William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Death’

How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way? High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters […]

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Remember

Everything I eat, everything I wear, everything I use; everything that sustains me and makes my life easier and more comfortable; everything that educates me, everything that stimulates me intellectually and inspires me in the realm of art — these are all proof of how directly my life is related to others, and of how completely I depend on people almost all of whom I will never meet and know. […]

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You Can See It All From Here

Having been granted this breath, I would be embarrassed to ask for anything more. Without it, there is nothing more. With it, as familiar as it seems, this glorious early morning summer scent is more than I can describe or define. It describes and defines me. It is the cosmic fruit, honey, and grain that sustains. It is the means and the way. Now, if only there is something I […]

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If You Would Have

It’s been a week and a half since I’ve worn socks and shoes, and even then I had them on for only an hour. I’ve also not worn full-length pants since then. I’ve written in shorts, I’ve made soup and salad in shorts, I’ve tended the garden in shorts, I’ve walked by the river in shorts, and I’ve bought berries in shorts. And yet prior to this summer, wearing shorts […]

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The Fear of Death and the Desire to Be Remembered

I slept for a few minutes yesterday after lunch. When I awoke to the tender tips of the lacy green maple moving in the breeze, and the pine needles glistening in the light of the clear blue sky, and its swirl of upward-curved branches gently lowering and rising, I was nigh overwhelmed by the timeless, trembling, whispering intimacy of what was happening, not only outside, beyond the open window, but […]

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Sunday Salad

Silent, motionless, unblinking: after four years, robins have built another nest in the fig tree. I don’t know how many times I’ve passed under it without knowing it was there; several today; and recently when the heat was at its peak, I moved several potted plants into the shade, very near where the mother is patiently sitting. An ocean breeze has cooled the valley. Yesterday the temperature fell to eighty-seven […]

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Lullaby

Someday, when you’re a dragonfly standing on air, And your transparent blue wings are all that you wear, I’ll be a gravestone with a waterfall near; Now sleep on, child, sleep without fear, Sleep, my love, my sweet, My dear. Recently Banned Literature, January 10, 2018 . [ 1147 ]

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Ocean Spray, Chicory, Thyme

Found blooming along the path on the Goose Lake trail: ocean spray, chicory, and thyme; also daisies, blackberries, clover, and St. John’s wort. Barefoot a quarter-mile, upon an old maiden aunt’s carpet of drying grasses. The sound of bees in her parlor, made by a swarm in the largest of the black walnut trees near the old Mission cottonwood. Or is it her tea kettle? Just past the cottonwood, the […]

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Love’s Sweet Something

The rut of your thinking, the rough road, the weary pleasure in the familiar sights and sounds, and then the joy of a sudden storm that settles it all to ground — or it might be the laugh of a child, just as they lower you, just as wild seed takes root when love’s sweet something is found. Recently Banned Literature, August 22, 2016 . [ 1139 ]

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Sunday Morning as Rain Approached

How to describe the complex scent left behind by yesterday’s rain? First the nose asks the toes. Then they all have a good laugh at the brain. June 14, 2021 . Sunday Morning as Rain Approached Sunday morning as rain approached, we walked by the river among snowing cottonwoods. I inhaled a pound of lint. Yesterday I heard a girl I grew up with lost her husband to cancer. I […]

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