William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Everything and Nothing

One Minute, Two, a Lifetime, the World

One habit to the next without rest, each with its pretty colored shell — see them on the mantelpiece, and there upon your brow — but when you thirst, love, oh! — seek a deeper well! “When You Thirst” Recently Banned Literature, January 7, 2018 . One Minute, Two, a Lifetime, the World I think one of the most revolutionary, transformative acts we can undertake, is to set aside a […]

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I Wonder Where They Come From

We have visited briefly with Ross Freeman three times thus far. I skip ahead now to the end of his story, with the complete text of the closing chapter. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the feeling of friendship is strong upon me, and the end of The Smiling Eyes of Children, among other things, seems to express something of the gratitude I feel for the wonderful people I have met […]

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For Better or For Worse

It breaks my heart to see a long-married couple out for a walk together, but not walking together, the man ahead, the woman behind, the assumed command and superiority in his carriage, hers subservient, with neck slightly bent and head held just so, as if fearing to cause his displeasure. And yet they are out together. Why? What are their secret pains, their secret pasts, their secret thoughts? How long […]

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A Curious Blend

How wise, really, were the founders of this country? Could they have been merely smart, and not wise at all; or at least as blind, perhaps, as they were wise? Surely their supposed wisdom can and should be questioned. After all, some of them owned slaves. Can a man who preaches equality, and who buys and sells human beings, still be wise? Certainly he can be nice and mean well; […]

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Contaminated Spirits

It’s well worth putting on a mask and spending a short time in the thick, hazardous smoke for the birds’ sake alone. As before, within minutes of refilling and refreshing the birdbath, I saw a robin vigorously splashing in the water. Even as I stood there with the hose, I heard him chirping not far above me in the birches. Found early in the first chapter of the January 1877 […]

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Idle

Another hour spent outside watering in the smoke, which is much thicker this morning than yesterday. The air, though, is noticeably cooler. The windy time has passed; I saw several spiders calmly working on their webs. I also heard the squawking of a scrub jay, and a brief exchange between nuthatches. A squirrel caught my eye; like an ordinary pedestrian, it was making its way along the sidewalk across the […]

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Present Sense

I expect to write as long as I’m mentally and physically able. I realize, though, it’s possible there may come a time when I no longer feel the need to write. My present sense of the matter is this: the longer I write, the nearer I come to the beginning; I am now in my childhood, working steadily towards infancy; the very moment I’m born, I’ll lay down my pen, […]

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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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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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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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