William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Grapes’

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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The Old Language

The grapes are ready, two bunches pick’d, and none denied the robin. The hand’s unsteady, the spirit’s quick, the moment’s soon forgotten. August 19, 2019   The Old Language The old man stood near the edge of the road, waiting for his grandson to get home from school. Seeing the bright-yellow bus come in his direction always made his heart glad. Soon the bus would stop in front of the […]

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Don’t Fly Away

It’s summer, and a path is worn from the front door, through the clover, past the shade garden — that quiet harbor of ferns and moss — beneath the pine branch that makes us duck, to the grapevine, apricot, and blueberry bush. And if that does not seem like much, beware, my friend, observe: for that is how paradise is lost. Dragonfly with one wing gone, swarm of ants bright-red […]

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The Hat Rack

My Uncle Before the War

After the grapes were all in and the raisins were picked up, boxed, and hauled away, my father’s attention turned to fall cleanup and house-painting chores. Always busy, everything in its right time and season. Oil-based, lead-based work. Paint thinner. Fumes. Open windows. Worried flies. The kitchen walls, the washroom — they stand out, as does the hat rack his older brother built before he was killed in the war. […]

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Letters and Figs

It was too hot yesterday evening to walk any great distance. I went to the first stop sign, turned right, then went to the next stop sign to where the fig tree is. The tree has swallowed the sign. There are ripe figs against the white letters. Letters and figs. I opened the mailbox and found one fig from my uncle, one letter from my aunt, and one stop sign […]

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