William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Forty Days, Forty Nights

This poem is not about the rain,
but it’s probably because of it.
In my mind, rain shouldn’t be wasted.
But I promise not to talk about it.
                        — the rain, I mean.

we all know what rain is,
what it does, the havoc it wreaks.
                        — the benediction it brings.

the feeling of sanctity,
in all things animate and inanimate,
though the latter category doesn’t really exist.
A rock is as much alive (I am sure of this)
as a squirrel dancing on a power line,
its compact, dense particles humming softly,
lulling us into thinking it is dead.
                        — like some people, in other words.

or well known institutions.
As a general rule, rocks are a lot more
subtle and dignified.
                        — which reminds me.

I remember a rock my father hauled down
from the Sierra Nevada fifty years ago
to use for added weight on a piece of equipment
he pulled through the vineyard with his tractor.
It was a long, narrow, folded piece of granite,
as beautifully speckled as a bird’s egg,
worn smooth over time by friction,
by the tough, polishing action of the soil.
In the winter the rock sat out in frost and rain.
                        — thinking.

or brooding, depending on the day,
depending on the mood I was in at the time
and the problems I was facing.
                        — all serious, you understand.

for I was all of seven or eight, or in my teens,
or married and in my twenties.
I used to greet the rock.
We would talk, through all kinds of weather,
and I would feel the rock with my hand.
By spring, we had both grown roots.
                        — like harmonious anchors.

wise, noble, moss-covered.
Today I am frequently seen carrying the rock
upon my back, through the streets of faraway cities.
I must admit, I have aged less gracefully
than my legless, armless friend.

Collected Poems
Also appeared in The Synergyst

Categories: Collected Poems

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