William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘My Mother’

As I Recall

A few days ago, a red-tailed hawk swooped past the window and landed in the small bare maple opposite the front door. Not a very large bird, it was still too big for its chosen perch. With each move it made, it was poked and brushed by twigs. Finally it braved the maze and dropped to the ground. After investigating the muddy dahlia bed, it flew off across the driveway […]

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My Mother Saved Our Baby Shoes

Each day, I give thanks for the unknown and unexplained.   My Mother Saved Our Baby Shoes My mother saved our baby shoes, two handfuls of wedding rice in delicate nets, flowers, roses, brittle stems, in her cedar chest. And in all her years of not remembering, I wonder which she forgot the best. I wonder which she smiled at when she sat here dreaming in her make-believe and present-tense. […]

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Comfortable Assumptions

These entries, however poetic, abstract, direct, or imaginal they may be, also reflect my understanding of the science of the day. And that understanding, as extensive as it is, is really quite limited. It’s also full of comfortable assumptions, gaps, fictions, and inaccuracies. It is imaginal, abstract, direct, and poetic, like the interwoven fibers of a beloved old coat. Many years ago, my parents gave me a simple but beautiful […]

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Tea Stains and Powder Clouds

As I see it, when I remember something, a new version of the past is created, which, however much like the previous versions, is subtly altered by the very act of recall, along with whatever else has happened or not happened since the original was first made and lived. This is why, when I am suddenly confronted with hard evidence from bygone years, I will sometimes go into a kind […]

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The Fall Way Home

Of the clump of hyacinths we planted recently in front of the crape myrtle I now call a pomegranate, the Muscari armeniacum jumped out of the ground as soon as we turned our backs. Soon there will be enough to cover an entire hillside. Then I will exchange my pen for a shepherd’s crook, and lead my sheep into their purple presence. Fig leaves, bright-yellow, as big as elephant ears. […]

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Into a Strange Land

This poem is from Volume 3 of Songs and Letters and was written in 2005. There are twenty-four volumes in all. Back then, I did my writing at an old kitchen table from my childhood home. Our youngest son has it now. Since 2009, I’ve been using my mother’s old desk. If I remember correctly, she bought it from a retired school teacher who lived in the next town, about […]

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Real Time

In the same letter, the friend who told me about the Gombrowicz diary mentioned seeing deer in the quieter, more secluded areas of the campus of the college where he works, and how those lovely creatures live in their own version of time. He meant it in a philosophical way, but it’s also true in the scientific sense. Every species on earth experiences time differently than we do, and sees […]

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I Can Imagine

Yesterday afternoon, I watched through the kitchen window as a spider tried to move into a web that was already occupied. The rude visitor was slightly larger, but the two looked almost identical and might well have been from the same spring hatch. There was a steady breeze. Sunlight shone on the web, highlighting flecks of autumn debris. Both spiders paused in their encounter when they were disturbed by the […]

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Verb or Noun

Every day, I notice how worn our broom has become. I suppose it might take a little longer to sweep the same space, I really don’t know. And when I finish, and the walk and steps are clean, I might be a little older than I would have been had I been using a new broom. Or I might be a little younger. Time, if it exists, is such a […]

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The Scent of Gardenia: A Note and a Dream

Up at three-thirty this morning, after reading Spanish for half an hour, I turned to some of the dreams I recorded in 2008 and 2009. Several of them involved my mother and deceased father and my childhood home, and in several others there appeared old school friends, as well as a friend I had at the time who died in 2010. So many strange, familiar situations, filled with longing, color, […]

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