William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Diaries’

Pumpkin

Last fall we brought home a small pumpkin and placed it on the front step. It sat out all winter beneath the shelter and remained firm and intact. Finally, earlier this spring, it softened at the bottom. I moved it to a garden spot within a few feet of the front door. It soon gave way in aromatic collapse. Now, in its place, after thinning a densely sprouted mass, there […]

Continue Reading →

The dry grass of my ambition has a beauty all its own.

All the more so with the fences down.

And the graveyard overgrown.

William Michaelian 1988

Portland, Oregon — December 1988

Before Me, the Past

Before me, the past speeds ahead.
It arrives, I know not when.

Behind me, the future is silent.
It knows that I am dead.

Pity, there is no grief in starlight.
Mercy, cries for the unborn.

Duty, is a failed science.
Love, walks alone.

You show me a sign.
A bright, fathomless smile.

As if there were, anything.
As if we were, real.

As if, rainbows give birth to children.
And they do: rainbows, and strawberries.

Fallen angels, white as any snowflake.
Black as an eye in a song.

Blue, as when light returns.
Green, because everything is so damn silly.

Honeyed as any flower.
Or as the scent and color of skin.

Intimate, as graveyard stone.
Whispers, with cold gray fingertips.

Wet shoes: where have I been?
And how did you find me?

A siren in a cityscape.
Moonlight, on a table.

Perhaps, or, simply, fate.
A wet sponge by the sink.

A leaf, a candle.
An unexpected need.

Poems, Slightly Used, November 21, 2010

1988 — Before Me, the Past

War

An impartial reading of history reveals that with few exceptions, what is considered good diplomacy is really nothing more than pressing one’s advantages and driving a hard bargain. But these mean business principles are hardly something to take pride in, and the so-called fruits of their gains only strengthen the chains that bind us. There is no honor among thieves. And there is certainly no more dignity in their legalized […]

Continue Reading →

That We Write Each Other

I make no distinction between our online and flesh experience; wherever we are, whatever we are doing, this is the room we are in; this is our meal between us; this is our joy, and pain, and grief, and doubt.   That We Write Each Other That we write each other in this way fulfills a very old promise. And the promise is this: that those of us not met […]

Continue Reading →

No Foothold

My first thought this morning: If I slept like a rock, it is a rock that dreams. My second thought: If I slept like an angel, it could mean anything.   No Foothold No foothold on the brooding rock, or memory of the climb, only joy in stepping off, and these awkward wings of mine. Recently Banned Literature, August 7, 2014

Continue Reading →

The Time of Year

It’s easy to think nature is subdued in cities and towns. But turn your head for just a moment and the pavement is cracked and the cracks are full of weeds. Walk through any neighborhood a time or two and you begin to see wood fences rotting, metal ones rusting, house siding softening, paint peeling, and rooftops covered with fir needles and moss — at least such is the case […]

Continue Reading →

Still Here

A peal of thunder so loud and so near, the windows rattle and the house shakes. Or, to put it more succinctly, a skyquake. To happen upon a spring while walking through meadow and wood, and to find strawberries bubbling up from the ground. Or, to put it more succinctly, a mindquake. Suddenly awakening upon the completion of one’s sixty-third trip around the sun, to the voice and touch of […]

Continue Reading →

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

Continue Reading →

Strawberries — Haiku, Poem, and Dream

Indeed, love bids the earnest question: Can one have truly tasted a fresh, ripe strawberry and still believe in politics and war? The answer is, quite clearly, No. May 17, 2019   Haiku June With my very own eyes — a ripe strawberry picking a little girl. Poems, Slightly Used, June 18, 2009       Rainbow Ring Around the Sun Rainbow ring around the sun rain to come grandson […]

Continue Reading →

Work Notes

I love how a trace of rain transforms a garden, even one that is already doing very well. I see the same in the neighbors and in myself. Our greens are more vivid and intense in the charged atmosphere; our purples and reds draw notice from the hummingbirds. I wonder now if, in all my years of writing, I have ever used the word aura. I think not. But it […]

Continue Reading →