William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Childhood’

A Child’s Christmas

A great many years ago, my mother accidentally dropped a copy of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám out of the library window. About thirty years later, I saw it on my brother’s bookshelf. She’d inscribed it to him as a gift! . A Child’s Christmas Whence this peace falling into this upturned palm? . [ 970 ]

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Please Stay

A warm steady rain. The dust all washed away, the tea made, the earth peeled and set out upon a plate, this world is the perfect meal for every child who comes to play. “Please stay.”             But they do not. Nor can we. She folds the cloth. Sets the seal. Ends the day. December 20, 2020 . [ 962 ]

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In Lieu Of

Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Wells Brown are both in Europe now, seeing the sights, meeting people, writing their observations and travel notes. One is a free man, wondering what freedom really is. The other is a fugitive, who knows what freedom is, or thinks he does. This leaves us to ask the reader of these two books if he knows. And he replies by saying that whatever he knows, […]

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Child With a Lantern in a Dream

Yesterday afternoon, the deep wet grass in front of the house was so green it made the sun smile — a wonderful thing, considering what the sun sometimes has to look down upon, even if it is not a person, and is, as many adults believe, just a star. October 18, 2020 . Child With a Lantern in a Dream Now you can see, Mr. Sun, that there is nothing […]

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Many Are Called

There remains the possibility, however slight, that even I, who live a very private, quiet life, might be destined to fulfill some kind of public role — public, that is, beyond these poems, notes, and drawings. Throughout history, there have been instances in which individuals have arisen from the common mass, as it were, seemingly coming out of nowhere, often even against their own personal desire or will, with some […]

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Long Gray Train (I Pay the Porter)

I woke up in the middle of the night needing a sip of water. I walked down the hall, and as I passed through the dark sitting room, a sentence sprang to mind, or the beginning of a sentence — a phrase, a breath, a sound, a combination of sounds — a powerful suggestion, insistent, dreamlike, meaningful, profound, but I didn’t have the focus to pick up a pen and […]

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Hollow Hobo

I had just finished vacuuming the kitchen floor and was about to turn off the machine when I saw an enormous spider walking my way. I pressed the off button. The spider was beautiful, brown and hairy like a small tarantula, but of a much less stocky build. And even if it was not beautiful to my dull standards, I had no desire to end its life, especially in such […]

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Naked in the Realm

The air was so fresh and clean yesterday, so perfectly scented with subtle fall fragrance, the edges of the clouds so beautifully crisp and defined, that one would think there had never been a fire in Oregon, or that nearby there are fires burning still. And now, borne by the southwest wind, rain approaches. In the afternoon I took out our tired old tomato plants; the cherry tomatoes, though, I […]

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Wash Day

The end of the world is a strange and beautiful place. It keeps growing, and it keeps ending. And as it ends, it gives birth to countless new beginnings. Eyes open, eyes close, eyes open again. Galaxies and atoms. Oceans and tufts of grass. A little boy’s pockets turned inside out for the wash. What he remembers. What he loses. What he collects. Where have you been? his kind mother […]

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