William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Hunger’

An Hour from Now

The days are about survival. A man out early, wishing not to be seen, peddles off with my zucchini in hand. It’s all for a good cause: to quiet his hunger. Shall I rush after him? Shall I pretend I can feed him with the hollow fruit of my imagination? Shall I explain to him that he has himself been imagined                                                    in these very lines? Or has he imagined me? […]

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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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As It Is Written

I have pruned orchards, and rows and rows of vines. Mud on the ladder, frost on the ground. This makes me different somehow. Cold toes. Orange peels. The bright fur coats of faithful hounds. Now my pen has wooden handles, with a blade at the end. In the fog, its voice makes the strangest sound. November 29, 2020 . As It Is Written After a long day’s work, the writer […]

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A Feather on the Scale

We’re told this morning that more than 900,000 acres of Oregon’s forests have been burned or are in the process of burning. We’re also told that ten percent of the state’s population has been evacuated to safer areas. The valley we live in is dense with smoke. The air quality readings are well into and beyond what is deemed hazardous. Yesterday evening our youngest son brought us two air purifiers […]

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Self-Portrait in White

The third volume of Vincent’s letters. Yesterday afternoon, he cut off a piece of his ear. July 15, 2020   Self-Portrait in White A man and his donkey; a snowy field; a cart full of bones. The wind. Poems, Slightly Used, November 10, 2009 [ 807 ]

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Last Words

If I were to walk two hours in the heat, carrying my canvases through wild blackberries into the heart of the grass seed fields, and spend the day painting while hunger gnaws at my bones, and then come home exhausted with no means for my bills, and if you found me here, sitting on my only chair, ministered by angels and haunted by ghosts, what would you say to me? […]

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The Living and the Dead

Sometimes, when the bow is not taut, the arrow flies much farther.   The Living and the Dead A pair of starlings are feasting on something in the maple tree outside my window. The tree has just begun to bloom. Its larger branches are covered with moss, some of it old, much of it new. The birds have found something to eat in the moss — newly hatched insects, or […]

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Remnants of a Dream

Although I was quite poor, somehow, a new shirt had come into my possession. The shirt had beautiful buttons, no two of them alike. Having heard good buttons were valuable, I presented the shirt to a large, pale, flabby man standing behind a counter, hoping to exchange the article for a useful sum of money. The man glanced at the shirt, told me he had all the buttons he needed, […]

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Blind Fishermen

Early morning. Fresh air, dark clouds, robin-song. And I ask myself — In this paradise, if I am not ready to die, have I ever really lived? March 25, 2020   Blind Fishermen It’s been so long — I think of writing you today. Do you think of writing me? — And do you wonder what to say? So many letters set out this way — Like little rafts at […]

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