William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Granite and Flesh

The level of relaxation I reach stretched out for a rest on my back on the floor is death-like. It might be for only a few minutes, or for half an hour, or occasionally even for an hour, but the sleep that comes to these muscles and bones is deep and profound. Arms at my side, toes to the window, face to the ceiling, I am, for a brief dreamless eternity, both granite and flesh. If I were not to wake again, there would be nothing lost. The breath would cease, the granite and flesh would mingle, and the energy that holds them together would be absorbed by everything around it. A story or poem could not have a better purpose or more perfect end. One last breath, one sublime utterance — then, a return to the stars.

I was sickened and heartbroken upon hearing earlier today that the giant sequoias in Sequoia National Park are threatened by fire. These great beings that have lived for hundreds and thousands of years cannot move, they cannot run, they can only wait and watch and be consumed while humans, who are instrumental in hastening their death and the death of countless other species, argue about masks and guns, entertain themselves into a stupor, and eat and drink themselves into a state of physical and mental illness and pain.

How strange it is to live in such a time. Beauty, of course, is deathless. It does not need us to survive. By its good graces, we are only one of its transmitters, receivers, and forms. Neither can it be defined. I might even go so far as to say that by reducing things to mere definitions, we only strengthen our prison walls, the concrete blend of which is assumption and certainty, while that which is defined goes right on being itself.

September 17, 2021. Afternoon.


[ 1231 ]

Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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