William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Fear’

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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When We Most Need Them

I once read a fairy tale, in which the villain was a terrible monster. Years later, I looked in the mirror. Then I read the fairy tale again. How beautiful, I said. June 3, 2020   When We Most Need Them We all know of ignorant, arrogant, obnoxious, destructive people. But it’s imperative we don’t pollute ourselves with negative thoughts about them — that we say, rather, “This is the […]

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Call and Response

Things are exactly as they should be — as they must be — all is simply a matter of natural, inevitable succession, as fluid as a river, with the river’s twists and turns — none are right or wrong, better or worse — the river is acting according to its nature, and is fulfilling itself at its own timeless pace, heedless of the sluices and dams in our thinking. Hold […]

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Paralyzing Definitions

To have a voice the size of a firefly, with the fleeting effect of a falling star. And then there’s the place where you are, when darkness ripens like a plum.   Paralyzing Definitions I met her walking in the woods. It was late fall. We had the trail to ourselves. We were both outfitted for the night, so we set up camp together near a tiny lake just below […]

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Crutches

The coffee helps. The hot water it’s in. The cup that holds them. The hands it warms. The thought that tells them, “That’s hot, put it down.” The mind that conforms to the shape of an old chair. Their squeaks and their groans. The coming of daylight. The dying of old fright. And then you are born. And your crutches are gone. [ 539 ]

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Dear Ones

If I had not known desperation, could I now know calm? What does the house feel, when it’s pelted with cones? If I had not known fear, could I now know love? What does the house dream, when the sun warms its bones?   dahlias in the rain bowed heads weak stems she brings them in [ 519 ]

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Bones

It is a petty kingdom that engenders fear and commands respect. It is a peaceful one that encourages hope, and acts with love. And that these kingdoms exist in the mind and heart, is what must first be understood. “Of Kingdoms” Recently Banned Literature, February 26, 2018   Bones Isn’t the news something these days? isn’t it always? wasn’t it when we were kids, and wasn’t it when we came […]

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Heartbreak

An evening sky, deep, dark, and rich with gray-chocolate thunderclouds. Puddles are always large enough for the sky they hold. A walker’s definition of heartbreak — Starlings enough to carry me off, yet I am the one who is feared. And then, suddenly, they do, and I am the one who is scared. May 19, 2019 [ 392 ]

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Wayside

If I were a bluebell, or a tree in the mist . . . and I am, when we meet like this. And when I’m ripe and ready to fall? What need of fear on my way to the ground? Indeed, what need, even now? April 22, 2019   Wayside There appeared on the cold winter road a butterfly, Which came to rest on my cane. The cane, feeling her […]

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Silence

Would I be a good public speaker? Even at my advanced age, I don’t know. I’ve never sought the opportunity, which might be a way of saying I’ve avoided it. And if I have avoided it, I’ve probably done so for the usual reasons: fear of failure, fear of making a fool of myself, fear of embarrassment. And if these are the reasons, they must have their origin somewhere in […]

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