William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Death’

Canvas 380 — Wild Out, Wild In

You’re reading about a storm during a storm, and then, shivering, you look up. Much to your surprise, you find the trees calm, the street quiet, and the lamplight unwavering. You look back at your book: a mute brick: ink: paper: binding. You decide to rest your eyes. You close them. Here it is again! Here comes the wind! It’s wild out. It’s wild in. And it only ends when […]

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A Faraway Town

Let us not explain everything, that we may not explain ourselves away, into meaninglessness, or superficiality, which is far worse. . A Faraway Town Between the rows                beside the mounds         above the tombs he knows so well,                                the tombs so dark, the tombs so cool,                 that pull him down                         and bend him ’round one frayed shoelace at a time, one copper-colored eyelet,                a faraway town (without any news)                               where no […]

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Copper In Your Palm

He had a perfect way of saying the desert had been crossed: Where water needs the flowers, we’re no longer lost. And there we laid him; and here grows the moss. “Where Water Needs the Flowers” Recently Banned Literature, April 11, 2014 . Copper In Your Palm Air so heavy with pollen and perfume, you wear it home. Comb it into the bathroom sink. Some settles on the lacy fern. […]

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Mortality: Three Short Poems

The rain isn’t falling in huge amounts, but there’s enough of it every day to keep things glistening and drenched. There are piles of ice storm debris to attend to, but getting to them leaves deep footprints, where miniature lakes form, not in the shape of Italy’s boot, but in Oregon’s mud-and-moss-encrusted hiking shoe. And so that work waits — or, rather, the worker waits, while the debris does what […]

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Three Miles

The new vaccines are not simply vaccines. They are an expression of collective fear, an environmental and moral crisis, a religion, a philosophy, an idea, a way of looking at and living in the world. As such, they are blind expedients; their value is temporary, questionable; their long-term effects unknown. Death is and will always be near. I would rather walk in the rain and stand in a waterfall. January […]

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Two Graves

On one hand, the familiar phrase, eternal rest, makes me smile: what effort could be so prolonged and great that it would require it? On the other hand, in the realm of human suffering, especially that inflicted by ourselves, upon ourselves, as in violent crime and cases of genocide, I can see where an eternity of rest would not be long enough. Both views seem narrow, though, when we remember […]

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A Closed Mouth Catches No Flies

If you must have a hero, choose him well. Let him be someone who loves children and old people, and who has no blood on his hands. Better still, why not be a hero yourself? No investment is needed, only grace and truth. . A Closed Mouth Catches No Flies What shall we do with his long gray beard and hair, the tattered coat, this worn out shirt? Should he […]

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The End of the Rainbow

What happens when you add fifteen years to memories that were forty years old when you first wrote them down? The answer, expressed mathematically, is this: 40 + 15 = surprise x gratitude. . The End of the Rainbow When I was in the fourth grade, our teacher gave us a short reading assignment about a porpoise. Since I had never heard of the animal or seen the word porpoise […]

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