William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Death’

Nightmare

It must be difficult for a flag-waver, virus-spreader, and bigot to imagine himself on a long journey in the hold of a disease-infested seafaring kettle, and emerging later to stand on the auction block; it must be difficult for him, or her, to imagine the lash of the whip, the iron ring, or passing even one day as a slave in the fields. But once he does — for I […]

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Closing Time

Even if I could remember what was passing through my mind when I was writing this poem thirteen years ago, how important could it be? Stumbling on it today, I’m simply glad that it is a poem; and I’m glad it’s still willing to speak to me. And what does it say? It says, Come in, come in. Whatever it is, whatever it was, is all forgotten and forgiven now. […]

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Once In Your Life

After a hot day yesterday, there was a strong breeze most of the evening. This morning I noticed a tiny spider at the center of its web, suspended between two dahlias about eight feet apart. The sunlight had just illuminated the brave explorer, making it glow. I thought about the instant it had let go and allowed itself to be carried by the wind across the wide chasm, and wondered […]

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Maybe

I don’t believe in an afterlife — certainly not one in terms of punishment or reward, of safety, security, bliss, or pain. Neither do I believe that I’ve lived before, in the sense that I’ve passed through previous incarnations that have led to the one I’m living now. I don’t say these beliefs are wrong. I only say that in the sense in which they’re traditionally accepted, they don’t ring […]

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Love You Too

The ego wants a safe place, and plants a thousand flags. But the spirit — oh, the spirit, has wings. We were married in January 1976. Our first summer, we had sweet peas that flowered to the top of the fence. Today we have some in a vase. And through the open window drifts love’s fragrance. A bright-yellow tanager sits high atop an open sunflower; a fuzzy black-and-yellow bee lights […]

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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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