William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Flowers’

Still Life

These three vases, common as they seem — striped, floral, and one a jug for milk — were bought to hold flowers, bright before they wilt. Then came an early snow, an august summer blizzard and haze to blow September free and clear, and some still say they see her here in the strange white gown she’s come to wear, and I believe them — else how would these petals […]

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At the Flower Show

During the last few years of her life, my mother did not know the time, the day, the month, the season, the year, or the name of the town where she lived. She just lived. She liked music. She liked flowers. She liked apple juice. She did not like pain. Now, I know what time it is. But I do not know what time is. I like rain.   At […]

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I Love the Flower Girl

Politics is a filthy sponge. Do you want it in your sink? Do you want it in your mind? Yesterday evening, after two warm days, a cleansing ocean wind rushed into the valley once again. This morning the air is sweet and still. And I sense something else, which makes me say these words aloud: autumnal understanding. If I do not return your wave, is the loss not mine? For […]

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You Think You Know Yourself

The assumption that it’s difficult is what makes it so. But then, so does any assumption at all.   You Think You Know Yourself You think you know yourself — then comes a word, a phrase, a night, a moon, an oak in rust on a time-worn hill, leaves, twigs, and cloud-debris, horseless riders faceless until they swing right in front of you — did you dream them or did […]

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All the World’s Children

Everyone who was there is gone. This rain is their conversation — a gust of night air through the open front door, the bark of the dog, the winter crunch of a shoe in the yard. And far off — can you hear it? — a child is being born.   All the World’s Children On the most painful of days, all the world’s children come forth bearing flowers: red […]

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For Emily

Faulty grammar aside, there’s more here than meets the I. But Emily Dickinson? What made me think of her?   For Emily If the past is a flower, and has its seasons and dies, what of the seeds it leaves behind? and what of you, and I, dear butterfly?

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Like a Flower

In a recent letter, a friend told me he’s reading the English translation of a diary by Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz, an 800-page tome published in 2012 by Yale University Press. He found it in Santa Barbara, at a bookstore named Chaucer’s. Naturally, I would like to have a copy, although I probably wouldn’t get around to reading it for thirty years. I’ll be ninety-two then. Will I still be […]

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I Find Him Eating Butterflies

I find him eating butterflies. They’re beautiful, he says. If I eat enough of them, I’ll be beautiful too. He stuffs a monarch in his mouth, fuzz clinging to his lips. I hear the flowers weep. He begins to eat them too, stray petals on his shoes. A hummingbird arrives — dips her bill into his eye, takes a long, melancholy drink. What to think — is he crazy, or […]

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