William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

The Mist and This

If I had not walked in the mist before dawn, I would not have heard the owl calling from the fir tree on this side of the wetland. And the land is wet, as were we.

I need to explore the backyard, which has been transformed by the recent storms into a forest floor strewn with branches, cones, and leaves. There are fir branches six to eight feet long on the roof. They are an inch thick or more.

I never say, I will be glad when this is over, as so many do these days. My personal preference, if I had one, and my judgment, if I had any, can have no bearing on the matter. How long does this need to last? As long, likely, as it holds lessons to be learned. And what if this does end? Is what follows certain to be better? Or will the next lessons be even harder? Rather than guess, it seems to me that I should try to understand what this is, and how it might be connected to everything and everyone else. And to do that, I must explore my own dark and middle ages, and see if they lead to a renaissance.

The same ignorance that had some of us believing in and burning witches, is still alive in the world. It spreads disease, carries guns, and builds walls. In the twenty-first century, it still beheads and skins alive those with different religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds. Imagine living in such ignorance, and carrying it to the grave. Is that what this is? Just how is it to end, if the only thing that concerns us is the mirage of our own convenience? If mine is more important than yours, and yours is more important than mine, and we are willing to hate each other for it, then we must live with the result.

I finished George Schuyler’s Black No More. It remained clever to the end. His characters showed hardly a glimmer of being or becoming real people. But that is nothing against him. Perhaps when he wrote it, he was not quite real himself. Or maybe his reality was too painful to render in terms of emotional warmth.

November 16, 2020


[ 932 ]

Categories: New Poems & Pieces

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,