William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Books’

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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A Warm Muffin and a Fresh Ripe Orange

The weather turns cold, and here I am with my books again — the book of fallen leaves, and of the cloudless night and bright moon — the book of wordless days, and of the failing light in my work room — and glad I am, love, you will be home soon. October 9, 2019   A Warm Muffin and a Fresh Ripe Orange Imagine loving silence and solitude so […]

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Whispers

Dahlia leaves, intensely green after a thunderstorm. Ferns and moss, a fertile, humid prayer. Cleaning the iris bed — old, worn mothers with their fearless children. The scent of mushrooms soon to sprout. A friendly neighbor says a spirit haunts his house. Books — Walt Whitman and John Muir. Melville and Thoreau. And how strange Emerson, if he’d had a beard. September 12, 2019

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Happiness

All of Herman Melville’s poetry, complete in a beautiful, one thousand-page book — the new Library of America edition, out just days ago, is already in this reader’s hands. This is another of those projects I enjoy so well, like the slow and careful reading aloud of Thoreau’s fourteen-volume journal, which I have currently under way, Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, and the complete works of other writers I have […]

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Miracles

So old, memory failed, he’d forgotten he was ready for death — one last star at sunrise, just beyond his grasp. Joy! Bookmark, Page 470, Poems, Notes, and Drawings   Miracles I sat on a rock in the shade, not far from the water’s edge. Three small boats were out, each carrying but one person. Two were floating with the current. The other, by means of an uneven-sounding outboard motor, […]

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Portent

The flesh in dreams is as real as it seems. And this is a dream. Bookmark, Page 455, Poems, Notes, and Drawings   Portent I heard a sound, turned, and saw my father approaching through the mist. He was smiling, as usual. “Your mother told me to come and get you,” he said, “so here I am. Are you ready?” I told him yes, that I was ready, and that […]

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Ask Yourself

At the rate I’m going, steady though it may be, it will take me several years to finish reading all fourteen volumes of Thoreau’s journal. I hope I have those years. But if I don’t, I’m happy to have had those leading up to them. And when I say hope, I mean I’m willing to live them if they’re given me, and that I understand very well they might not […]

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The Sunlight on My Mother’s Face

Well before daylight, in the sublime quiet, reading the letters of a thoughtful young man who later lost his life in the Civil War at the age of twenty-nine: Charles Russell Lowell, nephew of the great writer and poet, James Russell Lowell. Then, suddenly, raindrops — so few in number it reminds me of my mother sprinkling water on her ironing. June 26, 2019   The Sunlight on My Mother’s […]

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