William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Our Old Farm’

You Can See It All From Here

Having been granted this breath, I would be embarrassed to ask for anything more. Without it, there is nothing more. With it, as familiar as it seems, this glorious early morning summer scent is more than I can describe or define. It describes and defines me. It is the cosmic fruit, honey, and grain that sustains. It is the means and the way. Now, if only there is something I […]

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Apricots, Finches, Plums

Found early this morning, fallen from the tree: a very ripe, very sweet apricot — I know, because I ate it right after washing off the ants. The house finches prefer drinking from the shallow glass water dish that we have hanging from the fig tree. The main birdbath, it seems, is a little too large and too busy for them. After watering the barrels, planters, and pots behind the […]

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Death Sentence

A poem of a sentence from Emerson’s journal, written 19 June, 1838: A young lady came here whose face was a blur & gave the eye no repose. The story behind it? Gone. Or is it still to be written? Mass shooting. I wonder how old I was when I first heard or read that term. No matter — now it is commonly used in plural form. It was certainly […]

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Mint

I’ve started a new bed of mint between the apricot tree and the blueberry. It’s from the mint that grew on our old farm, behind my childhood home, where for a time near the edge of the bed there was a small, well-shaded hole in the ground, from which, in the cool of the evening, a fat toad would emerge for a meal and a peek through the mint at […]

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Around the Bend

A return to the Goose Lake trail, the bees humming, the chamomile deeper, the buttercups and blackberries in bloom. Barefoot for half a mile. While looking at our young cucumber plants, I was visited by a hummingbird, which paused in the air within three feet of me, long enough to say hello. Olive oil is the skin lotion I use. In my life I have planted one olive tree, which […]

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All of Us

Adults, intent on fences, wishing their backyards were bigger. Children, on swings and trampolines, as light and free as birds. May 16, 2021 . All of Us I climb the corner pine, my cousin ahead on the branch above. It’s our birthday month. Higher and higher. Needles and bark. When we come down, we’re sixty-five. Some say age. I say luck. We run a race. We hide. We throw clods. […]

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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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Remember Me

Another gentle bend in the road leading nowhere. . All things testify according to their natural, light-given truth: leaves, twigs, meadows, and birds, wild streams and errant tufts of fur, dry weeds whispering remember me, baked crust of aromatic earth. I nod to the mossy water conversing fortuitously in a ditch, push back my hat, scratch my head, wonder at the miracle of melted snow. I rub dirty hands on […]

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Echoes

My first paying job away from the farm was picking grapes on the neighbor’s place immediately west of ours. I was twelve. I worked with the neighbor’s double-jointed son, who was the same age. We did that for two seasons. It was hot, dirty, and dangerous. The danger was from two sources: black widow spiders and yellow jackets. One year, in the space of three days, I killed thirty-four black […]

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