William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘My Mother’

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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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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The Painting of You

Every now and then, I like to remind people that I’m well aware that by publishing my efforts, I’m really charting my decline. It’s intended as a statement of humor and truth. I don’t fear losing my mind, but maybe I should. It is going. But in which direction? Is it strengthening and gathering force? I’m healthier now physically than when my books were written. I’m also older, grayer, and […]

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The Poem I Wrote Is Glad It Missed the Train

About these poems The poems grouped here were written in a nine-day period near the close of 2007 and comprise the whole of Volume 17 of Songs and Letters. To me, each word they contain is a kind of love letter. Is it any wonder, then, that, by the very act of reading them, I imagine you tying a ribbon around the whole sweet bundle?     The Oldest Poem […]

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The Asylum Poems

About these poems The Asylum Poems came into being in 2007 while I was taking care of my mother, who was battling Alzheimer’s Disease. The cycle of twenty short poems comprises the whole of Volume 15 of Songs and Letters, a much larger work begun in 2005 and completed in 2009. The poems were written early in the morning at my mother’s house, in a small bedroom facing the overgrown […]

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