I do not believe in […]

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