William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Flowers’

St. Rémy

May 1889. Vincent has just entered the asylum at St. Rémy. Or have I entered it in July 2020? I close my eyes. Careful consideration yields no definite answer; rather, the image of a giant colorful moth is imprinted on the inside of my eyelids, very much in the way stars appear in the night sky. I paint the moth; I paint the sky; and, while painting, I wonder how […]

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Morning Exercise

Morning Exercise — July 7, 2020

This drawing reminds me of something that happened a few days ago. While I was watering the flowers in one of our wine barrels, two tiger swallowtails fluttered past me from behind, just above my left shoulder. I fluttered after them. Up over the fig tree we went, past the birch, and into the neighbor’s yard. We were halfway down the street when I remembered I couldn’t fly. I turned […]

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No Small Thing

Even after a thorough washing, the fingertips of my left hand wear the strong scent of marigolds — this from having plucked three mostly dried blooms from their plants. On each side of the marigolds, we have lobelia in two clay pots. The pots and the marigolds are on an old mossy concrete bench. The bench looks like it belongs in a cemetery. Bees love the lobelia. The lobelia love […]

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I Go Sparkling

I know someone who has a beautiful garden, with a barn, a path, many squirrels, and a broom. In the garden, she moves rocks around. And the rocks respond: they summon light and shade, night, rain, snow; and they hold each beyond the winking lives of them. I do the same with small smooth river stones. Today, near our jade plants, at the east end of the flowerbed by the […]

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One Thing We Can Learn From Flowers

One thing we can learn from flowers is how to meet one another with an open, welcoming face . . . Imagine young parents pushing strollers filled with flowers . . . Through gardens of children blooming in the last May showers . . . And an earth rejoicing in the human race . . . Recently Banned Literature, May 23, 2017 [ 749 ]

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Death Treads Softly

For every heart-breaker, there is a love-maker; for every flower, an hour — a death, a life.   Death Treads Softly Death treads softly past the nurse reading at her desk. When morning comes, another bed is empty. Winter is long, the old folks let go one by one. We strip their sheets and scrub the floors, send their bundles to the laundry. But the ones who live are hungry. […]

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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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