William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Child and Man’

Cracking Walnuts

This old body is going through some changes this winter. It reminds me of cracking walnuts with my father during the long cold evenings. He was a boy, and I was at least a hundred and ten, when, crack! The outside was in, and the inside was out again. . [ 1640 ]

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Wise Old Child

Letting go the precious image of oneself — the habit, the mask, the careworn cloak — isn’t this the fear of death? And if it is, why not let go now and be completely free, like the wind that blows and snow that falls? In life and deed — why not be a wise old child? . [ 1609 ]

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The Mask

Warm, cloudy, humid. Fires east, fires south. And here I am, recognizing once again the sheer luxury it is to be able, for so long, to pursue my tiny line of thinking — to read my books, to write my notes and poems and then pretend them to the world — for pretending and publishing are much alike — tho’ the mask I wear is nearly identical to what it’s […]

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Timeless Trivia

Thirty-seven degrees. A snow sky. Vegetable plants in the garden shops. The heart leaps, a bird peeps, returns to its fir needle bed. I wish I had written that. And the life that led to it? Do you wish you had lived that as well? A fondness for quoting Jesus — but crucifixion is something else. A crown of thorns. Nails through the palms. Snow in April? Isn’t that unusual? […]

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Hypothetically Speaking

If I say something and you disagree, then what I say is my opinion; whereas, if you agree, then what I say is the truth. But must they be either? They weren’t when I was a child, because what I said then wasn’t viewed on such narrow terms. I was trying to express myself, and to communicate as best I could. I wasn’t right and I wasn’t wrong. I was […]

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Self-Improvement

I wonder if there is anything more ludicrous than the idea of self-improvement. Imagine looking at a newborn baby and thinking such a beautiful, perfect thing can be better than it is. Imagine believing so strongly in the idea of imperfection that one is bound to see it everywhere and in everything. And then imagine teaching by example this tragic outlook to a blossoming, perfect child. . [ 1370 ]

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Teachers

I could never think of myself as a self-made man. I’ve learned something important and indispensable from everyone I’ve known, every step of the way. Immediate family, relatives, friends, acquaintances, playmates, school teachers, employers, coworkers — each has contributed something, each has awakened something in me, each has helped show me the way. In this process, I also count forgotten random encounters. I include pets. And I most certainly include […]

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Borne by the Bier

Sweet sleep, for we might say sleep is that from which we arise, to emerge at birth and find ourselves astonished by the light; and then, at the appointed time, that to which we return, ripe and ready for the next miracle. Sweet, for how could it not be? — as sweet as the sleep of the child one was, is, and will become — sweet as the dew on […]

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