William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Proverb 17

And what of the salamander we met on the trail, skin smooth, mud-colored, orange beneath, walking on its toes, crossing in the chilly damp? And what of the woodpecker knocking unseen from above? What of the massive cleft rock in the stream? Are we to think nothing of them and pretend their existence away? Or shall we carry them with us, and make ourselves living reminders that all is not nightmare and asphalt, business, politics, and scheme?

Thirty-nine degrees. Stars dimmed by a thin layer of clouds. A shirtless, barefoot stroll through the wet grass, in some places ankle-deep. Stepping around and between mounds of bright-white mushrooms.

To the river. Fog. The algae has reasserted itself in Mission Lake, where a heron is stalking something ever so slowly, back bowed, head down. One last chicory plant, still in bloom.

October 8, 2021

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Proverb 17

The most sublime act is to set another before you.

How strange, to be misunderstood;
How strange, the hail of stones;
How strange, the iron sound of prison doors;
How strange, the judgment handed down;
How strange, the prophets in their common clothes;
How strange, their shrill unwholesome curse;
How strange, their blade that meets your heart;
How strange, this tomb in barren ground;
How strange, the hymn of their remorse.

From “The Annotated Proverbs of Hell
Songs and Letters, Vol. 16, November-December, 2007

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Songs and Letters

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