William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tragedies and Toy Soldiers

We are the bird, the cloud, the drifting insect. We are the waterfall. We are delicate bits of dandelion fluff. We are all of space, and all that space contains. And we contain that space: space enters and leaves our bodies with every breath. Space is not only out there, where the stars are. It is here, where Earth is, and where we are. And we — you, I, and everyone and everything else — are each other. It’s all mixed up: there’s no taking any of it, or of us, apart. It can’t be done, no matter how hard we try. It’s like drawing a line on the earth, or building a fence. We may believe that they divide one thing from another, that they are borders, but those divisions and borders exist only in our minds. Earth knows nothing about them. Neither does the dandelion or the waterfall. So it is with us: from where our bodies end, we continue on, and on, and on. We eat food from all around the world. The water we drink and bathe in, has been everywhere. It has been on us, in us, and through us. It has been ocean, urine, and blood. Yet we persist in thinking we are separate. We cling to the idea in fear. To preserve our identities, we try to divide that which is indivisible. But our effort only brings sorrow. Imagine how unhappy the sun would be if it decided it wasn’t part of the galaxy, or how unhappy a fish would be if it decided it wasn’t part of the river, lake, or ocean. Then look again at our own behavior. Everything that exists, everything that is, is seamlessly held together and carries on perfectly of its own accord. We belong to it. We are part of this vast living miracle. The very thing that should be an inspiration and joy, we fight against. And in fighting we become Hamlets, dictators, policemen — tragedies and toy soldiers — when all the universe asks is love.

April 17, 2021. Late afternoon.


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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