William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Fire’

Treble and Bass

Shall I spend what remains of my precious time merely agreeing or disagreeing with everyone I meet and with every piece of information that comes my way? Would this not keep me in a state of perpetual opinion, sure I am right, and therefore willfully blind? Or shall I work to remain open, and tremble and sway with life as it passes through me and around me, like the trees? […]

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Granite and Flesh

The level of relaxation I reach stretched out for a rest on my back on the floor is death-like. It might be for only a few minutes, or for half an hour, or occasionally even for an hour, but the sleep that comes to these muscles and bones is deep and profound. Arms at my side, toes to the window, face to the ceiling, I am, for a brief dreamless […]

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Drought

Grass fires. Forest fires. Climate change. Drought. A neighbor decides he does not like his wise old fir. He cuts it down. Grinds the stump. Pours concrete. Complains about his electricity bill. June 21, 2021 . Drought Laughter in the well. Granddad, you come out of there. Buried him that very same year. Songs and Letters, January 30, 2009 . [ 1141 ]

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Smoke and Quicksand

Yesterday afternoon, after reading several chapters of Nella Larsen’s novel, Quicksand, I had put the book aside to rest my eyes when a question came to mind: how long, I wondered, has it been since I would rather be doing something else? As I thought about this, the days, weeks, and months of my strange quiet life quickly gave way to years — so it is, at least, that long. […]

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Water, Clear and Cold

The celebration of rain is past. The wind has changed. A great part of the moisture has been reclaimed by the sky gods. The air is smoky again. But it is not as smoky as before, at least here at ground level. Instead, there is a high haze thick enough to keep the sunny fall days several degrees cooler than they would be. One can feel the smoke. The robins […]

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Naked in the Realm

The air was so fresh and clean yesterday, so perfectly scented with subtle fall fragrance, the edges of the clouds so beautifully crisp and defined, that one would think there had never been a fire in Oregon, or that nearby there are fires burning still. And now, borne by the southwest wind, rain approaches. In the afternoon I took out our tired old tomato plants; the cherry tomatoes, though, I […]

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Fire Line

The coming of autumn: the first yellow birch leaves, And a park bench that looks like an old upright piano, Which she plays quite naked, save for the wind in her hair And a bright necklace of newly sprouted mushrooms. She laughs: I’m only a painting! Yes. But I can’t help myself. I see it all here. Is there something special you’d like me to play? Anything. Anything. And then […]

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We All Know What It Is

A thunderstorm began yesterday evening at about eight, with faraway rumbles and flashes of lightning to the east, which gradually increased and grew nearer during the night, until about two-thirty this morning, when we were engulfed in a loud and steady display, the house windows pulsing with light. This lasted about an hour, but out of it came little rain. The smokiness persists. And here in the dark, with more […]

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Cold Beer on a Hot Day

This much I know: if we had a two- or three-story house, I would, with or without a stick-horse, be galloping up and down the stairs numerous times a day. As it is, having to stay inside due to the smoke, I take regular walks over the length and breadth of our dwelling for the exercise. It has become quite the meditation. In the mysterious atmosphere of family heirlooms and […]

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