William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Cemeteries’

Crazy Old Widow

Over the rise, past the cemetery, through the orange grove in bloom, on the Sunday morning side of the barn, the old rusted car your uncle drove, weeds through the floor board, cracks in the wheel knob, heaven’s own smell, the slowest kind of smoke. “Heaven’s Own Smell” Recently Banned Literature, May 21, 2014 . Crazy Old Widow The crazy old widow keeps a vineyard of gnarled old men arms […]

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A Faraway Town

Let us not explain everything, that we may not explain ourselves away, into meaninglessness, or superficiality, which is far worse. . A Faraway Town Between the rows                beside the mounds         above the tombs he knows so well,                                the tombs so dark, the tombs so cool,                 that pull him down                         and bend him ’round one frayed shoelace at a time, one copper-colored eyelet,                a faraway town (without any news)                               where no […]

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Letter to a Friend

Again, in preserving some of these older pieces, I find I must be willing to overlook what I feel are certain obvious weaknesses. In the present case, I do it for memory’s sake, and for its biographical and autobiographical value. My friend’s death when we were eighteen, the time that led up to it and which immediately followed, I count as one of the saddest, most fortunate experiences of my […]

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Thirty-One Hath October

It was good to see the little row of pumpkins leading to the front door of our daughter’s house, one for each member of the family. In the cool, misty morning, without touching them, I knew exactly what they would feel like, their deep grooves, their dry, rugged stems, their warts and lumps. And I thought, ever so briefly, of what it might be like to be a pumpkin whisperer, […]

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And This

The iris bed is ready for winter. The sleepers are settling in, some with space between them, others in full embrace, with backs and shoulders turned to the soft fall sunlight. None, apparently, are concerned about the presence of the two tiny oak seedlings that sprouted earlier in the year, not even those that are two or three inches away. And anyway, that’s just a human measurement; irises and oaks […]

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A Threat to Security

In this country, if one isn’t descended from the land’s indigenous people, or from those who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, then one is an immigrant, or, as I am, the descendant of immigrants. Many, of course, are a combination of one with another, and sometimes all three. And still there is hatred, still there is prejudice. “This land is your land, this land is my […]

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Here Lies

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man — I wonder how many years have passed since I read this story aloud to my wife in the kitchen of the house we were renting at the time. Twenty? Twenty-five? The reading ended in tears — mine. And even then, it was not the first time I had read the story. Had Dostoevsky written nothing else, his mission on earth would have been […]

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No Small Thing

Even after a thorough washing, the fingertips of my left hand wear the strong scent of marigolds — this from having plucked three mostly dried blooms from their plants. On each side of the marigolds, we have lobelia in two clay pots. The pots and the marigolds are on an old mossy concrete bench. The bench looks like it belongs in a cemetery. Bees love the lobelia. The lobelia love […]

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Billions

There are billions of us, and billions who have gone before — yet of all these billions, somehow, you are the one who knows. Oh, it must be quite the burden for you! Just look at your flags and guns! And look at the cemeteries, full of your fellow gods! June 1, 2020 [ 765 ]

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