William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘My Mother’

Tenderness

I go on reading things in Emerson’s journal he thought would never see print. And yet here they are, more than a century and a half later, and so here is Emerson. Almost word for word, I remember many things said by my grandparents. And so here they are. Friends, parents, relatives, animals, places, here they are, to be forgotten and remembered for however long. And here we are. Glaciers. […]

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Kirk’s Nose (and other stories)

A few words about my recently departed brother — a short, incomplete remembrance, if you will: Kirk was born November 22, 1946, on our parents’ third anniversary. He was named Kourken Haig, after our father’s mother’s youngest brother, Kourken, and after our father’s older brother, Haig, who was killed in the Second World War. Kirk didn’t begin talking until he was four — then, suddenly, he started in with what […]

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Make It Old

Steady rain — three inches and counting. There are rows of tents in the park downtown, where, decades ago, families gathered and children played. Sometime during the night, I awoke from a dream in which I and some unknown but familiar others were approached and threatened by a vague form of hostility. As the danger grew nearer, we watched and waited near a glistening cedar. Suddenly the danger was gone, […]

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I Set Sail Not Because

And now, what if, perhaps, courage is best expressed by turning off our computers? December 9, 2021 . I Set Sail Not Because I set sail not because it is a kind sea, or an angry sea, or a beguiling sea, or a wise sea, or a blind sea, or a lonely sea. For the sea is none of those things; and the sea is all of those things. Know, […]

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Donne and Done

My mother passed away eight years ago today. September 25, 2021 . Donne and Done Give or take a few centuries, my mother lived ninety-one years, two months, and twenty-one days. Alzheimer’s Disease made for a sad, confused, prolonged ending, difficult and painful for her and her family. It was also beautiful. In very personal terms, it was and remains a gift. I watched her light go out — the […]

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How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way? High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters […]

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To the Wind

I used to hand her the wooden clothespins. I was too small to reach the line. And yet somehow, I could reach the sky. . To the Wind A poem of three taut lines, defined by his mother’s wash and her clean white sails Recently Banned Literature, April 16, 2014 . [ 1081 ]

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Vincent

A trip to Safeway to pick up prescriptions for my mother: sunflowers, in six-dollar bunches by the door; rotten eggplant neatly stacked in the produce aisle; hard tomatoes and wilted bell peppers at prices few people can afford. And I think, There used to be a field here. Oh, what I could do with a field just a quarter of the size of the Safeway parking lot. The dreams I […]

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Copper In Your Palm

He had a perfect way of saying the desert had been crossed: Where water needs the flowers, we’re no longer lost. And there we laid him; and here grows the moss. “Where Water Needs the Flowers” Recently Banned Literature, April 11, 2014 . Copper In Your Palm Air so heavy with pollen and perfume, you wear it home. Comb it into the bathroom sink. Some settles on the lacy fern. […]

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