William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Grapes’

Proverb 18

I was ankle-deep in organic composted dairy manure, shovel in hand, when the mailman stopped at the foot of the garden space and said with a smile, “I just realized you look exactly like Gandalf.” I pointed to the manure pile in the driveway and replied, “And this is the source of my magic.” Under the vine, then, under the apricot, under the blueberry. Under the sun, the moon, and […]

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My Trust, My Hand

Cedar, juniper, green maple, red maple, pine. Arborvitae, crape myrtle, rhododendron, barberry, apricot. Blueberry, grape, fig, birch, fir. Grasses. Such, in varying numbers, constitute the perennials on this relatively average-sized suburban lot. Hosta, fern, moss. Lilac. Ivy. Rose. To arrive at a complete list, one would need to comb the area with notebook in hand, to look carefully, see calmly, patiently, making it the work of a lifetime, his own […]

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Chairs

This morning, after watering the various plants and flowers, which are now taking on their fall tones, I continued my early morning celebration by soaping myself in cool water and rinsing with cold. It was a bit like bathing in a river and then standing under a waterfall. The shower space is small, but there is a skylight in the bathroom. Only in the dark days of winter do I […]

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Thinking of You Out There

Ripening grapes, the first crickets, and a few dry leaves. Light. Dark. Tired in the way of a warning. August 6, 2021 . Thinking of You Out There Thinking of you out there, deep in the dry grass and summer smoke, steady as a blind-cricket time-piece; how want is a dry well, and truth the tale of windmill blades. Recently Banned Literature, July 10, 2014 . [ 1189 ]

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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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