William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Letters’

June Rain

Like April, and again like May, June has been a cool, cloudy, rainy month — much more so than what is considered normal, but of course normal is nothing but an average of the dry years and the wet years taken together. Last June, for a stretch of several days, we had to cover our cucumbers and dahlias with sheets to protect them from record high temperatures, which registered, at […]

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Acorns and Oaks

I ran before five yesterday morning in a driving wind and rain. The only person I met was a very large skunk, which was crossing the road in front of me when it stopped briefly at the sound of my footsteps, then scurried on. It ran along the edge of the opposite sidewalk for a distance of about a hundred feet before taking cover in some bushes. The rain was […]

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A Letter to the Boys

Yesterday afternoon I cleared the driveway of snow with one of the old manure shovels my father and grandfather used on the farm during the Great Depression and after the Second World War, and which we continued to use in later years, and which now reside, along with several other tools from that earlier time, in an old barrel in the little shed behind the house. While I was out, […]

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Last Leaf Wanting

To spend a lifetime moving words around, only to find, in the end, that they have moved themselves back again, is one more reason for gratitude. . Last Leaf Wanting Last leaf wanting of a letter that you wrote, and I, a tree, in a dream, unclothed, beside a street, lined with honeycomb. Recently Banned Literature, August 30, 2015 . [ 1193 ]

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Your Letter

Yes, why not just love each other, and leave meaning for another life? August 9 2021 . Your Letter At last, your letter has arrived — in the form of a butterfly. Isn’t that just like you? And now, everywhere I go, I hear children say, “Look — that man is whispering in color.” Poems, Slightly Used, November 1, 2008 . [ 1192 ]

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In Simplest Terms

A little before four this morning, it was cloudy with only one star briefly visible; then, a few minutes later, between the birches and firs, through a break in the clouds just above the neighbor’s second-story roof, we caught a sustained glimpse of the full lunar eclipse, as the shadow passed and the moon began to emerge. Now there is a robin singing from the chimney-top. It comes to mind […]

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Letter to a Friend

Again, in preserving some of these older pieces, I find I must be willing to overlook what I feel are certain obvious weaknesses. In the present case, I do it for memory’s sake, and for its biographical and autobiographical value. My friend’s death when we were eighteen, the time that led up to it and which immediately followed, I count as one of the saddest, most fortunate experiences of my […]

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Echoes

My first paying job away from the farm was picking grapes on the neighbor’s place immediately west of ours. I was twelve. I worked with the neighbor’s double-jointed son, who was the same age. We did that for two seasons. It was hot, dirty, and dangerous. The danger was from two sources: black widow spiders and yellow jackets. One year, in the space of three days, I killed thirty-four black […]

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Reply

Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem, the second offering in the Library of America’s two-volume collection of nine Harlem Renaissance novels, is an outstanding, refreshing, exhilarating, musical work full of sweet longing and suspense, an artful record of the timeless love affair between pain and laughter in which each, mutually and gratefully dependent on the other, flowers and bleeds. The source of pain: American history, ignorance, hatred, prejudice. The source of […]

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