William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Definitions’

The Family Album

Time? How can I define it if I don’t know what or where it is? And yet all my life, I’ve casually and confidently used the word itself. Very well — but I must never make it my defense or my excuse. Little children — all of the rocks in the avalanche have names. Their meanings will come, by and by, brought by butterflies and babbling brooks. August 2, 2019

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Heartbreak

An evening sky, deep, dark, and rich with gray-chocolate thunderclouds. Puddles are always large enough for the sky they hold. A walker’s definition of heartbreak — Starlings enough to carry me off, yet I am the one who is feared. And then, suddenly, they do, and I am the one who is scared. May 19, 2019

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Blossom, v.

See how the fig tree declares her passion before her leaves are on, how the dogwood, winded down, is bridal in her bloom, how the birds, busy in your branches, have shaken you, and flown. “Revelation” Recently Banned Literature, April 22, 2014 Twelve Poems, Poets International   Blossom, v. Carry me in, carry me out — you, a shoe, and I, a wet petal on your sole.

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First Love

It’s easy to remember a feeling that has never departed — indeed, which seems to have been with one since birth. And it’s natural enough to give it a name, and maybe even think of it as a poem. Living is like that, isn’t it? — a hook with a hat on it, a face in the mirror, a place we call home, where clouds become walls, and a soft light […]

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Enlightenment Is

I don’t have a lofty idea of myself as something apart, say, from the workings of my innards, or the flexing of my tendons and toes as I crawl around the yard pulling weeds, while my ears are engaged in the harvest of birdsong. I once entertained the time-honored belief that I might be an entity distinct from my body, but that belief has since given way to an acceptance […]

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Newborn

Our grandsons were here, together and warm in their grandmother’s chair, talking about football. I went out for a walk after supper. It was cold, but not too: twenty-nine degrees; still, but not blue: the breath of a breeze. The stars were out. The Big Dipper was standing on its end: pirouette. No one was out: no cat, nor dog, no cleared throat. Bare trees: ghosts: roses: smoke: fir is […]

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Precipice

Approaching the dam, you see the floodgates are open, and that everything below it and before you is bathed in cool mist — the oaks and the brambles, last summer’s grass, the mounds of half-melted granite looking for all the world like a giant’s tears. And you think, what is your own body if not a kind of dam, and what are your eyes if not floodgates? What are your […]

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Definitions

In Recently Banned Literature, there was a department I called Definitions. Written about a year and a half apart yet clearly related, “Life, A Funny” and “Hurry” are two brief entries from that odd between-the-ears dictionary I fall back on to make up for Webster’s occasional gaps and misunderstandings, while revealing my own.   Life, A Funny Life? A funny kind of bark, on a funny kind of tree, and a […]

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