William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

In Simplest Terms

A little before four this morning, it was cloudy with only one star briefly visible; then, a few minutes later, between the birches and firs, through a break in the clouds just above the neighbor’s second-story roof, we caught a sustained glimpse of the full lunar eclipse, as the shadow passed and the moon began to emerge.

Now there is a robin singing from the chimney-top.

It comes to mind that my writing about walking barefoot might be interpreted as coming from a rich man, a man who can put on shoes whenever he likes, a man who has no idea what it’s like to live a life without shoes. In that sense, I am rich. But now I rarely put on shoes, and when I do, it’s like doing penance. Just yesterday, I noticed my year-old hiking shoes in the garage, gathering dust, looking awkward and crude, like medieval instruments of torture. My feet hurt at the thought of putting them on. The poor, mistreated soles — little by little, though, they are forgiving me. And my socks will never wear out.

May 26, 2021


In Simplest Terms

I may write poems, draw pictures, and pretend to all sorts of wisdom and eloquence, but the truth is, I am a clumsy learner feeling my way — quite happily, for I find living an adventure laden with untold surprise and unimaginable treasure and wealth. In simplest terms, I have come to realize that those troublesome, bothersome times when I wished or would have preferred to be somewhere else or to be doing something else, I was really nowhere and doing nothing at all. No one, least of all me, is above the moment, and nothing can be more instructive and beautiful. We are tried when we are ready, and tempered by the fire; thus we are fashioned, made useful, granted humility and kindness, and given to glory — the very same glory as the flowers and bees, a glory integral and not apart, at once tender, sweet, and anonymous. To seek elsewhere with such wealth at hand — is there a greater human tragedy? and from this do not all our other tragedies stem? In life we are granted a faithful mirror; in it we must find and see ourselves. Once we do, we understand there is no great or small; no difference, save in our own misconception of ourselves, between courage and dusting the furniture, between making breakfast and bidding our children to sing and fly free. Love is all: how many letters do I end this way? And yet, what else have I to send?

Recently Banned Literature, April 23, 2016


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Recently Banned Literature

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