William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Homelessness’

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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Grief’s Exile

Our family library contains more than books. It contains cousins, uncles, and a wealth of secret, sacred knowledge which would be comical to some, useless to most, and inspiring, if not dangerous, to eager, impressionable young minds. For it was this knowledge, embodied in these living examples, that made me want to be a writer long before I knew the real meaning of the word. Dangerous? Oh, yes, when one […]

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Voyager

After two inches of rain, these lungs are best understood as sails, and this body a creaking, yet willing, ship — the air is that promising, that fresh, that clean. Seagulls on the city streets; the homeless, some just waking, others still asleep. The great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn — if these clouds persist, will Christmas still come? History changes with the wind. It is the wake of the […]

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A Bird in the Hand

I often rhyme without meaning to. On the bright side, though, I am not a senator. . A Bird in the Hand How many juncos must there be, that we always have our generous share? How many scrub-jays, chickadees, and crows? They are everywhere, from breathless dawn to chilly dusk. They make shadows of memory, soft gray mist of thought. They do not mind our ways, our windows and our […]

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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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Hollow Hobo

I had just finished vacuuming the kitchen floor and was about to turn off the machine when I saw an enormous spider walking my way. I pressed the off button. The spider was beautiful, brown and hairy like a small tarantula, but of a much less stocky build. And even if it was not beautiful to my dull standards, I had no desire to end its life, especially in such […]

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Flames

Another Library of America book purchase: William Wells Brown: Clotel and Other Writings. Violence at Oregon’s state capitol — flags, baseball bats, guns. Only humans are intelligent enough to express themselves in this manner. High winds from the east. Smoke and ash. Fires raging in the Cascades. Widespread evacuations. Windows closed against the elements. Early morning. Here in the dark, one thinks of the birds. The cricket in the rhododendron […]

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Photosynthesis

When I see an ad that says Last chance! I know immediately it’s for something I don’t need. What I do need is to spend as much time outside as possible. Nature never stoops to such tricks. Her treasures are inexhaustible, and all are freely given. From birth, we are drawn to her. A child in her arms is a happy child. This is written, of course, from the perspective […]

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Writing About Cherry Blossoms

Yesterday morning we drove past the cherry trees in the park across from the state capitol. Given the chilly weather lately — there was even some snow on the ground in the hilly areas around town — it will be many days yet before they are at the peak of their bloom. I was out this morning at the first hint of light, walking in an icy wind. I thought […]

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Trade Policy

The symbol strikes me every time I see him — the homeless man with his hand out, under the light at the corner of Commercial and Division. December 22, 2019   Trade Policy If I have something you need and more of it than I can use; and if you have something I need and more of it than you can use; then let us simply give the excess to […]

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