William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Our Old Farm’

Believe Not In Corners

The movement of birds, leaves, and insects; the changing patterns of light and shade; clouds; a walker passing by; all accompanied by subtle changes in humidity and temperature — these are the things we miss when we stay indoors and focus for too long on books and screens. Not only do we miss them, we miss the naturally beneficial medicine of our physical engagement and response to random stimuli, our […]

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Ocean Spray and a Two-by-Four

Ingratitude, dissatisfaction aren’t diseases in need of a cure, but failed, obsolete teachings thoughtlessly, one might say religiously, even fanatically, passed down. This year’s apricots are as good as ever, ripe early and quite large because the crop is so small due to the erratic spring weather, which included frost during bloom. The first fell, sweet and juicy, three days ago. Yesterday evening, two came off in our hands, as […]

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Luxury

Cloudy and calm, with an occasional glimpse of the moon. All through the neighborhood, the robins were silent this morning. While I was growing up, there was one telephone in the house. It was in the kitchen. When we went somewhere, to stay for a week in the mountains, for instance, no one could call us. And while we were away, the only clock we had was my father’s dollar […]

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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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Teachers

I could never think of myself as a self-made man. I’ve learned something important and indispensable from everyone I’ve known, every step of the way. Immediate family, relatives, friends, acquaintances, playmates, school teachers, employers, coworkers — each has contributed something, each has awakened something in me, each has helped show me the way. In this process, I also count forgotten random encounters. I include pets. And I most certainly include […]

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A Letter to the Girls

The great naturalist, Edward O. Wilson, has died. But the world has not lost him, as the common phrase goes. He lives on his books, in his colleagues, and in the countless people he has influenced and taught. He lives on in the environment and ecosystems he helped and is still helping to save. It is not necessary to meet and know someone personally to benefit from his or her […]

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A Letter to the Boys

Yesterday afternoon I cleared the driveway of snow with one of the old manure shovels my father and grandfather used on the farm during the Great Depression and after the Second World War, and which we continued to use in later years, and which now reside, along with several other tools from that earlier time, in an old barrel in the little shed behind the house. While I was out, […]

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Proud Old Men In a Row

More snow during the night — about an inch, maybe a little less. Thirty degrees on the front step; barefoot down to the end of the driveway, and then back up, possibly a little colder. Still, relatively speaking, the weather is mild. Real cold — Solzhenitsyn’s cold and Jack London’s cold — is not a joke. It is not to be trifled with. It’s easy to walk barefoot outside for […]

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Nothing Like Love

I first clicked “like” in 2010. I have no idea how many times I have clicked it since then, but it surely numbers in the thousands. When we lived on the farm, I clicked “like” in another way — with a pair of sturdy wooden-handled pruning shears. I clicked my way through the damp, foggy winters, up and down rows of vines and trees. Those clicks may well have numbered […]

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November

The mild rainy weather has given rise to a new generation of mold, creating a scented atmosphere as complex and alluring as a newly opened grave. November 15, 2021 . November The ear fills with sky-sounds, the eye with cloud-motion and leaf-fall. Distances are not what we think them at all, but blessings ripe and uncountable. The glad-spent remains of the summer garden are brought to the pile. Manure is […]

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