William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Poems’

Winter Bath

See how she braids her rivers still — doesn’t know, doesn’t care who sees her — doesn’t come, doesn’t go, doesn’t fear — has no need of any mirror or calendar — and see how the sun bends low to please her, warms the soft green moss on her back . . .

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My Father Walking, and Twenty-Four Other Things

It occurred to me recently that I walked more than a thousand miles in the immediate neighborhood during the past year, and several hundred more on state park trails — in terms of sheer distance, roughly halfway across the continent. This is hardly a profound realization. But though it was made in small increments, the journey itself was far from mundane. And a journey it remains. Another year and I […]

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Trade Policy

The symbol strikes me every time I see him — the homeless man with his hand out, under the light at the corner of Commercial and Division. December 22, 2019   Trade Policy If I have something you need and more of it than I can use; and if you have something I need and more of it than you can use; then let us simply give the excess to […]

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Ghosts and Angels

Walking the downtown streets on a winter afternoon, every brick familiar, Smiling to myself at the sheer number of doors I’ve tried and shops I’ve entered, At each set of stairs leading up from the sidewalk to sundry offices and rooms, And at the strange wealth of memories that come unbidden, The nerves, the tension, the fear (all of it precious and love always near), The glory of press time, […]

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Traces

Thoreau, off on a tramp, writing by moonlight. Whitman, bending a sapling to test his paralyzed strength. Bathing in ponds. Crow-voices. Wild flowers. Bumblebees. The nighttime parade of stars. The names of ferry-boat captains. Snow to the waist. Ice-cakes in the river. Big families. Poetry. Geology. Boot laces. Wild carrots. The end of the war. My hand on the knob. Your knock on the door.

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Mending

The life of a memory, carried from childhood into old age. The lives of many, interwoven, and the fabric they make. The cloth wears at the edges; has holes; takes on stains. Here is a new one . . . and now death intervenes!

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After the Bath

Maybe it’s not a question of whether, where, or when the flesh and the imagination meet, but how long it’s been since you’ve joined them.   After the Bath you draw with your fingertip on warm naked skin and then call the poem a rose Recently Banned Literature, December 30, 3016

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Pastoral

This is my only notebook. Search the house high and low, and you’ll not find another — unless it’s my body; which, familiar as it seems, is really a record of what the stars said, a long, long time ago. How I love the short days; the long nights; the cold-dark intimacy of winter. The sun’s a pin on a gray lapel. Move as lightly as you can through this […]

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