William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Flesh and Spirit’

Body, Breath, and Bones

Does my life matter? I am part of life. If life matters, I matter. If life does not matter, I do not matter. Either way, I live: I am part of the miracle, even if it is not a miracle. The rest — the years, the words, the little personal details — is simply my way of saying how beautiful life seems to me. It would be self-centered to assume […]

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Summer Advice

At ten-thirty this morning, the sun makes my arms feel like they’re about to become wings; the shade is the spirit of cool and quiet things. August 24, 2020 . Summer Advice Kiss each other in the shade after you’ve eaten a juicy ripe peach. No shade, imagine the tree. No peach, imagine the taste. No one, no one with a heart out of reach. Poems, Slightly Used, June 1, […]

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A Few Nasturtiums

Through an open window in the dark, you imagine what you’ve seen before. Then you hear an owl, who-hooting in the firs. Coffee’s ready. Scarce past four. You imagine not a thing before. And the owl concurs.   A Few Nasturtiums A few nasturtiums where nothing else will grow. Fir needles. Who can count them all. And the tales they tell of galaxies in dew and dust. A calligrapher’s turn […]

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Wild Carrots

Seventeen years — hyacinths are there now, shaded by a rapidly growing volunteer cedar. My mother is gone. We live in her house.   Wild Carrots It just occurred to me that wild carrots have sprouted only once on the slope near the sidewalk in front of my mother’s house. That was about three years ago. My sons and I noticed them while working in the area. The roots were […]

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Cloud Paintings

Lines arranged in such a way as to suggest a face but they’re not really lines and not arranged the way flesh holds us together one might almost see cloud paintings if they were there and we were here as we imagine ourselves to be where the sky and river meet                                 oh it is such vanity to speak! [ 747 ]

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As the Crow Flies

Lower than the lowest cloud — higher than the highest tree — Brighter than the brightest sun — darker than the deepest grave — What are these thoughts — but almost — not quite — all — or none — of me? What are these things — but imagined — distinguished — company? What are these wings — but the wind’s — divine — philosophy? [ 680 ]

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Warm, the Flesh, Sweet, the Veil

Noted thus far, very lightly in pencil, near the top of the blank page opposite the Index of First Lines, the poems numbered 435, 712, and 730, beginning, respectively, Much Madness is divinest Sense — I could not stop for Death — Defrauded I a Butterfly — all three of which are old favorites of mine — and yet when I encountered them in my slow but steady progress through […]

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All Together Now

Do I know you as well as I know those I know in the flesh? Yes. Because in both ways of knowing, it’s really my imagination that creates you. Is this a way of saying I don’t know you at all, or that I know you ever so little? Yes. And that, too, is beautiful. Do you know me? Is that something I can ever know? I don’t know. Do […]

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Canvas 498 — Are You Listening?

Canvas 498 — December 24, 2014

  Are You Listening? There are times when the spirit-feeling is so powerful that physical boundaries — gravity, flesh, walls, even death — seem to melt and fade in its presence. And yet this feeling might well be physical itself. But why assume there is a difference at all? Would I do so if I were a giant sequoia, in nightly contact with the stars? Some will say man cannot […]

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