William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Our Old Farm’

Honeysuckle and Lemon

When a young man rhymes, we smile and nod. When old, he is forgiven. When in between, we shake our heads, and think we understand him. Or do we just pretend? Fool that I am, I can never tell. But I wish him well. I wish him well. For that is love, and this is heaven.   Honeysuckle and Lemon Paneled wall in oaken hue, piano in corner near wood […]

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Genesis, 1962

My father always said that no one taught him to swim, that he simply jumped into the wide mossy ditch with all the other boys and learned then and there on his own. He did not say he had already learned by watching, while dancing naked with glee on the bank in the hot summer sun. Some of the same vineyards that were there in his childhood were there in […]

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July Rain

The art of making it rain, I learned from my father. That I am here to explain, I learned from my mother.   July Rain Dying is such old work — I settle the dust in our yard with a hose. Poems, Slightly Used, July 5, 2009

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First Came the Meanings

To me, one strange thing about living is having a name. Another is so many not thinking it strange.   First Came the Meanings First came the meanings then their names chamomile squirrel supper table the boy himself a pebble down a well loving the hand that let him go Recently Banned Literature, May 10, 2013

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A Larger Life

In his journal, around the year 1850, Thoreau writes of the gradual disappearance of wild apples, saddened by the realization that a generation hence, they would be virtually unknown in the land. They were planted anywhere it was thought they might survive — in odd corners, along roadsides, against walls — and left to fend for themselves — like us, it occurs to me now, a lesson in abundance and […]

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Memory

Caught in a thunderstorm running home from the vineyard with their hoes crowned by chickweed where metal meets wood the two held fast by a nail sealed with blood   Memory If memory is a bridge, what does it cross, how long is its span, and how high above? If it is a graveyard, whose bones does it contain? If it is a church, who is nailed to the cross? […]

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Jung and Easily Freudened, Specimen 1

I used to have dreams about work not done. I was behind on the farm, I was late, the necessity and importance of the job had completely slipped my mind. An example: suddenly it was April or May, and I realized I had forgotten to prune ten whole acres of vines. Always, or almost always, the dreams culminated in a feeling of guilt and shame. It has been many years […]

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Long Time Passing

For weeds in tight spots, I use an old folding grape knife we brought from the farm. It was given to my father back in the Seventies as an expression of thanks by a man for letting him work for a short time to meet a few immediate bills. If I remember correctly, his employment lasted two or three days, and was ended not by my father, but by the […]

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Then and Now

Flies on the screen late in the fall, worn out and slow, less rumble than show, in shiny old armor. The grapes gone, the vineyard leaves yellowing, the weeds spent and dry. Not a drop of rain. Walnuts drying in big wooden boxes leaning against the shed. In front of the house, at the side of the road, a boy steps out of a big yellow bus. Thoughtfully, absently, presently, […]

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Nothing

I have not been myself lately, said the wind. Nor I, said the mountain. The shepherd boy, who had been listening, took up his flute. When he was an old man, he put it down again and died. And the wind rushed, and the mountain blushed, to the depths of the canyon.   Nothing I said to my mother, I said to my father, “I have nothing to do.” To […]

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