William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

New Poems & Pieces

Proverb for a New World

The child mind and the adult mind. And the adult is the child. And the child laughs, and the child cries.   Proverb for a New World If the birds don’t sing, will the sun still rise?               It will, if it’s wise. Awake, little ones! Hear the sun sing! See the birds fly! [ 775 ]

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Our Lives Outlive Us

It’s a contradiction to speak of progress, spiritual or otherwise, and then complain about having to do the dishes. The little things one resists, once seen in their true light, are understood as blessings, death included. Our lives outlive us — by one smile, one poem, one soothed pain, one axe, one gun, one malicious stroke of the pen, the present flesh recoils, and mortal breath is thrilled again. June […]

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No Pride or Noble Crowns

There’s the familiar saying, If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention. To me, just the opposite seems true. When I’m attentive, I’m not angry, I’m aware. And when I’m aware, the root of the problem is revealed. When I say attentive, I don’t mean with such and such a motive or purpose, or desire for a particular outcome; that isn’t attention, but a subtle form of self-glorification, the ego’s […]

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A Small Boy and Others

The language of Henry James in A Small Boy and Others is a softly spoken dream that gently begs the use of the reader’s own tongue. The dream is in color; it has no corners or edges or sides; it is more like the distance one travels between a robin’s breast and a fully ripe strawberry — the kind of journey a child makes many times each day — even […]

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Loaves, Poems, and Rose Petals

The grapes are just beginning to bloom. The canes on one side have climbed to the roof. On the other, they have found inspiration and support in the apricot tree. And the apricot, in her grace and charm, returns blush for blush. Nationalism, patriotism, and pride are coins — certainty on one side, violence on the other. May humans someday learn to pay their way with loaves, poems, and rose […]

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Just Enough Blue

Clouds moving in different directions, the upper layer in wisps from the southwest; fluffs of cotton beneath them, drifting from north to south — and if I were a cloud, the breeze here at ground level would carry me ever so gently from west to east. Somehow — and this is another miracle — there is just enough blue sky to hold this all together. The clouds move, but they […]

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When We Most Need Them

I once read a fairy tale, in which the villain was a terrible monster. Years later, I looked in the mirror. Then I read the fairy tale again. How beautiful, I said. June 3, 2020   When We Most Need Them We all know of ignorant, arrogant, obnoxious, destructive people. But it’s imperative we don’t pollute ourselves with negative thoughts about them — that we say, rather, “This is the […]

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Tender Recycling

The towhees nesting under the big rhododendron, in the shade of the birches and firs, have added two fine young offspring to the world. We saw them for the first time late yesterday evening, hopping along the edge of the ivy in what might have been their first foraging lesson. Drab-fluffy and rough-feathery, they were almost as big as their parents. Our human social fabric has so many rips and […]

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Billions

There are billions of us, and billions who have gone before — yet of all these billions, somehow, you are the one who knows. Oh, it must be quite the burden for you! Just look at your flags and guns! And look at the cemeteries, full of your fellow gods! June 1, 2020 [ 765 ]

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Breathless

Summer one day, spring the next. The sky wondering which clothes to wear. Gray, blue, none but the pollen in her hair. on an old clay pot a bee waits just long enough for me to catch up May 30, 2020 [ 764 ]

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