William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Sleep’

A Small Boy and Others

The language of Henry James in A Small Boy and Others is a softly spoken dream that gently begs the use of the reader’s own tongue. The dream is in color; it has no corners or edges or sides; it is more like the distance one travels between a robin’s breast and a fully ripe strawberry — the kind of journey a child makes many times each day — even […]

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Loaves, Poems, and Rose Petals

The grapes are just beginning to bloom. The canes on one side have climbed to the roof. On the other, they have found inspiration and support in the apricot tree. And the apricot, in her grace and charm, returns blush for blush. Nationalism, patriotism, and pride are coins — certainty on one side, violence on the other. May humans someday learn to pay their way with loaves, poems, and rose […]

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Wolves

Writing poetry all night. Some call it dream. Some call it sleep. In the morning the paper is blank. Snow has covered the ink. The graves. The hollow reeds. The bird tracks. Then you wake.   Wolves I sweep the floor, but not beneath your feet. Your brow defends the shadow fallen there. Frail sun leaves ice unscathed and windows cold. Another winter just begun, bolder than the last. Remembered […]

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The Ancients

The dream I was going to write this morning has evaporated. Last night, it was so vivid when I awoke that I was sure I would not forget it, especially since I stayed awake for several minutes afterward. Or was that interval of waking also part of the dream? Just as I finished writing the last sentence, I heard a cat screeching somewhere in the darkness. There — there it […]

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Burning Candle

Burning Candle — March 5, 2010

Lunch. I’d just fallen asleep on the floor in the back room when I heard a strange noise — the sound of a hanger, perhaps, falling for no reason from the wooden rod in the closet and banging against a bracket on the way down, or of a penny committing suicide by throwing itself into an old cider jar half full of its tragically expired brethren. Awake for the nonce, […]

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Fishing

Sleep is a boy fishing on the last day of summer — then school begins.   Fishing I am fishing now, in a stream that has followed me down from the big sky at night, muddy and rippled with stars. My shoes are dreaming on a rock, full of fine wet sand. My clothes have begun to doubt me, but my hat is a mile wide, a meadow yawning in […]

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Yield

It seemed almost rude last night to close the front door while a cricket was singing just outside. And yet a short while later, ready for sleep, I could still hear it, steady and measured, through the adjacent bedroom window. In less than a minute, I could no longer distinguish my heartbeat and breath from its rhythm and song. And I thought, the first and last word in all human […]

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Heron, Cricket, Moon

At one of the ten falls, up a side path through leafy shade where ferns and moss and piggyback plants abound, we came upon a great blue heron standing at the pool, statue-still. Noticing us, it turned its head, and seemed somehow to become an even taller, leaner bird, as if it had pulled its feathers more tightly around itself. Sorry for our intrusion, and hoping not to frighten it, […]

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This One

If there is a spirit world, why not this one? Late yesterday evening, the crows half-flew, half-drifted every which way on the southwest breeze, which was strong enough to make their frequent treetop landings a challenge. This one? No, this one! Here? No, over there! Haw! — and yet the grand and glorious silence was never broken. The clover was drunk on sunlight. Now it’s snoring in the dark. And […]

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No Foothold

My first thought this morning: If I slept like a rock, it is a rock that dreams. My second thought: If I slept like an angel, it could mean anything.   No Foothold No foothold on the brooding rock, or memory of the climb, only joy in stepping off, and these awkward wings of mine. Recently Banned Literature, August 7, 2014 [ 395 ]

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