William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

The Page and the Moon

The rising sliver of the waning moon is good company. So is a blank page. I have seen many of the latter dawn and fade over the years, very nearly one each day — fade into print, into scratch, swirl, and scrawl. But if I had to choose between the page and the moon, I would keep the moon and let go of the page. And while it is one thing for someone of my age and general good fortune to say such a thing, I like to think my choice would have been the same when I was twenty or thirty. Imagine someone engaged in this kind of endeavor saying the moon be damned — that is, if that someone ever happens to notice it. Yet that is the very mentality of millions of people: the moon be damned, the rivers, the trees, the creatures seen and unseen great and small, the air we breathe — let them all be damned, I will do what I want, and I will do it when I want to do it, even if it means my children and grandchildren will be starved for oxygen and without a place to get away from it all. I will ravage the landscape and wave my flag atop the smoldering remains.

What sacrifice the ego? What price the poem?

Understand: this may be the last time you see it, the last thought you have.

October 3, 2021


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