William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Death’

Skunk Detail

When I turned on the front step light at 4:30 this morning, the skunk seemed only mildly surprised. It wasn’t on the step, just a few feet beyond. It sniffed the air and peered at me through its thick glasses, then moved off into the darkness, toward the pine. Careful alert regard, mutual curiosity — I’ve known friendships to begin this way. Another way is the wondrous miracle of instant […]

Continue Reading →

A Dewy Understanding

A slow run, the last sliver of moon just rising, the streets quiet and calm. With the arrival of the summer heat, our former high temperatures are now the lows, even as the days, little by little, grow shorter, and the cloudless, starry nights, as if by their own magic, add unto themselves. The grass in front of the house has yielded again to clover. The bare feet rejoice in […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Tenderness

I go on reading things in Emerson’s journal he thought would never see print. And yet here they are, more than a century and a half later, and so here is Emerson. Almost word for word, I remember many things said by my grandparents. And so here they are. Friends, parents, relatives, animals, places, here they are, to be forgotten and remembered for however long. And here we are. Glaciers. […]

Continue Reading →

Funny Little Hole

Vivid blue sky and great white clouds — not too warm for an afternoon walk, but far too bright without the shade of a wide-brimmed straw hat; temporarily blinded, though, by a stretch of new sidewalk. An impromptu soup of garlic, onion, purple kale, potato (one of which was baked yesterday, the other raw) and white kidney beans (cannellini, it says on the can); olive oil; salt; pepper; a generous […]

Continue Reading →

Peace, Death, and Other Tales

Cloudy, calm, sixty-one degrees. Twice during this morning’s run, I was met with the scent of star jasmine, and once with that of a cigarette. Then someone, perhaps unable to bear the dark and the quiet, or the idea of facing another day of meaningless, underpaid drudgery, set off a loud firework somewhere to the east. The silence, though, didn’t mind; it held the noise close until it died in […]

Continue Reading →

A Few More Scratches

So many things live only for a day — flowers, insects, rain, and sometimes people — yet see how different, how strange the world would be without them. Love it all. Never look away. To embrace, rather than resist, the ephemeral nature of sharing one’s thoughts online. Helped, and also haunted by, mechanical memory. The neat, efficient archive (see cemetery rows, honeycomb) is for oneself, for the idle many, the […]

Continue Reading →

The One My Father Used

You ask what happens when we die, I say the weather’s fine and the soil’s warming nicely. You ask how to make good garden compost, I say yes, that’s it exactly. What’s it? you want to know. I say the dirt between your toes, the ever changing clouds. You say you hate to leave it all behind. I say try this shovel, it’s the one my father used. . [ […]

Continue Reading →