William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Sleep’

How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way? High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters […]

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The Fear of Death and the Desire to Be Remembered

I slept for a few minutes yesterday after lunch. When I awoke to the tender tips of the lacy green maple moving in the breeze, and the pine needles glistening in the light of the clear blue sky, and its swirl of upward-curved branches gently lowering and rising, I was nigh overwhelmed by the timeless, trembling, whispering intimacy of what was happening, not only outside, beyond the open window, but […]

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Lullaby

Someday, when you’re a dragonfly standing on air, And your transparent blue wings are all that you wear, I’ll be a gravestone with a waterfall near; Now sleep on, child, sleep without fear, Sleep, my love, my sweet, My dear. Recently Banned Literature, January 10, 2018 . [ 1147 ]

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Change Your Face

A very rough night — but I did intercept the pass; and if only the field were not so far below, I could have run to the goal line, instead of laboriously treading air until my much delayed, unnoticed, unheralded arrival. Such are the rewards of greatness. More disturbing, however, was the haunted figure intent on changing faces, the last of which was the full moon. Change your face, I […]

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The Horizontal Life

Here in the time of yellowing maples and drifting leaves, the falls and streams are charged with new life by the recent thunderstorms. Numerous spiderwebs cross the path, so fine that one is not aware of them until they are broken in passing through; removed from around the forehead and eyes, parts still cling; or maybe it is the memory of their touch that has not quite died away. At […]

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Old Grandpa Moon

The poet who worries about not being read forgets one thing: his face accompanies him everywhere. moonlight on the vine and the sweet grapes left behind by that old raccoon . Old Grandpa Moon The whole great countryside was asleep. The night was clear and cold, and the stars were winking above the farmhouses and fields. But inside an old stone cottage, there was one little boy who could not […]

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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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