William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Death’

Weeds

Weeds — June 22, 2020

Let’s just say these sprouted here, and that we decided to let them grow. Let’s say the rain came, and that our hoes and shovels broke. Let’s say we are weeds ourselves. Yes, and before we die, let us recognize the truth.   Weeds I love the weeds growing around my door, Familiar, independent, working without pay. They would be on a hillside if they could, And someday will be […]

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We Are Our Own Lens

In light of the sheer immensity of things, any endeavor, however well executed, is bound to seem trivial and small. We write poems, build bridges, send rockets to the moon; yet within this vast expanse, the page is small, the earth is small, the moon is small, the galaxy is small. How powerful, really, would a universal lens have to be to even show we are here? One partial answer […]

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Not Dying

This piece, another entry from Songs and Letters, was written August 3, 2005. The friend referred to is Glen Ragsdale, the artist who did the painting that appears on my book, The Painting of You. You can read a little more about Glen and see his painting here.   Not Dying After my friend told me he was diagnosed with cancer and had been given a year and a half […]

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Pale Wisps and Blossom Clouds

This spring, everything that blooms has bloomed heavily, in scented blossom clouds. Last spring it was the opposite, a sparse bloom in pale wisps, like an invalid’s dry cough, or a storm that disperses before it arrives. It rained again last night. At six this morning, the trees were dripping in the bright sunlight. At the top of the hill, even the old one-sided maple looked like it was in […]

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Paradise is Paradise

I seek no other heaven. If this vast wonder-garden is a perfect god’s creation, what improvement would it need? Paradise is paradise, as far as I can see. And if it isn’t perfect, if it happened of itself or is here by some other cause, my judgment of it is bound to share the same imperfection, because I am a part of it. In this garden, the grasses come and […]

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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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The Living and the Dead

Sometimes, when the bow is not taut, the arrow flies much farther.   The Living and the Dead A pair of starlings are feasting on something in the maple tree outside my window. The tree has just begun to bloom. Its larger branches are covered with moss, some of it old, much of it new. The birds have found something to eat in the moss — newly hatched insects, or […]

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Tea Time With a Shiny Spoon

Honey? Sun? Meet my old friends, Strawberry and Robin. For it’s tea time with a shiny spoon, and Love and Death will be here soon, Unless they have forgotten. . . . Comes then a knock upon the door,                                                                 and our hearts, now creaking open . . . [ 755 ]

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A Lesser Poet

The world has lost a great poet — so it’s often said. And yet isn’t death what finally and most fully reveals a great poet’s gift to this world? And so when the poet dies, wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that the world has gained him, or her, instead?   A Lesser Poet I will be remembered as a lesser poet, if at all — a clumsy ox […]

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