William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Death’

The Page and the Moon

The rising sliver of the waning moon is good company. So is a blank page. I have seen many of the latter dawn and fade over the years, very nearly one each day — fade into print, into scratch, swirl, and scrawl. But if I had to choose between the page and the moon, I would keep the moon and let go of the page. And while it is one […]

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You Will Forgive Me

Maybe I have changed. Clearing the downspouts of birch leaves in a light rain at fifty-three degrees while wearing shorts and short sleeves and being barefoot is something I have never done before. That I felt warm and completely comfortable while doing it is, I think, as good a sign as the early fall rain, which is drenching everything in fine winter style. Fifty-three, of course, is not cold. The […]

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Donne and Done

My mother passed away eight years ago today. September 25, 2021 . Donne and Done Give or take a few centuries, my mother lived ninety-one years, two months, and twenty-one days. Alzheimer’s Disease made for a sad, confused, prolonged ending, difficult and painful for her and her family. It was also beautiful. In very personal terms, it was and remains a gift. I watched her light go out — the […]

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Curious Symbols

The recorded voice of a long dead relative and the old associations it stirs. How the first fall rain wakens mold in the yard. Leaves in his eyes, moss on his arms. Then you realize that all those years he was alive, you witnessed only the talking version of him, and never, not once, the solitary, the silent. Or, perhaps, that was his silence. As this is yours. Pages and […]

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Granite and Flesh

The level of relaxation I reach stretched out for a rest on my back on the floor is death-like. It might be for only a few minutes, or for half an hour, or occasionally even for an hour, but the sleep that comes to these muscles and bones is deep and profound. Arms at my side, toes to the window, face to the ceiling, I am, for a brief dreamless […]

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The Patience of Ferns

Four miles of dusty trails, with side trips down to what is now a very low-running stream. No clouds, no fog, no mist, no smoke. Far off, on the other side of the canyon, the great echoing voice of a raven. The talk now is of rain, and the patience of ferns. Bare feet. Thirty-nine degrees. Even in drought, we outlive our own death. September 16, 2021 . [ 1229 […]

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Crossing — My Father’s Side

I didn’t learn to type in school. With the help of a book from the public library, I taught myself when I was in my early thirties. Prior to that, I used the time-honored hunt-and-peck system. I’m a fair typist, not a good one. I can type these lines without looking at the keys. But if I need to incorporate numbers, I have to look down. Once many years ago, […]

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It Might Be a Stone

Blue elderberry — one fairly dense shrub about ten feet tall alongside the path above Goose Lake; another twice as high, several hundred feet farther on where the path and dry stream bed turn; a third, the smallest, but with a crop every bit as ample as the others, not far north. Mission Lake, below the old black cottonwood, green with algae, very shallow, dotted with softly illuminated shore birds, […]

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Thinking of You Out There

Ripening grapes, the first crickets, and a few dry leaves. Light. Dark. Tired in the way of a warning. August 6, 2021 . Thinking of You Out There Thinking of you out there, deep in the dry grass and summer smoke, steady as a blind-cricket time-piece; how want is a dry well, and truth the tale of windmill blades. Recently Banned Literature, July 10, 2014 . [ 1189 ]

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Proverb

A very warm afternoon, outside and in. It seems logical, natural, inevitable, that, as I age, I am moving steadily, inexorably, towards silence. The season holds sway, but the conclusion is the same any time of year. Towards word silence; journal silence; poem silence; grave silence. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; silence to silence. Emerged from silence, proceeding unto silence; never having left silence, forever part of silence. Loving […]

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