William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Haibun’

Ladybug Light

We have never seen such a wealth of mushrooms. The entire neighborhood is covered with them. They have sprung up along borders, beneath hedges; they have erupted in flower pots and lawns; they crowd the sidewalks like bubbles on the rim of a glass. At the same time, as if to reveal their darker side, the older ones have already begun to rot. At a glance they look like stranded […]

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Dear Ones

If I had not known desperation, could I now know calm? What does the house feel, when it’s pelted with cones? If I had not known fear, could I now know love? What does the house dream, when the sun warms its bones?   dahlias in the rain bowed heads weak stems she brings them in

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Country Life

He’s kissing a girl who’s been packing peaches, elbow-deep in fuzz. She’s damp with sweat and has tired breath — it’s hot and the hours are long. In the house, the old farmer almost sleeps through lunch. His wife watches through the window — she knows the boy — but of course it’s his parents she really knows. And anyway, it’s not her daughter, the pretty girl from town, just […]

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Yield

It seemed almost rude last night to close the front door while a cricket was singing just outside. And yet a short while later, ready for sleep, I could still hear it, steady and measured, through the adjacent bedroom window. In less than a minute, I could no longer distinguish my heartbeat and breath from its rhythm and song. And I thought, the first and last word in all human […]

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Bees and Berries

Goose Lake is still choked with lilies, but here and there a small patch of water is now visible. The muck slowly recedes, but there’s no shore, no place to put in a canoe, or to cast a line. By all signs, it won’t be that kind of summer. A fallen cottonwood branch lies across the part of the path that leads to the only other place of easy access […]

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Wool Socks and a Walking Stick

There are days when thoughts are snowflakes that melt when they land, and I watch while they’re absorbed by the moss and leaves and debris on the path. I don’t worry after them. Nothing’s gained, nothing’s lost. They’re a natural part of the landscape, down from the clouds, returned to their roots. And summer herself is kind to them, like a favorite old aunt. Little children with no clothes — […]

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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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Gandalf

In the parking lot, just as we were setting out on our hike, a young woman said to me, “You look like Gandalf. All you need is the staff.” Her friends all smiled. And when I said, “I’ve heard that before,” they all laughed, and smiled some more. At the falls I thought, How can we not be friends? And the ferns bowed their heads.

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Blueberries Two

We’ve heard a number of times that a solitary blueberry bush won’t produce fruit on its own, that at least one other must be growing and blooming nearby to ensure pollination. And yet we have one plant and it produces fruit, and the nearest others that we’re aware of are hundreds of feet away at a house one street to the south and two houses to the west, with structures, […]

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