William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Cemeteries’

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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Steps

The worm moon — on such a clear morning, even her robins are visible. March 10, 2020   Steps “When she rests in the apple tree —                             that’s when we’ll harvest the moon.”          And they took great care with the ladder,                      not to               make a sound.   “Son? Do you see her face? Why are you looking down?”          And that is what he remembers,                             this day in the […]

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Troonk and Hamph

Among other things, in his journal entry for May 25, 1852, Thoreau mentions hearing the first troonk of a bullfrog — a lovely word, although I have for years spelled the sound hamph — this based on my recurring basso profondo imitation of bullfrogs heard while drifting with my father in his twelve-foot aluminum boat down California’s Kings River, in that lazy stretch below the town of Reedley where it […]

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