William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Haiku’

Heaven

When I cut off the old fronds of the ferns, mold is my reward. Later, I celebrate with double and triple sneezes, violent enough to rattle the dishes. In the center of the mound, the new fronds are unfurling, prehistoric, hairy, and willing. I find treasure therein — needles, twigs, and shells; fir and filbert sprouts. The Creeping Jenny is rampant under the white birch. If not trimmed a bit, […]

Continue Reading →

Morning Call

Clocks are a great human tragedy. A faithful sun, enough for the rest of creation, is not enough for us. Imagine a play in which all of the actors carry clocks — through love scenes and in displays of assumed moral courage, both hands occupied, fingers absentmindedly caressing the worn shells of those insistent, demanding objects as if they were pampered pets — while the audience nervously taps its feet […]

Continue Reading →

What Kind of Flower?

Snow on the lilac — my mother has already forgotten that day. Poems, Slightly Used, April 27, 2008   What Kind of Flower? A couple of days ago, I straightened up our woodpile, which isn’t really a woodpile, but a collection of trimmings too thick to recycle. There are some nice husky lengths of fig, a few pieces of fir and maple, a rhododendron stump harder than a rock and […]

Continue Reading →

Disaster

During my San Joaquin Valley childhood, there were still a few boxcars used as homes, tucked away in odd corners on useless bits of land. Nestled in mounds of chickweed, with old blown tires and chickens in the yard, they seemed like seeds scattered by a giant’s hand, or fruit fallen from a tree in a homegrown fairy tale. Life inside could not have been comfortable, too cold in winter, […]

Continue Reading →

My Next Life

High upon my crooked ladder, cloud in one hand, sun in the other. “Balancing Act” Poems, Slightly Used, May 24, 2009   My Next Life In my next life I will paint houses for a living. I will dip my brush in a quiet field beside a stream, and work from the roots of my imagining. I will paint not as houses are, but as they will someday be, families […]

Continue Reading →

The End of Me

What I know is not what I think I know. What I know is a secret I am told. That the secret is in a language I do not understand is not as sad as it might seem. For if the language was one I understood, there would be no need for words like these. And poems would not fall from trees.   The End of Me cherry blossoms will […]

Continue Reading →

Elegy

The first warm weather, and suddenly the street is full of people who have been in hiding for the last five months, blinking, stretching, squinting, strolling, looking like pale ghosts. Who are these two children peddling by, and why have I never seen them before? Where do they live? I smile. My smile isn’t returned. Instead they stare. And I suppose to them I must look like a hermit down […]

Continue Reading →

Narrow Road

Yesterday morning, the snow around North Falls posed no problem, but the ice formed by traffic on the hiking paths most certainly did. And so, after a bit of skating, we got back into the car and drove on to South Falls. Conditions there were much better. A little less altitude and a little more sun made all the difference. The paths were mostly bare. We had no trouble walking […]

Continue Reading →

Dry Haiku

From a note written April 15, 2009: The other evening, while eating leftovers, I told my son that we should get rid of his cat and have a pet tarantula instead. I said we could keep it in a terrarium, and in the terrarium we could create a desert scene with dry sand and a narrow highway running through it — in honor of Bob Dylan, Highway 61. Somewhere along […]

Continue Reading →

Not a Romance, 1974

This bright frosty morning, the world smells like a million lonely breakfasts. “November Postcard” Recently Banned Literature, November 16, 2008   Not a Romance, 1974 When I was hanging around at the college, there was a girl with very long hair and pale white skin. We met in passing many times, but we never spoke. She was beautiful in a simple way, like clean sheets drying on a clothesline beside […]

Continue Reading →