William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Winter’

Death Treads Softly

For every heart-breaker, there is a love-maker; for every flower, an hour — a death, a life.   Death Treads Softly Death treads softly past the nurse reading at her desk. When morning comes, another bed is empty. Winter is long, the old folks let go one by one. We strip their sheets and scrub the floors, send their bundles to the laundry. But the ones who live are hungry. […]

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All Face

Yesterday afternoon, while I was out in a windstorm, picking up debris from a windstorm the day before that, I was so impressed by the spread of deep, thick moss everywhere that I vowed to spend a lot more time outdoors with my shoes off — after the weather warms just a bit. This morning, though, I wonder if I should wait at all. The uncovered part of my face […]

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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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Aging, Confession, Stars

As long as this body is in the world, and as long as it remains lit from within, the urge, the desire, the need, is to tell all — the instinct, the drive, the purpose, the dream. I am my own living and breathing confession, and by this confession, my life is fulfilled. I walked very early this morning on streets shimmering with particles of ice. The sky was almost […]

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And What Is This Earth Ship

Back to the falls — but not the same falls, no; never have we seen the water rushing so madly; never have we heard it thundering so loudly on the rocks below; the creek in torrent, fed by laughing streams dancing across the path on one side, and spilling over ferns, moss, rocks, and downed branches on the other; a dusting of snow all around; the temperature about thirty-five degrees; […]

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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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Adagio

What of someone who is happy and joyful, but unable to communicate, while those around him assume he is miserable and sad? And what of those who are miserable and sad, who assume everyone else is? Early morning the day after Christmas — not one soul out to see the frosty rooftops. I saw, or think I saw, an eagle in the neighbor’s fir tree the other day. But it […]

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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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When I Stand

Closing out this quiet round of winter record-keeping, the present offering follows “So Many Angels” and “Between the Ivy and the Big Rhododendron.” I wonder what the old cemetery looks like now, and if it remembers me. A crazy question, I guess. Of course it does.   When I Stand When I stand, I marvel at the almost-feeling where my appendix used to be. It’s as if its ancient forgotten […]

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