William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Memory’

Village Song

Sweet sadness, I will never turn my back on thee. . Village Song I have been long away But now I’m coming home Bright gold in my pocket A new bride on my arm. Come to the door, Mother, Is Father in the field? Come to the door, Mother, Is Father in the field? We climb the old stone steps To where my mother lay In a bed of flowers […]

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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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Highway 99, San Joaquin Valley, California

In this entry from Songs and Letters, I wrote about my growing-up place as it was — or, perhaps more accurately, as I was, and am, except for a thousand changes mean and profound, down to the sound of my voice and the rhythm of my worn out shoes. . Highway 99, San Joaquin Valley, California In the old times, before roads and barns and dams and ditches, a giant […]

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Change Your Face

A very rough night — but I did intercept the pass; and if only the field were not so far below, I could have run to the goal line, instead of laboriously treading air until my much delayed, unnoticed, unheralded arrival. Such are the rewards of greatness. More disturbing, however, was the haunted figure intent on changing faces, the last of which was the full moon. Change your face, I […]

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A Child’s Christmas

A great many years ago, my mother accidentally dropped a copy of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám out of the library window. About thirty years later, I saw it on my brother’s bookshelf. She’d inscribed it to him as a gift! . A Child’s Christmas Whence this peace falling into this upturned palm? . [ 970 ]

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I Wonder Where They Come From

We have visited briefly with Ross Freeman three times thus far. I skip ahead now to the end of his story, with the complete text of the closing chapter. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the feeling of friendship is strong upon me, and the end of The Smiling Eyes of Children, among other things, seems to express something of the gratitude I feel for the wonderful people I have met […]

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In Lieu Of

Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Wells Brown are both in Europe now, seeing the sights, meeting people, writing their observations and travel notes. One is a free man, wondering what freedom really is. The other is a fugitive, who knows what freedom is, or thinks he does. This leaves us to ask the reader of these two books if he knows. And he replies by saying that whatever he knows, […]

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Visitors

The world comes to the tree. Stars, birds, breeze — none can resist. We cross oceans and continents to see the sequoia, the cedar, the bristlecone, just to be in their presence. And some of us are like trees. Some of us understand that the universe is contained in a raindrop. Some of us are in tune with that memory and revelation. Some of us stand in the yard. Some […]

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Knowing and Not Knowing

While reading Emerson’s journal this morning, I came to a one-line entry of such a painful, personal nature that even now, almost two hundred years after it was written, I feel I have invaded the poor man’s privacy. Yet I am glad I read it. Had I been the editor, I would have thought long and hard about including it, but I am sure I would have done so — […]

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