Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Poem I Wrote Is Glad It Missed the Train

Songs and Letters, Volume 17, Complete

About these poems

The seventeen short poems grouped here were written in a nine-day period near the close of 2007. To me, each word they contain is a kind of love letter. Is it any wonder, then, that, by the very act of reading them, I imagine you tying a ribbon around the whole sweet bundle?

The Oldest Poem

The oldest poem, the very first poem,
the poem which still lives and gives birth
to all other poems, is called being here.

December 19, 2007

The Newest Poem

The newest poem is a baby bird,
pushed this very moment from its nest
by its hungry brothers and sisters.

December 20, 2007

The Poem My Mother Wrote

The poem my mother wrote
is a bright warm kitchen that smells
like the relatives are coming.

December 21, 2007

The Poem My Father Wrote

The poem my father wrote
is a long vineyard row on a winter day,
still waiting to be pruned.

December 21, 2007

The Poem My Grandfather Wrote

The poem my grandfather wrote
looks a lot like a walnut,
and has a shell every bit as hard.

December 21, 2007

The Poem My Other Grandfather Wrote

The poem my other grandfather wrote
wears suspenders, smokes a pipe,
and sleeps outside on summer nights.

December 21, 2007

The Poem My Grandmother Wrote

The poem my grandmother wrote
would taste good even without raisins,
but I’m glad she put them in.

December 21, 2007

The Poem My Other Grandmother Wrote

The poem my other grandmother wrote
is a thirsty doe sniffing the rocks
where its favorite waterfall used to be.

December 21, 2007

The Poem My Best Friend Wrote

The poem my best friend wrote
would stop Van Gogh and make him
want to touch it with his hands.

December 22, 2007

The Poem My Uncle Wrote

The poem my uncle wrote
came home alone after the war,
not the same poem as before.

December 22, 2007

The Poem My Hometown Wrote

The poem my hometown wrote
tried suicide when the old city library
was torn down, but it was saved
by the water tower.

December 23, 2007

The Poem My Piano Teacher Wrote

The poem my piano teacher wrote
brought flowers all the way from San Antonio
to California, just to give to me.

December 24, 2007

The Poem My Neighbor Wrote

The poem my neighbor wrote
is a private curse uttered
beneath an old magnolia tree.

December 26, 2007

The Poem the Sky Wrote

The poem the sky wrote
sounds much different
when it’s sung on a cloudy day.

December 26, 2007

The Poem the Tree Wrote

The poem the tree wrote
is a solemn oath
whispered from leaf to leaf.

December 26, 2007

The Poem I Wrote

The poem I wrote
is glad it missed the train,
because that’s how
it met you.

The poem I wrote
also knows you have to go.

The poem I wrote
is this place in time,
before everything
is rearranged.

The poem I wrote
cries when the whistle blows.

The poem I wrote
is everywhere I’ve been
since your footsteps
died away.

The poem I wrote
is the last thing I’ll ever say.

December 27, 2007

The Poem You Wrote

The poem you wrote
somehow tells the truth about me
without sounding cruel.

Or is the poem you wrote
a poem about you?

December 27, 2007


Jan said...

When one writes from the heart it touches the hearts of those who are fortunate enough to read them.

All of these have managed to do just that...beautiful words, William~

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Jan. I treasure your kind response.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

To echo what Jan says, I, too, count myself as one of your fortunate readers.

William Michaelian said...

My thanks to you, Vassilis, as always, and yet again. Years ago you were there when I missed the train, and I’ve counted it a blessing ever since.