William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Death’

The End of the Rainbow

What happens when you add fifteen years to memories that were forty years old when you first wrote them down? The answer, expressed mathematically, is this: 40 + 15 = surprise x gratitude. . The End of the Rainbow When I was in the fourth grade, our teacher gave us a short reading assignment about a porpoise. Since I had never heard of the animal or seen the word porpoise […]

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Village Song

Sweet sadness, I will never turn my back on thee. . Village Song I have been long away But now I’m coming home Bright gold in my pocket A new bride on my arm. Come to the door, Mother, Is Father in the field? Come to the door, Mother, Is Father in the field? We climb the old stone steps To where my mother lay In a bed of flowers […]

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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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Saved

The sound of rain. The blessèd certainty of it — think as I will, believe as I will, act as I will, the rain will fall on my grave, and that is a blessing too: a blessing to the stone, should I have one, a blessing to the soft green grass that grows over me. And for an epitaph, these two words will do: Listening. Still. May they describe you. […]

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Change Your Face

A very rough night — but I did intercept the pass; and if only the field were not so far below, I could have run to the goal line, instead of laboriously treading air until my much delayed, unnoticed, unheralded arrival. Such are the rewards of greatness. More disturbing, however, was the haunted figure intent on changing faces, the last of which was the full moon. Change your face, I […]

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Prodigal Hands

Sometimes I think that without these writings,I would drift off into space like a child’s balloon. Sometimes I think I already have. Sometimes I rejoice in the return of my prodigal hands,and do not ask where they have been. Sometimes I am not I, but the wind. Sometimes I find this body by the road,and wonder if it might be something I said. Sometimes I simply bow my head. Field […]

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Solstice

The pandemic has claimed the life of our neighbor. She was a kindhearted widow, eighty-two years old. The day after visiting her on Thanksgiving, her son died from the same cause. Yesterday evening, Saturn and Jupiter were hidden by fast-moving clouds. December 22, 2020 . Solstice The longest day is the shortest somewhere else a ripe plum fallen in decay half hidden by dead leaves and the promises they made […]

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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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A Fair Beginning

On my deathbed, deep in the heart of age, I would be blessed to hear a voice say, You have made a fair beginning. And if there were no voice, another sign — wind along the eaves, or hummingbird befriend me. Should I hear it twice, I would not know my name; a third time, maybe — given to a tree outside, or a tiny newborn baby. December 12, 2020. […]

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