William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Memory’

A Small Boy and Others

The language of Henry James in A Small Boy and Others is a softly spoken dream that gently begs the use of the reader’s own tongue. The dream is in color; it has no corners or edges or sides; it is more like the distance one travels between a robin’s breast and a fully ripe strawberry — the kind of journey a child makes many times each day — even […]

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A Few Nasturtiums

Through an open window in the dark, you imagine what you’ve seen before. Then you hear an owl, who-hooting in the firs. Coffee’s ready. Scarce past four. You imagine not a thing before. And the owl concurs.   A Few Nasturtiums A few nasturtiums where nothing else will grow. Fir needles. Who can count them all. And the tales they tell of galaxies in dew and dust. A calligrapher’s turn […]

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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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Wild Carrots

Seventeen years — hyacinths are there now, shaded by a rapidly growing volunteer cedar. My mother is gone. We live in her house.   Wild Carrots It just occurred to me that wild carrots have sprouted only once on the slope near the sidewalk in front of my mother’s house. That was about three years ago. My sons and I noticed them while working in the area. The roots were […]

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Imaginary Cigarettes — Writing Smoke

Writing Smoke — 2009

Dear one, you asked me how I feel. I’m smoking imaginary cigarettes in a cloud of imaginary smoke with imaginary ashes in my lap. My coffee is almost real enough to coat the tongue and conjure the sound of clattering cups as dreams flash by the windows. Pshhhh — an old man opens the door, smiles at the bottles of ketchup on the counter and at himself for being here. […]

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Remember the Honeysuckle

Am I putting the puzzle together, or taking it apart? A foolish question, perhaps, since I don’t even know if all of the pieces are on the table.   Remember the Honeysuckle Remember the honeysuckle ’gainst the pillars on the porch? The place we were born is an open field now. Remember the window open to the night, the breaths and sighs of oleander bright, and tallow? We are their […]

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Just Enough to Wash Away

Yesterday’s birds: towhees, chickadees, robins, starlings, scrub-jays, downy woodpeckers, flickers, doves, geese, hummingbirds, crows — and, late in the evening, with my throat feeling a bit dry, two timely swallows. Yesterday’s planting: twenty-one dahlias — twelve in the main garden, three in the “test plot,” and three under the kitchen window where our daughter’s little boys used to dig for treasure. Yesterday’s walk: barefoot in the grass in front of […]

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Vigil

A day for tea. Not one cup, or two, but three. A trinity. Prophecy? Too, it well may be. An acute form of language, Or memory. Imagined, or worse. A blessing, a curse. A death, a truth, a fiction. A doorway. A wise oak. Surrender. Confession. Birth. March 31, 2020 [ 712 ]

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Song as Summons

I wonder how old I was when the idea first reached me that our departed loved ones might still be near and looking on. I don’t remember having thought of it myself, or it ever being suggested by my parents. I might have read it somewhere. I did a lot of reading in my youth. I find the idea poetically appealing, but I’ve never thought of it as either definitely […]

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