William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Aging’

Long Story Short

William Michaelian, No Time to Cut My Hair

These days, my hair and beard are long — depending on the light, home to an early winter, or to all four seasons at once, like one of Gramp’s old work shirts, blossom, grape, earth, leaf, frost. I practice simple daily cleanliness, wear clothes to match, and which require almost no closet space. And so I wonder — is my natural unadorned appearance a public invitation to set aside what’s […]

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After the Storm

We hear time and again of artists cut down in the eternal youth of their prime — painters, writers, poets, musicians — and wonder at the gifts they leave behind. And I think, thank goodness they did not put off doing the work they were born to do. I feel the same about mothers and fathers, farmers, caregivers, teachers, and everyone else who meets their fears and answers the call. […]

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My Old Age

The personal, private, public nature of this project notwithstanding, I’ve noticed lately a new idea creeping in; namely, that I’m also bringing these pages together for my children. While they’re too busy living to read them now, and although they know me well enough that it really isn’t necessary, I know them well enough to say that if this website survives, they will appreciate it when I’m gone. As we […]

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I Can Imagine

Yesterday afternoon, I watched through the kitchen window as a spider tried to move into a web that was already occupied. The rude visitor was slightly larger, but the two looked almost identical and might well have been from the same spring hatch. There was a steady breeze. Sunlight shone on the web, highlighting flecks of autumn debris. Both spiders paused in their encounter when they were disturbed by the […]

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Roads

Roads

I’ve often wondered where drawn lines end and poems begin. Some will say poems must be made of words. Strictly speaking, that’s true. But I’ve lived long enough to know, I’m made of words too. And when you read between the lines, I read you. Of the photographic self-portraits I attempted several years ago, Roads, I think, is one interesting example. The image first appeared in Recently Banned Literature in 2011 and […]

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One Pebble, One Pond, One Croaking Frog

I’m sixty-two. As I age, the desire to work grows ever stronger — the urge, the need, the understanding that it’s as much a matter of health as it is accomplishment — health physical and mental, a kind of spirit-health, which comes of living as lightly as possible on this earth and in this body, this body compromised and informed by years of stress and foolishness, clouded by ego and […]

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The Painting of You

Every now and then, I like to remind people that I’m well aware that by publishing my efforts, I’m really charting my decline. It’s intended as a statement of humor and truth. I don’t fear losing my mind, but maybe I should. It is going. But in which direction? Is it strengthening and gathering force? I’m healthier now physically than when my books were written. I’m also older, grayer, and […]

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If Not Tomorrow Then Today

This poem was written early in the morning one year ago today. It was published on Recently Banned Literature and shared on Facebook.   If Not Tomorrow Then Today Sometimes I think of the bodies of friends and loved ones motionless in their graves — my mother, my father, our old neighbor the beekeeper, and even our faithful old hounds — and I feel a beautiful harvest is in, call […]

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After the Fall

Why does the bird sing? Because it will? Because it must? Because it can? As the child is a poet, the child is a man. And the man goes out on a limb. Why does the man sing? To break, and to bend. To break . . . . . and to bend.   [ 20 ]

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Long Time Passing

My mother grew sweet alyssum in the bed by the porch. That is my childhood. There is more, of course. Her birthday on the Fourth. And the force that transformed us. Mind gone, her body a torch. Mine gone, to alyssum. And a smile that could be a rainbow, or door. A limb to sing from? A wind chime? A breeze? An arch?   [ 18 ]

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