William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Grapes’

Moving Day

This morning I saw a hairy spider crawling on the edge of the counter in the bathroom. It was in no hurry. I found the small plastic jar we keep for such situations, guided him into it, covered the top, then released our surprised friend outside, where he trundled off through some dry moss. I try not to sit very often or for very long. I feel better when I […]

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How Your Speech

After some time away, I’ve drifted back into Emerson’s journal, where, after reading for a while today, I found myself on Page 590 of the first volume of the two-volume Library of America edition. This time around, the searching sweetness of his observations makes me feel like a butterfly or hummingbird; his hesitations, confessions, and insights are flowers. It’s a springtime, summertime reading. Our grapes are in bloom. After losing […]

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Someday

In the evening, the lilac scent. When dry, the cones on the pine were open and appeared ready to fall. A little rain, though, and they have changed their minds. Now their upper halves are closed — not tightly, as when they are green, but enough to demonstrate their connection to the tree. While standing near the lilac behind the house this morning, I was visited by a little wren, […]

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Echoes

My first paying job away from the farm was picking grapes on the neighbor’s place immediately west of ours. I was twelve. I worked with the neighbor’s double-jointed son, who was the same age. We did that for two seasons. It was hot, dirty, and dangerous. The danger was from two sources: black widow spiders and yellow jackets. One year, in the space of three days, I killed thirty-four black […]

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Old Grandpa Moon

The poet who worries about not being read forgets one thing: his face accompanies him everywhere. moonlight on the vine and the sweet grapes left behind by that old raccoon . Old Grandpa Moon The whole great countryside was asleep. The night was clear and cold, and the stars were winking above the farmhouses and fields. But inside an old stone cottage, there was one little boy who could not […]

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The Grapes Are Early This Year

Our grapes, nearly ripe, were mostly ruined last night by a raccoon. At least two-thirds of the crop was on the ground, along with several leaves, the berries shattered from the bunches and scattered around. We had checked on the vine late yesterday evening and all was well. Then, early this morning, I noticed several places around the house where the animal had dug, the telltale holes being unmistakable. We […]

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Mist, Clown, Veil

I walked early yesterday morning in a heavy mist, grateful the ocean had come for a visit. In August, with the grapes ripening, the peaches rising, the berries falling, and the tomatoes fat on the vine, I feel as conscious as a bee winging home to the hive, bearing his load of pollen. I feel as sad and as serious as a clown’s smile. I feel joy. The mist gave […]

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Loaves, Poems, and Rose Petals

The grapes are just beginning to bloom. The canes on one side have climbed to the roof. On the other, they have found inspiration and support in the apricot tree. And the apricot, in her grace and charm, returns blush for blush. Nationalism, patriotism, and pride are coins — certainty on one side, violence on the other. May humans someday learn to pay their way with loaves, poems, and rose […]

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Monastery of Psalms

Now bare and heading into its winter dormancy, our young grapevine is supported by a sturdy stake and a tall narrow decorative arch shaped like a thirteenth century church window. Early in the summer, I made a simple temporary arbor by attaching some twine to the metal frame, which I stretched up to a hook near the eave at the end of the house, ran back and looped around a […]

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Emergency

A grape on the tongue, and language is born. Or is it dream? Or is it memory?   Emergency He was riding his bicycle slowly over the bumpy dirt road that ran between his father’s vineyard and the neighbor’s. It was late summer. The atmosphere was warm and still, and the air was heavy with the scent of ripening fruit. As he wobbled along, he noted with pleasure the tracks […]

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