William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Childhood’

Time and Shoes

It’s easy to live without clocks where there are none. My early childhood was one of those places. Now, in this childhood, I’ve hidden the clock on the computer. I wonder: was teaching me how to tell the time an act of kindness, or unwitting cruelty? And might I not ask the same thing about putting on and tying my shoes? In both instances, shouldn’t the teaching also have stressed, […]

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Believe Not In Corners

The movement of birds, leaves, and insects; the changing patterns of light and shade; clouds; a walker passing by; all accompanied by subtle changes in humidity and temperature — these are the things we miss when we stay indoors and focus for too long on books and screens. Not only do we miss them, we miss the naturally beneficial medicine of our physical engagement and response to random stimuli, our […]

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Ocean Spray and a Two-by-Four

Ingratitude, dissatisfaction aren’t diseases in need of a cure, but failed, obsolete teachings thoughtlessly, one might say religiously, even fanatically, passed down. This year’s apricots are as good as ever, ripe early and quite large because the crop is so small due to the erratic spring weather, which included frost during bloom. The first fell, sweet and juicy, three days ago. Yesterday evening, two came off in our hands, as […]

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Luxury

Cloudy and calm, with an occasional glimpse of the moon. All through the neighborhood, the robins were silent this morning. While I was growing up, there was one telephone in the house. It was in the kitchen. When we went somewhere, to stay for a week in the mountains, for instance, no one could call us. And while we were away, the only clock we had was my father’s dollar […]

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Night, Flight, Light

The grass seed farmers have started cutting their fields. The summer scent of drying grass is intense this morning, like childhood and death in one divine breath. The streets were so quiet during my run at four-thirty, it seemed the houses were all empty. I wonder how many times the world has ended today; I wonder how many times it will begin. While I was watering the hanging basket, the […]

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That Which Survives

Dragonfly season here is a show of grace; color; delicacy. The insects rise and pause and land with an ethereal weightlessness we don’t associate with the much larger dragonflies of our youth in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where they stood on air and rumbled about in our classrooms at school, entering and leaving freely through the open doors and unscreened windows. During the warm months, which seemed to last most […]

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Light-Robins

I was sitting on the front step at first light, just as the robins were beginning to sing, when I noticed the soft, blurry shape of an animal a few feet away under the lacy green maple. Was it a cat? No. It was a raccoon. I stood up. Surprised to find someone so near, it quickly moved away. I sat down again. More light. More robins. More light-robins. More […]

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Occasional Pieces

So far as it pertains to collecting and preserving what I feel are the best of my old writings and drawings, the time has come — if it has not passed already — to lay this work to rest. As such, I have tried to make Poems, Notes, and Drawings cohesive and readable from beginning to end. In that regard, I think of it as a book; I also see […]

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Explain Yourself

Open, honest, illuminating, inspiring, heartbreaking, profound — I am glad to have read James Baldwin’s masterfully written essay, “Notes of a Native Son.” Yesterday morning, upon rising and after the coffee was on, I drank two large glasses of water. This morning I had less than a glass. Sometimes I have one, sometimes one and a half. Day in and day out, all through my growing up years, my father […]

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A Letter to the Girls

The great naturalist, Edward O. Wilson, has died. But the world has not lost him, as the common phrase goes. He lives on his books, in his colleagues, and in the countless people he has influenced and taught. He lives on in the environment and ecosystems he helped and is still helping to save. It is not necessary to meet and know someone personally to benefit from his or her […]

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