William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Poems’

Early Morning, Waiting for a Train

We waited a lifetime, as I recall. And as I know now, the rich tragedies I’ve imagined for others have really been my own.   Early Morning, Waiting for a Train A year ago I turned the page, ripe it was, a field of poor man’s cotton marred by weak spots short of meaning, nut grass, gopher mounds, and swales, tire tracks on the boundary trail made in last year’s […]

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Mushrooms

Those bright-white buttons in green grass that remind you of a clown’s shirt and the way everyone laughs at his sadness except an old poet in the back row who swallows hard and says that’s fall for you and that kid in the long yellow bus on his way to love and loss and the moon   And when the neighbor told me he’d scattered some grass seed where the […]

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For My Father

Here is another “yellow poem” from the old age of my youth. My father left us in 1995.   For My Father Of the yellow in a wet fig leaf the ear makes sound of falling rain Poems, Slightly Used, October 12, 2010

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Birches

Fifteen words, seventeen syllables — this is one of several “yellow poems” I’ve found while looking through Poems, Slightly Used. It was written October 21, 2009, a bit further into autumn than we are now. But this year it seems the switch to fall has already been thrown. And if you happen upon this note in some other season, I hope love is all you know.   Birches She laughs […]

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I Count the Bricks in Buildings

Reading this poem now, more than thirteen years after it was written, it seems to reveal as much about the process of writing as it does about the little city that has been my home since 1987. I include it here for both reasons. I also include it because I’m a sentimental old fool who loves his poetic children for all they have taught him, and who is exceedingly grateful […]

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Words in a Row

Written very early in the dark on a Wednesday morning, the following lines seem more suitable for a Sunday — with the quiet half-understanding, of course, that there is really, and has only ever been, one day, and that that day has no need of a name. What happens is this: I hitch a ride, and for a while it carries me down the road. I smile when the driver […]

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The Second Act

The Second Act

According to my notes, this poem was written long ago after I awoke one morning from a troubling dream I couldn’t quite remember, and with a terrible sinus headache. If the dream was the first act, the poem is the second, and reading it is the third. Or maybe writing the poem was the second act, and the poem is the third, making reading the fourth — unless the poem […]

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Forty Days, Forty Nights

This poem is not about the rain, but it’s probably because of it. In my mind, rain shouldn’t be wasted. But I promise not to talk about it.                         — the rain, I mean. we all know what rain is, what it does, the havoc it wreaks.                         — the benediction it brings. the feeling of sanctity, in all things animate and inanimate, though the latter category doesn’t really exist. A rock […]

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Friends

This poem, too, was written about twenty years ago. If I still have the original typescript, it’s in a crate in one of our closets. Sometime after it appeared on my first website, I’m Telling You All I Know, it was noticed by a writer in France, who took it upon herself to translate the poem into French. “Friends” also appeared in a little magazine called The Synergyst.   Friends […]

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What Will I Give You?

All these many years later, I no longer ask myself if I’m worthy, or if my poems are good. I ask, Is my life a labor of love? Then I shake my head and laugh. And then I sleep, and then I work. So goes this essay in the dark. So goes my funny little life. So it goes, even without words.   What Will I Give You? Trouble, mostly. […]

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