William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Archive for April 2023

Where None Can Be and None Is Needed

Last night, after a warm, sunny day, I dreamed it had snowed, and that the neighborhood was a hushed, white calm. This morning, there arose in my mind the image of last summer’s junco nest in our hanging flower basket, after the little ones had flown. And I marveled all over again at its simplicity, and how quickly it returned to the elements, to the earth from which it came. […]

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Ducks in a Row

Wildflowers, nasturtiums, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, corn, okra, string beans, sunflowers, purslane, crab grass and everything else that wants to grow — this year’s garden will be interesting, especially since I’ve scattered seeds in places I’ve already forgotten in this sudden transition to sunny skies, bare arms, and warm feet. Under these enlightened conditions, spending the afternoon working outside is much like losing my mind, or would be, if I still […]

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I wonder about purpose. Does the universe have a purpose? Does the sun? Do I? Or are we simply here, and here simply, spinning, gently, of this music, and burning bright? Isn’t this enough? Must I impose myself on this miracle and whittle it down to my size? Must I choose one thing or another and say, This is why I am here? Must I be that important? Can’t I […]

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An Attentive Child

The less I think, the better I feel — physically, mentally, every which way. Once I recognized the connection between what goes on in my head and my general well being, the thinking process grew quiet, and the intervals between thoughts became greater. Sometimes, I hardly think at all, and wouldn’t notice it, except that when I finally do think, it’s like waking from a vivid dream. I don’t mean […]

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Blue sky? Warmth? Is it possible? What a strange dream. Moss is growing on the dahlia bed. The maples are an odd sort of green. Can those be leaves? Pinch yourself. Yes, those are nests in the trees. Look again. The last of your thoughts are blowing to sea. There they go. Back to the ether. No need for me. . [ 1729 ]

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Infinite, Deep, Profound

To witness a miracle, spend a day, a few hours, or even a few minutes listening to your body. Be still. Don’t sit in judgment. There’s no need for words. Notice where it hurts. Notice where it doesn’t. Notice your heartbeat, and the rise and fall of your breath. Notice your digestion. And along with this noticing, notice too how everything is happening of its own accord. The body is […]

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The Fine Points

I can make a tasty six-ounce cup of coffee using our small, fifty-year-old, fine-meshed strainer by holding it over the cup and very slowly pouring hot water over the grounds. It’s a two-step process. First, I drip enough water over the grounds to saturate them, and let them bloom for about half a minute. Then I pour the rest of the water. It might also work with a ten- or […]

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The Garden and the Poem

I’ve lived long enough to know that whatever I try to do is weakened by the effort. Whatever I try to say, is rendered less clear. I’ve learned that even before I begin, the doing and saying is already being done for me, and that by keeping breath in this body, life is allowing me to take part in a process as playful as it is timeless and profound. Life […]

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As the Feet Go, So Does the Mind

I run so early in the morning I’m seldom met or passed by a car. When I am, I’m amazed all over again at how much pollution even one vehicle generates. It happened this morning, when I was overtaken by a small late-model pickup as we moved towards the stop sign by the fig tree. As I ran through the fumes, I took shallow breaths until I was clear of […]

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