William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Work’

Work Notes

I love how a trace of rain transforms a garden, even one that is already doing very well. I see the same in the neighbors and in myself. Our greens are more vivid and intense in the charged atmosphere; our purples and reds draw notice from the hummingbirds. I wonder now if, in all my years of writing, I have ever used the word aura. I think not. But it […]

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Better Blind, Than Blind

If I am not grateful in the knowledge that I will die, and possibly suffer untold, nigh unbearable pain between now and that time, then of what worth is my gratitude for my relative good health, and for an abundance of fluffy clouds, fresh air, and sunshine? Can such conditional gratitude really be gratitude at all? And yet even that is a start, I suppose. If I am alive in […]

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Nothing

I have not been myself lately, said the wind. Nor I, said the mountain. The shepherd boy, who had been listening, took up his flute. When he was an old man, he put it down again and died. And the wind rushed, and the mountain blushed, to the depths of the canyon.   Nothing I said to my mother, I said to my father, “I have nothing to do.” To […]

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Still Farming

Still Farming

As an old farmer of the written word, I know that in my deepest cultivation I’m really just scratching the surface, and that the strange crops I bring forth, the cactus and the flower, are food of brief duration, and that when I’m gone, the land I care for and hold dear will be safe harbor for my feeble literary bones. Once, many years ago, while we were engaged in […]

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Winter Work

Book by book I go, dusting, cleaning, reading, examining, inhaling, arranging. A library is a strange, quiet joy. It is good fortune, and in these times, when ignorance is vaunted, heralded, and prized, it is a reminder that wisdom and sanity are still alive in the world. And then when the rain stops, I put on even older clothes and go out and prune the fig tree, which, over the […]

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Tell Me, Grandfather

We sit down, we go to work, the work turns out to be play. We stand up, we go out, we face the day.   Tell Me, Grandfather Somewhere, long ago, a village, a woman, a broom. Here, now, this road, this hunger, this sweet-ripe orange. But . . . is there no dragon? Yes, there is, if you wish. And a bottomless well. Does the dragon fall into the […]

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Wild Flowers Imagine the Rain

I suppose it would not be far from the truth if I were also to refer to this growing collection of oddities and notes as my papers, because I am definitely proceeding with the idea that everything that ever was and will be of lasting importance to me can be found in these pages. Each department is its own neatly labeled crate of material. All that’s missing, really, is a […]

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Daylight Journal

There’s an abiding sense that this work will occupy me for the rest of my life, and I can’t help but smile at the meaningful, meaningless, childish pleasure it brings. But there’s no urgency in knowing the process can be interrupted or ended at any moment. What could be more beautiful and natural than a man struck down mid-sentence in a state of dream and delight, or realizing his life […]

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Crowku

Quite often, later in the day, I’m apt to think of something I’d like to write about the following morning. In some cases, the urge is strong enough that I’m tempted to begin right away. But I rarely do. First, I’d rather wait and see if the following morning does come. If it does, and I’m blessed with that bit of good fortune, I make coffee and read Spanish for […]

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Silence

Would I be a good public speaker? Even at my advanced age, I don’t know. I’ve never sought the opportunity, which might be a way of saying I’ve avoided it. And if I have avoided it, I’ve probably done so for the usual reasons: fear of failure, fear of making a fool of myself, fear of embarrassment. And if these are the reasons, they must have their origin somewhere in […]

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