William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for February 2021

Glass to Green

Street by street, power is being restored. Last night at nine o’clock, it was thirty-five degrees. This morning at three-thirty, it was forty-five. Yesterday morning, we viewed the destruction around town. The ice storm has closed roads, brought down wires, felled mighty oaks, split cedars, ravaged birches, and crushed cars and rooftops with mossy limbs. In the afternoon, the roar of chainsaws filled the air. They will be running for […]

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The Hobo’s Ice Jar

An ice storm. Large and small, the trees and shrubs, draped with icicles and encased in ice, are bowing, weeping, cracking, breaking. Flights of geese. Flocks of birds. February 13, 2021 . The Hobo’s Ice Jar An old scraggly hobo asked for water. But my wife and I had no water, because we were in the process of clearing out the kitchen. The cabinets were empty, the faucet was missing. […]

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Hyacinths and Biscuits

Of the many wonderful things written and said by Carl Sandburg, there is one that often springs to mind which never goes out of fashion: Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits. Starlings are sunshine birds. They know how the light plays on their feathers. A layer of snow and ice: first at the feeder this morning were the juncos. A walk before sunrise, every step accompanied by a […]

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Crime and Punishment

The idea that there are certain kinds of behavior that must be punished — where has it come from, and why is it so widely accepted? Why do millions of people call for the punishment of corrupt politicians? Why do they desire so strongly to see them punished? And what of the millions of others who emulate and praise their behavior, and see it not as evil, but as good? […]

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If I Have Time

Evil, it seems to me, is an acute form of ignorance. If I have time to be angry, then I must also have time to love. And if I love, I have no time to be angry. And time itself is an illusion. Will these words reach you before we are gone? Will they reach anyone? What can that matter, if we love? Recently Banned Literature, February 21, 2018 . […]

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Revival

Sometimes, as I sit here writing in the dark, I feel as if my hands belong to someone else working just beyond the veil — a parallel realm in which objects roam free of any given meaning, and the sound of a passing train — I hear it now — is that someone’s remembered childhood. “Arrival” Poems, Slightly Used, February 18, 2010 . Revival . . . and now / […]

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Light In Your Body

Observe, listen to your body. It always speaks the truth, sometimes loudly, sometimes softly. In every muscle, wrinkle, and cell, it shows, demonstrates, reminds, proves. The mind is a storyteller. The body is the story’s meaning revealed. The mind says, I need coffee, I need pills, I need eight hours of sleep, I need gravy, I need meat. The body replies with aches and pains. It gives you clouds. It […]

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Butterflies and Bee Toes

Am I being vague? I don’t mean to be. I love words. And they love me. We’re naturally hesitant, wondering, each time we meet, who will be the first to speak. What should we mean? We aren’t nails hammered through wood. We’re more like butterflies, or bees with pollen on our toes. Documents? Manifestos? We laugh. We can’t all be bibles or epitaphs. Some of us must be free. Recently […]

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