William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

How, of a Morninge

Goose Lake. A dense fog, the cottonwoods dripping, the oaks, the cherries, the brambles, the berries. For the first time in a year we are able to walk to the water’s edge. This end of the lake is very shallow and full of decaying lilies, between which can be seen the mossy bottom just inches below. Quiet. Few birds are out, and none are chattering or calling from the immediate vicinity. Later, back on the main path, we hear a raucous announcement made by a scrub-jay, the message and meaning of which is lost on us. It is like listening to any language. One knows or imagines what the speaker might be saying, and, if he is so inclined, he interprets it according to his own liking and mood. Or he might not categorize or label it at all, and let the sound flow through him and reverberate in his chest and skull.

And then there is the language of train horns. Imagine being from someplace where there are none, such as a far-off jungle, or the womb, and hearing and feeling the sound for the first time.

Attention is effortless. Discipline is a form of rigidity, and therefore hard to maintain.

Anyone can be deliberate and calm when he is at peace and there is little or nothing to disturb him. Few can be so in the midst of trouble and upheaval. As thought goes, so goes the breath.

A sour tea of chamomile and the juice of half a small lemon. Or is it just warm lemonade? Either way, it is probably an experiment not worth repeating. The chamomile is good, the lemon is good, the water is good, and even the cup is good. The combination is almost good — closer to good than terrible — healthy, perhaps, but not able to stand on its own. Nor is it a tempest in a tea cup. It is more like an accident that could have been easily avoided, like the following poem — a cup of Chaucer, full of impurities.

October 16, 2021


How, of a Morninge

How, of a morninge, apon the brakeing of ones faste,
tea and cruste doth soe soone revyve : the sayme as a sweete worde,
the spyrte : wherefore songe birdes knowe much there of,
granteing poore man, his hearte, goode flyte.

Recently Banned Literature, January 31, 2016


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Recently Banned Literature

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