William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Gratitude’

Winter Lullaby

Even at the time, I felt I was living in a dream. My mother was eighty-three, and well on her way to being consumed by Alzheimer’s Disease. Our youngest son and child was eighteen, and beginning his self-guided exploration of music. In the middle of the night, it was common to hear him playing his guitar and singing. Tired as I was, I never once wished he would stop; indeed, […]

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Religio Medici

In the latter pages of his Religio Medici, Sir Thomas Browne mentions in passing that in addition to several regional dialects, he knows six languages. He does not write so to impress; it strikes me more as an expression of his generous, liberal nature: he sees himself not as the center of the universe as it was then known and understood, but as a fortunate participant in everything it has […]

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Out Like a Light

The day will come, if it hasn’t already, when my notes about living in this world will seem quaint, if not childish. I like to think that I assume nothing; that my observations are my own; but this is far from the truth. In terms of knowledge, I have inherited a working farm, the ground of which was well broken and planted before me. The great astronomers have given me […]

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The End of the Rainbow

What happens when you add fifteen years to memories that were forty years old when you first wrote them down? The answer, expressed mathematically, is this: 40 + 15 = surprise x gratitude. . The End of the Rainbow When I was in the fourth grade, our teacher gave us a short reading assignment about a porpoise. Since I had never heard of the animal or seen the word porpoise […]

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Prodigal Hands

Sometimes I think that without these writings,I would drift off into space like a child’s balloon. Sometimes I think I already have. Sometimes I rejoice in the return of my prodigal hands,and do not ask where they have been. Sometimes I am not I, but the wind. Sometimes I find this body by the road,and wonder if it might be something I said. Sometimes I simply bow my head. Field […]

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In Lieu Of

Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Wells Brown are both in Europe now, seeing the sights, meeting people, writing their observations and travel notes. One is a free man, wondering what freedom really is. The other is a fugitive, who knows what freedom is, or thinks he does. This leaves us to ask the reader of these two books if he knows. And he replies by saying that whatever he knows, […]

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Three Leaves

Near the old horse-drawn French plow, around which in spring the bluebells bloom, there is a tiny oak with three jagged yellow-orange leaves still firmly attached to its dark sturdy stem — its entire growth for the year. In all likelihood, a squirrel planted it there — a noble destiny from a forgotten meal; and a solemn joy to note, for someone who often cannot remember what he had for […]

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Punch Line

In this wet and windy weather, it’s lucky the neighbor’s fir trees haven’t blown over and landed on our house. Day by day, the yard and roof are strewn with more branches. New gaps and sky-patches have appeared in the trees, which allow the wind to pass through them, and keep the trees from having to absorb its full impact. And as I gaze up at them and listen to […]

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In Session

Around Salem, the size and number of homeless encampments have grown dramatically, and of late, with winter coming on, the process has accelerated. Homeless people appear now in places they were rarely or never seen before — in neighborhoods, walking along quiet roadsides, watching, resting, and waiting in the relative safety and privacy of brambles and brush and small stands of trees. Where there is one makeshift tent, others soon […]

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