William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Oaks’

Adagio

What of someone who is happy and joyful, but unable to communicate, while those around him assume he is miserable and sad? And what of those who are miserable and sad, who assume everyone else is? Early morning the day after Christmas — not one soul out to see the frosty rooftops. I saw, or think I saw, an eagle in the neighbor’s fir tree the other day. But it […]

Continue Reading →

Shadows on the Sidewalk

For sidewalk, Walt Whitman liked to use the word trottoir. Offhand, I can think of no other nineteenth century American writer who did so — this, of course, based on my faulty memory and limited reading. Word choice aside, one thing I’m noticing this time through his Specimen Days, is that buildings and trains are every bit as alive to him as oaks and sparrows — indeed, in his poetic […]

Continue Reading →

A Sturdy Leaf

Memory’s a sturdy leaf — sycamore, say, or valley oak, placed beneath a sheet of grade school paper fleck’d and grain’d, and a crayon in your hand — rubb’d across its ribs and veins, it surfaces in your chosen color — and all you love begins again — father, mother, supper table, open kitchen window — and somewhere, off in the distance, carry’d nigh by the divine providence of dust […]

Continue Reading →

Scars

High water has driven the homeless from their encampment on the west side of the river. In that place alone, they number in the hundreds. They turn up everywhere — downtown, in parks, under bridges, in the public library, in the hospital half-starved and with nasty infections. Moss grows on asphalt. Daffodils make way for tulips. How high is high moral ground? What is it like to live there? No […]

Continue Reading →

Oaks Remember Poppies

A friendly neighbor out walking is glad to see us. After exchanging greetings, he reaches out as we pass, and almost touches my shoulder. Someday we might even know each other’s names, and then forget them when we’re older. And someday when it’s warmer, we will be colder.   Oaks Remember Poppies Sunflower sprouting in a paw-print. A pot on the step by the door. Oaks remember poppies. We forget […]

Continue Reading →

Prophet

Not far east of here, at the corner, across the street from the first stop sign, between two houses, there are two large redwoods. Last night, approaching them in the dark where they stand solemnly together, whispering, touching, knowing each other by their intermingled roots, I heard an owl calling from the tree behind in dread-multiple whooos; this was followed by a wild, eerie cry, which sounded like the lost […]

Continue Reading →

The Oaks — Dream as Poem, 2012

From a note written at the time: It’s interesting to me that my attempt to recall and preserve this dream — the doing so of which seemed important because of the presence of my father — would take this form, rather than that of a narrative, as so many of my other dreams have done. The fact is, that is what I first set out to do, but the images […]

Continue Reading →