William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Spirits’

Neskowin

When the tide is out, one can see the barnacled stumps of an ancient ghost forest on the beach at Neskowin, one of several along the Oregon coast. Seen through the mist, the trees look like spirits — part wood, part rock, part man. They are Sitka spruce, and carbon dating has revealed their age to be around two thousand years. Our feet bare, we walked the beach for about […]

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Remember

Everything I eat, everything I wear, everything I use; everything that sustains me and makes my life easier and more comfortable; everything that educates me, everything that stimulates me intellectually and inspires me in the realm of art — these are all proof of how directly my life is related to others, and of how completely I depend on people almost all of whom I will never meet and know. […]

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To Live in Such a Way

Of this window, two things, knowing they are one: your breath on icy glass, bright spirits as they pass. “Of This Window” Recently Banned Literature, January 4, 2016 . To Live in Such a Way To live in such a way as not to break this sweet silence. Cherub on a limb. Fluffy wren. Snowflake. Winterwake. If you ask her where she’s been, she will sing again. Make that your […]

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A Few Nasturtiums

Through an open window in the dark, you imagine what you’ve seen before. Then you hear an owl, who-hooting in the firs. Coffee’s ready. Scarce past four. You imagine not a thing before. And the owl concurs.   A Few Nasturtiums A few nasturtiums where nothing else will grow. Fir needles. Who can count them all. And the tales they tell of galaxies in dew and dust. A calligrapher’s turn […]

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Canvas 902 — Irises and Dreams

Canvas 902 — May 16, 2017

  Irises and Dreams The tomato plants are growing like weeds in the rain. This morning I walked in a dense, heavy mist. The robins were out. Some starlings. A towhee. Silence emanated from coy-hidden crows. Crow silence. Black-ink silence. The atmosphere, it seemed, was deep into the process of paper-making. A calligrapher’s dream. A mark here, a mark there, and thus a new language is born, and is off […]

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Song as Summons

I wonder how old I was when the idea first reached me that our departed loved ones might still be near and looking on. I don’t remember having thought of it myself, or it ever being suggested by my parents. I might have read it somewhere. I did a lot of reading in my youth. I find the idea poetically appealing, but I’ve never thought of it as either definitely […]

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Canvas 824 — Patience

Canvas 824 — January 17, 2017

I wonder, is it possible to cultivate a patience so gentle and profound that it outlives the flesh? Or is patience a pond we bathe in, and cannot defile with our death? We were greeted by a friendly, talkative woodpecker yesterday near Goose Lake — a young bird more intent on socializing than carrying on its regular craft and trade. Watching us from a bare trunk not five feet away, […]

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In Tune

A few days ago, a wonderful little girl named Ella came to the door and said she was helping to raise money for her middle school band, and that I could aid her in this effort by purchasing a poinsettia for fifteen dollars. It happened that I had that much cash on hand, and so I happily gave it to her and put my name and address on her growing […]

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Whispers

Dahlia leaves, intensely green after a thunderstorm. Ferns and moss, a fertile, humid prayer. Cleaning the iris bed — old, worn mothers with their fearless children. The scent of mushrooms soon to sprout. A friendly neighbor says a spirit haunts his house. Books — Walt Whitman and John Muir. Melville and Thoreau. And how strange Emerson, if he’d had a beard. September 12, 2019 [ 510 ]

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