William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Remember This Always

The park by the river is now a vast dried flower arrangement, mixed ever so lightly with Queen Anne’s Lace, mostly in its ornamental seed stage. Instead of sweetness, pollen, and a hum in the air, the hushed atmosphere is ripe and beyond; there is dust, there is decay, almost as if heaven has heard our voices, and reluctantly looked away. The berries have been picked; the hops harvest is begun; the immense black walnut trees are fading towards yellow.

Whatever one makes of this grand orchestration, one thing is clear: in a culture marked by as much violence and hatred as ours, it is vital that enough of us stay grounded, and hold such images in our minds. Ignorance is on the march; the emptiest, angriest part of the population is heavily armed; and the roles of the North and the South appear reversed.

Within this context, the art of living is an art indeed, and a precious one. Kingdoms come, kingdoms go; love and labor live forever, not as chess pieces or commodities, but as sacred keys to self-knowledge and our humanity. There is no future; there is no turning back. The present is all we are given, and that is our greatest blessing, the blessing that gives birth to all others.

We are never helpless. Good works, positive words and thoughts, welcoming expressions, are never lost or wasted in this world. If they were, we would not have survived this long. But physical survival, while necessary if we are ever to grow into and perhaps even beyond our potential, is useless and meaningless when it is merely the temporary hollow triumph of the maddest and loudest who have the most guns.

Remember this always: not once in all our murderous history, has anyone killed love.

August 27, 2020. Evening.


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