William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Our Old Farm’

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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Tenacious Fuzz

Out already for half an hour or so, the first person we met in the canyon early yesterday morning was a man we saw several days ago on the Perimeter Trail. Quiet, friendly, and about our age, he told us he retired last year, and that he hikes in the area about four times a week. With the stream rushing and the maples yellowing in the moss-moldy atmosphere recharged by […]

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Dry as Dust

A short dream: Without questioning its odd location, I realize that the bookshelf outside on our front step would be more useful inside. There are only a few books on it, while in the house there are enough scattered and stacked about to fill it and more. What strikes me most, though, is the near absence of dust. Why is there so much more dust on the other shelves inside, […]

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Crossing — My Father’s Side

I didn’t learn to type in school. With the help of a book from the public library, I taught myself when I was in my early thirties. Prior to that, I used the time-honored hunt-and-peck system. I’m a fair typist, not a good one. I can type these lines without looking at the keys. But if I need to incorporate numbers, I have to look down. Once many years ago, […]

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