William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

The Murder of Angels

Some of us are armed with guns, others with guitars, paintbrushes, and poems. Love, though, is not armed, and it remains the strongest, tenderest, wisest, most patient, pliant force of all. Is there a better way to follow? Does one need politics and religion in order to live peacefully and to act with love? No. And yet we have created a world in which nearly all of us are armed […]

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Old Grandpa Moon

The poet who worries about not being read forgets one thing: his face accompanies him everywhere. moonlight on the vine and the sweet grapes left behind by that old raccoon . Old Grandpa Moon The whole great countryside was asleep. The night was clear and cold, and the stars were winking above the farmhouses and fields. But inside an old stone cottage, there was one little boy who could not […]

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In Memory of Laura Tedeschi

I read today of the passing of the artist Laura Tedeschi. She died April 4, 2018. I didn’t know. In 2010, Laura surprised me by painting my portrait. Quite by chance, after she’d shared it online, it arrived from Vienna on my birthday. On the back of the frame, Laura had written, “Lo Scrittore,” along with my name. The painting has been on display here in my library and work […]

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Life and Renaissance

I met G.H.W. this morning while tending our garden. He stopped, per his daily habit, to rest on our retaining wall where it’s shaded by the juniper, cedar, and lilac. He’s eighty-four years old, walks several miles each morning, and collects cans for the ten-cent deposit. He doesn’t need the money. But the walk does him good, and he likes to talk to people along the way. Some think he’s […]

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Poor Sarkis

Although I too have gone to seed, the birds still prefer the sunflowers. In this world it is not enough to have a big head and limbs. There is an art to being stationary. The spiders, though, are tempted. So are the bees. The lacewings. The crane flies. The breeze. The crane flies. Whither, stranger, dost thou roam? Have you news from home? And he soars, and spins, and cries, […]

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Lips and Fingertips

Life is incredibly generous. It gives us each our abilities, perceptions, and experiences, along with endless opportunities to come together and share for our mutual benefit what we have learned. And though we often use this gift as a means to conquer or to otherwise gain some kind of petty advantage, life never changes its attitude towards us. It gives us children; it gives us love; it gives us a […]

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The Cricket and the Wind

One fall evening, as the stars appeared one by one, a cricket said to the wind, Fellow prophet, what is your opinion? Is anyone listening? And the wind replied, Only the end of the world. The cricket thought about this for some time. Alas, that is something I cannot imagine. You are fortunate. You have traveled, and that is a place you have seen. The wind paused. Feeling pity for […]

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Remember This Always

The park by the river is now a vast dried flower arrangement, mixed ever so lightly with Queen Anne’s Lace, mostly in its ornamental seed stage. Instead of sweetness, pollen, and a hum in the air, the hushed atmosphere is ripe and beyond; there is dust, there is decay, almost as if heaven has heard our voices, and reluctantly looked away. The berries have been picked; the hops harvest is […]

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Matins

What can I possibly want in a world that has already given me everything? August 27, 2020 . Matins Oh, how he loved the bell in the garden, rusted, silent, cool — and when the first leaf fell, he laughed, and wept, like a fool — and while he sat, on a stone, with his white hair, his old hands let go of the world. . [ 851 ]

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