William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Memory’

Forty Days, Forty Nights

This poem is not about the rain, but it’s probably because of it. In my mind, rain shouldn’t be wasted. But I promise not to talk about it.                         — the rain, I mean. we all know what rain is, what it does, the havoc it wreaks.                         — the benediction it brings. the feeling of sanctity, in all things animate and inanimate, though the latter category doesn’t really exist. A rock […]

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Said One Mountain to Another

Clouds, but no rain. It’s not that they’re stingy. Or early. Or late. Gray is their way of saying they have more thinking to do. And the time that it takes is the look on your face when we’re waiting, love. Such is fall. And somehow, we remember it all. And we will. And we are. And we do.

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Pigeons Are Old Poems

Empty barns, dry grass by the door. A house once here, Not here anymore. And yet pigeons are old poems, of that I am sure. Pigeons, and grave stones, where once there were words.   About a mile down the road from the house where I grew up, there is a little cemetery situated on a corner knoll where the soil is a light, sandy gray. Surrounded by a plain […]

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Saving Grace

Almost all of my writing is done very early in the morning. “Saving Grace” is no exception. And yet I remember, or think I remember, that upon its completion, I felt an entire day had passed, and that the day was a lifetime. Such is memory. Such is rain. Such is writing. Sometimes you must leave almost everything out, to keep anything in.   Saving Grace Today it’s the rain, […]

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Our Old Farm Remembers Us

Some mornings, before it’s light, I think of the first hen down from her roost, standing silently like a ghost in the yard, unseeing, waiting, unsure, solemn, surprised, and a little confused. It’s almost as if she and I have both been pressed into service by an unseen hand, one if not wise, then bemused. So what’s left but to join her? Or maybe we should consider an exchange: she, […]

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Haiku for August

In the brevity of my long experience — reading, writing, breathing, thinking — smoke is one of those magical words that is almost impossible to distinguish from the thing it represents. Like the sting of my youth and the gentle gathering of age, it finds its way everywhere, as color, in scent, in memory. And what I can’t quite fathom on the page because of it, I know the more […]

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2001

That this lumpy old drawing is dear to my heart needs no explanation.
For ten long, short, memorable, forgetful, eventful years,
it lit the right-hand column on the news page of my first website,
I’m Telling You All I Know. Now it is here.

My Father's Old Chair

My Father’s Old Chair

My Father’s Old Chair

Where Dragonflies Sleep

Somewhere between 1965 and 1968, a box of fifty Santa Fe Fairmont cigars cost eight dollars at the liquor store next to United Market. The price for a transistor radio battery was nineteen cents — three cents more than a single cigar. I was too young then to buy cigars. But I smoked them, indirectly, when my father lit one. Back then, he smoked several a day. But he quit […]

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Edwin and the Rattlesnake

I think I remember hearing many years ago that my grade school friend and neighbor, Edwin, was bitten by a rattlesnake in the foothills east of our little hometown in California. But I have no idea who might have told me, and I haven’t seen Edwin since before then. The last time was in 1975, in the bowling alley at the student union at the university in Fresno. He was […]

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Canvas 1,221

Canvas 1,221

  Surely you can imagine the street, the stones, the carriages, the table, the coffee, and the coming revolution. Or maybe you’re just thinking about an old friend, because today is his birthday. You remember sitting near the curb, beneath a tree, and how your cup somehow became full of tiny spring spiders, but not his. And then, the last time you were to meet, you waited alone, not knowing […]

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