William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Bells’

From Jade to Fern

Star detail. Northbound clouds, lit by a sun an hour from rising. Clover detail. Leaves cool, and only slightly damp. Spider detail. A web from jade to fern. Breath detail. The boundless, timeless happening of oneself. Zen detail. Unique, like everything and everyone else. The same, in a different way. Inseparable as peace and the gentle eyes of a cow, as joy and the sound of her bell. July 30, […]

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A Bell

I find, not for the first time, that I have little to say, and even less that seems or feels worth saying, or that I haven’t already said before. I could, of course, go into the far, dark side of personal minutiae, and record how many glasses of water I drink and what I eat each day; how many pages I read in books and online and their artists and […]

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Distance

Drenched again. Lately I’ve been running on different streets so I won’t know how far I’ve gone. It’s like rubbing someone’s back: a little this way, a little that, following the crevices and seams, and then coming back around again, high, low, to turn again at the mole — what has any of that to do with distance? Warm rain — sweet sleep — apricot blossoms — someone rings the […]

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A Flower for Marian

Today is the birthday of my father’s little sister, Marian. It is also the anniversary of my grandfather’s death in 1990 and the day the ancient orthodox Armenian Church observes Christmas — except in Jerusalem, where the Brotherhood at the Monastery of St. James follows an older calendar and Christmas falls on a later date. In the dimly lit, incense-laden sanctuary of St. James itself, there is a nook where […]

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The Old City

If I am correct about the year, I first read Dostoevsky in 1984, on an airplane bound for Israel and the old city of Jerusalem. I had bought a paperback copy of The Brothers Karamazov, not quite aware at the time that I was beginning at the end, with what is considered the great writer’s crowning achievement. I read for several hours from Los Angeles to New York, and then […]

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Your Breath, My Hand

A deep breath / and then / the word is a bell / you invite to sound November 2, 2021 . Your Breath, My Hand You begin slowly, speaking softly, saying, One word at a time, gently we go, with love, just as if you are a cushion of fresh green moss on a wall, beyond which bare fields sleep until spring. And then someone happens along and replies: I, […]

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Imagine Your Mind

If this were framed, and hung in a quiet corner where it could be read each day, it might serve as a kind of household guardian spirit. It might serve even if it were not read. After all, poems have their ways. . Imagine Your Mind Imagine, your mind, wandering, until it imagines itself home, raindrops on a silver coach, clattering on stones, a sign nailed on with flowers, proprietor […]

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Dream Fragment, 3:45 a.m.

A little bit of coffee, a little bit of soap. Hand on the bell cord, eye on the rope. April 12, 2021 . Dream Fragment, 3:45 a.m. A young man, of sixteen or seventeen and a stranger to me, leads me to a table, atop which is a curious arrangement of small objects, seemingly of a scientific nature. “If I die,” he says quietly, and with the utmost reverence for […]

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Until We Meet

Maybe I should burn all of the others and keep this one. January 17, 2021 . Until We Meet What if we think of words as bells, each with a sound that’s just arrived from a great distance — across fields, down mountains, over graveyards, swept along alleys and streets, and of we who ring them as angels without names? Songs and Letters, September 24, 2008 . [ 998 ]

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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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