William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Fall’

Crude Approximations

The little mimosa by the cedar has six leaves, a rich orange, leaning towards red. The tiny birch less than two feet away also has six — the top three are green, the fourth is yellow-green, and the two near the ground are yellow. The color references are crude approximations. Set in the wilderness as they are, among grasses, ground covers, mushrooms, and a scattering of needles, cones, and other […]

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Three Leaves

Near the old horse-drawn French plow, around which in spring the bluebells bloom, there is a tiny oak with three jagged yellow-orange leaves still firmly attached to its dark sturdy stem — its entire growth for the year. In all likelihood, a squirrel planted it there — a noble destiny from a forgotten meal; and a solemn joy to note, for someone who often cannot remember what he had for […]

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Punch Line

In this wet and windy weather, it’s lucky the neighbor’s fir trees haven’t blown over and landed on our house. Day by day, the yard and roof are strewn with more branches. New gaps and sky-patches have appeared in the trees, which allow the wind to pass through them, and keep the trees from having to absorb its full impact. And as I gaze up at them and listen to […]

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6/8 Time

A brightly marked thrush is trying hard to clean its beak against the firm mud at the edge of the frozen dahlia bed, stopping now and again to look up at me through the window, or when it is distracted by bits of food. I wonder how much soil it takes in along with the worms it consumes, and if it notices the varying tastes of clay and silt and […]

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For You, Love

You will forgive an old man, won’t you, his worn out poems, like shoes, by the door? Twenty-six degrees. An all-night freeze. The early morning sunlight upon the frosted fig leaves is causing them to fall in yellow clumps and bunches, their soft rattle audible through the partly open window. And the living, breathing orchard floor, inches deep with hands and stems, made in timely session by a single tree, […]

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Prune, Persimmon, Plum Bun

This afternoon I swept the walk, the driveway, and the moss-covered patio area behind the house, which was buried in dry, frosted birch leaves. Then I ate two dates, two prunes, a piece of dried mango, and a fresh ripe persimmon. Lately I have had to delete several telephone messages, in which were the recorded voices of people telling us in ignorant, angry tones how we should vote. One man […]

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Thirty-One Hath October

It was good to see the little row of pumpkins leading to the front door of our daughter’s house, one for each member of the family. In the cool, misty morning, without touching them, I knew exactly what they would feel like, their deep grooves, their dry, rugged stems, their warts and lumps. And I thought, ever so briefly, of what it might be like to be a pumpkin whisperer, […]

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Juncos, Seaweed, and Mold

Poor Helga Crane. I must confess, I did not expect that within its last thirty pages, Nella Larsen’s Quicksand would turn into an out-and-out tragedy. But that is exactly what it did, all seemingly the result of an ill-timed walk in the rain. Heartbreaking it was, to this reader at a distance of nearly a century, that even death would say, No, you have not suffered enough — heartbreaking especially […]

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Fall Postcard

The dogwood is a beautiful red this year. If I were to make myself invisible and walk up to it ever so slowly, and then give the tree a shake, birds would scatter in every direction, a fluttering eruption of bright grosbeaks and chickadees there for the seed. Then, seeing nothing, they would soon return, some from the cedar, some from the maple, some from the birch. And I would […]

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Strawberry Leaves

It’s good to need a coat again. It’s good to have a coat, and a faithful wool cap to lift from off its summer pedestal of old books by the door. It’s good to walk in the clear frosty air. It’s good to be out with the young moon, and Mars, and Saturn, and Jupiter. It’s good to hear the sound of geese honking overhead, and in the nearby wetland. […]

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