William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Departures’

Obituary

Old poems, buried here, and here, and here. I wonder at their names and birth dates, and the lives they must have led. And I wonder if they will live again, and if what they say was ever really said.   Obituary I was by there yesterday Someone left a light on in the house Does the neighbor have a key Or was it someone else                           Mercy me Her poor […]

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The Door Swings In, The Door Swings Out

We had been away from the falls for several weeks. But when we returned to find them recharged by the rain, it was like a meeting of old friends, the kind of gathering one sees in the brick coffeehouses downtown, where tables are pushed together and chairs have coats draped over them like the ferns and moss that cling to the bare maples and line the canyon walls. Mist everywhere. […]

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Days of Future Passed

William Michaelian — Photo by Tim Hinshaw, 1997

This picture was taken by a late writer-friend, Tim Hinshaw, to accompany my first published story, “Naneh’s Melon Thieves,” which appeared twenty-one years ago in Ararat Quarterly. The print was given to me in 2010 by Tim’s son after his father’s memorial service. The scene is Liberty Street, in downtown Salem. I’m looking west. Some thugs had just stepped off a city bus. Present and accounted for, I was ready […]

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Prophet

Not far east of here, at the corner, across the street from the first stop sign, between two houses, there are two large redwoods. Last night, approaching them in the dark where they stand solemnly together, whispering, touching, knowing each other by their intermingled roots, I heard an owl calling from the tree behind in dread-multiple whooos; this was followed by a wild, eerie cry, which sounded like the lost […]

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For My Father

Here is another “yellow poem” from the old age of my youth. My father left us in 1995.   For My Father Of the yellow in a wet fig leaf the ear makes sound of falling rain Poems, Slightly Used, October 12, 2010

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Canvas 1,221

Canvas 1,221

  Surely you can imagine the street, the stones, the carriages, the table, the coffee, and the coming revolution. Or maybe you’re just thinking about an old friend, because today is his birthday. You remember sitting near the curb, beneath a tree, and how your cup somehow became full of tiny spring spiders, but not his. And then, the last time you were to meet, you waited alone, not knowing […]

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Glen Ragsdale, Detail, 1973

Glen Ragsdale, Detail, 1973

  This is a detail from an untitled painting by a close friend of mine, Glen Ragsdale. It was done in 1973 when the artist was seventeen, about a year before he died of cancer. When he finished the painting, he framed it and sold it to my parents for forty dollars because he was short about that much money for his car insurance. After he passed away, a showing […]

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