William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Memory’

At the Armenian Home

Even after his stroke and up to his death on January 6, 1990, at the age of ninety-three, my father’s father never did forget who we were. Many at the Armenian Home in Fresno, where he chose to spend the last few years of his life, weren’t as fortunate. This short poem was inspired by our visits there, and by the vineyards we used to pass on the way. “At […]

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Melody

However patiently and faithfully I try to record the quotidian, I find it becomes charged with memory and dream, as if these states of mind or being are infused with a fine mist, like that which heightens the illusion of any natural scene. Set down the most common of items, and it buds and flowers before the sentence ends.   Melody Words are living things. Sometimes, through ignorance and arrogance, […]

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Canvas 686 — A Growing Fool

Canvas 686 — May 5, 2016

  A Growing Fool On the rare occasions it was warranted, I was thrilled to wear a tie my father had long since banished to a far corner of the closet, so much out of style it was that it was a new style all its own, wide and long enough to serve as vest or bib, wild enough to please the choosiest of adolescent clowns. I had big shoes. […]

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Between Rides

Would I rather be peeled like an onion, opened like a pomegranate, or eaten like a fig? The answer changes from day to day. And yet if you were to ask me now, this moment, I would say all three. Or I might be a walnut, whose heart is exposed with the breaking of day. My grandfather had a pecan tree. The jays would pick up the nuts, and then […]

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A Larger Life

In his journal, around the year 1850, Thoreau writes of the gradual disappearance of wild apples, saddened by the realization that a generation hence, they would be virtually unknown in the land. They were planted anywhere it was thought they might survive — in odd corners, along roadsides, against walls — and left to fend for themselves — like us, it occurs to me now, a lesson in abundance and […]

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The Budding Lilac

The budding lilac isn’t concerned with my memory of last year’s bloom. All is abundance, even in dearth. There are dogs I see every day which no longer bark when I pass. I see a fairly large white one through a living room window; he sits upright in a chair like a human, his right paw on the armrest. He watches and makes no comment. At dusk I meet a […]

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Memory

Caught in a thunderstorm running home from the vineyard with their hoes crowned by chickweed where metal meets wood the two held fast by a nail sealed with blood   Memory If memory is a bridge, what does it cross, how long is its span, and how high above? If it is a graveyard, whose bones does it contain? If it is a church, who is nailed to the cross? […]

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Better Blind, Than Blind

If I am not grateful in the knowledge that I will die, and possibly suffer untold, nigh unbearable pain between now and that time, then of what worth is my gratitude for my relative good health, and for an abundance of fluffy clouds, fresh air, and sunshine? Can such conditional gratitude really be gratitude at all? And yet even that is a start, I suppose. If I am alive in […]

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Jung and Easily Freudened, Specimen 1

I used to have dreams about work not done. I was behind on the farm, I was late, the necessity and importance of the job had completely slipped my mind. An example: suddenly it was April or May, and I realized I had forgotten to prune ten whole acres of vines. Always, or almost always, the dreams culminated in a feeling of guilt and shame. It has been many years […]

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What Kind of Flower?

Snow on the lilac — my mother has already forgotten that day. Poems, Slightly Used, April 27, 2008   What Kind of Flower? A couple of days ago, I straightened up our woodpile, which isn’t really a woodpile, but a collection of trimmings too thick to recycle. There are some nice husky lengths of fig, a few pieces of fir and maple, a rhododendron stump harder than a rock and […]

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