William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Diaries’

Yesterday we had the good fortune of visiting the Grove of the Patriarchs
in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. Ancient red cedars and firs.
It was ninety-five degrees. Their bark was cool to the touch.
Old people there, and infirm. Little children with wide eyes and walking sticks.
The crossing of a suspension bridge one or two at a time.
A woman with a cane, a man with a long white beard.
Both were dusty, sweating, and smiling.
The Grove of the Patriarchs. The Grove of the Matriarchs.
Words. Names. Do we really need them, with so much patience around?

Canvas 1,223 — August 9, 2018

Canvas 1,223 — August 9, 2018

Canvas 1,223 — Cedars and Firs

The Other Hand Clapping

While writing One Hand Clapping, I once made the funny suggestion to myself that I follow the book with another, and call it The Other Hand Clapping. Had the second book been written, it might have contained the following entry from Recently Banned Literature, which records a chance meeting just as it happened.   The Other Hand Clapping We met in the library lobby outside the Friends store. “Bless you,” […]

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And Birds Are Words

In the cool dark this morning there was a disturbance in one of the small trees a few feet from our open front window. A bird called out as if from a dream, in a tone of voice one doesn’t hear during the day. A minute or so later, a towhee spun a few notes, as if to say, I can’t see, but I can hear. This was repeated perhaps […]

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A Mouthful of Marbles

At 4:55 this morning I finished the third volume of Los Hijos del Pueblo: Historia de una Familia de Proletarios a Través de Veinte Siglos, por Eugenio Sué. Only one more volume to go. The first contains 1,150 pages; the second, 912; the third, 1,070; the fourth, 962. I read ten pages every morning while having my first cup of coffee. Sometimes, later in the day, when it’s too hot […]

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Letters and Figs

It was too hot yesterday evening to walk any great distance. I went to the first stop sign, turned right, then went to the next stop sign to where the fig tree is. The tree has swallowed the sign. There are ripe figs against the white letters. Letters and figs. I opened the mailbox and found one fig from my uncle, one letter from my aunt, and one stop sign […]

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Ever Sunday

There’s a man we see looking at books in the thrift shops. He’s about our age, small, thin, and wears a wool cap in all weather, and at all times of the year. He’s thoughtful, always alone, seldom buys anything, and doesn’t stay long. Yesterday I said hello very quietly, and he replied with a kind nod, his lips forming the same word, with just enough breath behind it that […]

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A Reasoning Bee

The flower might be a rose — let’s say it’s wild, uncultivated, madly scented, and that you’ve come upon it on a path near a river. Or it might be a prize dahlia, or a humble marigold — and suddenly you’re on your knees, sniffing the clover in your lawn — honey, you think — and in that moment you are a bee — a reasoning bee, a bee with […]

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Cool Water

When I water our smaller, more delicate seedlings and plants, I use a child’s little blue watering can embellished with a smiling green frog. Not only does the can sprinkle well, the drops are tiny enough not to batter the plants. And inside, the water is refreshing and clean — I can see right through to the blue bottom and sides. I suppose it holds about a quart. Such a […]

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Dream, Sleep, Flower

Although I’ve recorded and published many dreams, I have not written about sleep itself more than to say in passing that I slept poorly or I slept well, which is, really, a way of avoiding the subject. What a terrible night, I say, — and then move on to other things. Or, That’s the best I’ve slept in forty years, as if I could remember each and every night, and […]

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