William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Departures’

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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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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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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Echoes

My first paying job away from the farm was picking grapes on the neighbor’s place immediately west of ours. I was twelve. I worked with the neighbor’s double-jointed son, who was the same age. We did that for two seasons. It was hot, dirty, and dangerous. The danger was from two sources: black widow spiders and yellow jackets. One year, in the space of three days, I killed thirty-four black […]

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In Memory of Laura Tedeschi

I read today of the passing of the artist Laura Tedeschi. She died April 4, 2018. I didn’t know. In 2010, Laura surprised me by painting my portrait. Quite by chance, after she’d shared it online, it arrived from Vienna on my birthday. On the back of the frame, Laura had written, “Lo Scrittore,” along with my name. The painting has been on display here in my library and work […]

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Not Dying

This piece, another entry from Songs and Letters, was written August 3, 2005. The friend referred to is Glen Ragsdale, the artist who did the painting that appears on my book, The Painting of You. You can read a little more about Glen and see his painting here.   Not Dying After my friend told me he was diagnosed with cancer and had been given a year and a half […]

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Steps

The worm moon — on such a clear morning, even her robins are visible. March 10, 2020   Steps “When she rests in the apple tree —                             that’s when we’ll harvest the moon.”          And they took great care with the ladder,                      not to               make a sound.   “Son? Do you see her face? Why are you looking down?”          And that is what he remembers,                             this day in the […]

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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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