William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Friends’

Lilac Tale

The two little girls were surprised when I gave them each a sprig of lilac and asked them to smell the flowers. They were hushed, too, because in their boredom they’d torn them off, along with others and many tender leaves. And they were saddened, when I gently told them we’d given the plant to my mother many years ago, that it was her favorite, and that though she had […]

Continue Reading →

A Friendly Owl

A few nights ago, after we’d been on our walk by the river, I had a strange little dream. A few feet away, in a small grassy area greening its way into spring, there was a blue-gray owl looking up at me with a friendly, cheerful expression. It had very large bright-green eyes. Though it was obviously an adult, it was smaller than any owl I’ve seen. When I moved […]

Continue Reading →

When We Meet

It’s indicative of character, I think, that beyond my immediate family, my dearest, closest friends are people I’m unlikely ever to meet in the flesh, and who live hundreds or thousands of miles away. It’s also indicative of the times, for without social media, email, and online publishing, chances are great that our paths would never have crossed. As it is, the number is still small. I have many acquaintances, […]

Continue Reading →

Whatever the Odds

The telephone was big enough and heavy enough that it could have been used to bludgeon an intruder. We had no intruders. We locked our doors only at night, or when we were away, by pressing the little button in the center of the knob; during the day, my father left the key in the pickup parked in the graveled driveway in front of the house. The telephone was in […]

Continue Reading →

The Best of the Best

What grew in me without my knowing, what crept stealthily into my burgeoning little boy’s identity and went unrecognized for years, was a keen sense of competition. The expectation, need, and desire to be the best was administered in tiny doses without their knowing by family, friends, acquaintances, and teachers. The best reader, the best speller, the best runner, the best at throwing or kicking a ball — the process […]

Continue Reading →


Another early-morning skunk visit: when I opened our front door at four, our fluffy friend was passing by. When I went out at four-thirty to run, its scent was strong in the air. When I returned, the scent was gone — which is to say, it had become part of the breathable atmosphere we all share, thus making us part skunk. Stardust and skunk. Roses, too. Violence and intelligence do […]

Continue Reading →


I go on reading things in Emerson’s journal he thought would never see print. And yet here they are, more than a century and a half later, and so here is Emerson. Almost word for word, I remember many things said by my grandparents. And so here they are. Friends, parents, relatives, animals, places, here they are, to be forgotten and remembered for however long. And here we are. Glaciers. […]

Continue Reading →

Acorns and Oaks

I ran before five yesterday morning in a driving wind and rain. The only person I met was a very large skunk, which was crossing the road in front of me when it stopped briefly at the sound of my footsteps, then scurried on. It ran along the edge of the opposite sidewalk for a distance of about a hundred feet before taking cover in some bushes. The rain was […]

Continue Reading →

Is This What It Is?

What miracle will this body reveal today? What lesson? What truth? I’m ready. I’m listening. This breath is the proof. There’s a path in the canyon. It winds through the mist. Is it this? Waterfalls and ravens. Stones and downed trees. Is it that? Or is it the place where my ancestors once walked? Is it their well and their garden? Is it their dark crusty bread? The song of […]

Continue Reading →