William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Gratitude’

A Strange Bit of Knowledge

In terms of gun violence, the city we live in is no different than others scattered across this land. Every time we leave the house, we know we can be shot and killed. It might be during a walk through the neighborhood, or when we’re buying groceries, or visiting a park, or on our way to or from seeing our children and grandchildren. It’s a strange bit of knowledge to […]

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I wonder about purpose. Does the universe have a purpose? Does the sun? Do I? Or are we simply here, and here simply, spinning, gently, of this music, and burning bright? Isn’t this enough? Must I impose myself on this miracle and whittle it down to my size? Must I choose one thing or another and say, This is why I am here? Must I be that important? Can’t I […]

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The Universal Flow

Deep in our ancient programming, we know how to be healthy and whole. But we believe in so much nonsense that we undermine ourselves, and are taken in by the ones sending the bill. Life wants us to be well — not just in mind and body, but in a universal way that intimately involves everything seen and unseen, every grain of sand, every drop of rain, every molecule and […]

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The Rabbit Hole

In this crazy, desperate, beautiful game we play of human words and contructs, one thing I’ve learned is that I can’t feel gratitude for something and cling to it at the same time. Gratitude disappears the moment there’s a fear of loss. It might be the relative security of having a little money in the bank, it might be health, it might be ability, memory, or knowledge; it might be […]

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A New Light

If it’s important to remember our childhood darkness, trauma, or pain, then it’s even more important to remember our joy, because joy is our natural state, the original spirit and foundation of our very existence. If we cling to our pain, that pain becomes our identity. If our pain seems a greater, more powerful force than joy, then we need to work harder at remembering our own joy, however small […]

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The Best of the Best

What grew in me without my knowing, what crept stealthily into my burgeoning little boy’s identity and went unrecognized for years, was a keen sense of competition. The expectation, need, and desire to be the best was administered in tiny doses without their knowing by family, friends, acquaintances, and teachers. The best reader, the best speller, the best runner, the best at throwing or kicking a ball — the process […]

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Never a Soldier

More than fifty years later, I still think about the sparrow I shot and killed when I was a boy, and how, in one brutal, life-changing instant, it fell from our walnut tree and landed on the ground. Even now, I remember its tightly shut eyes and colorful feathers, which from a distance had seemed drab and gray, and the little grave I dug and placed it in. Thank goodness […]

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Hey, Universe

In me is a little something of everyone who ever lived. Deep in the code, I’ve been through it all. The universe, too, is in my flesh, blood, and bones. That means I’m part of the greatest, most efficient recycling project ever known. As such, I’ve learned not to cling to the idea of being who I am, or who others think I am, or to worry about what will […]

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Upon Waking

It isn’t a matter of using the day, but of finding a way to express one’s gratitude. Or it might be a matter of finding one’s gratitude and expressing the way. * Junco bathing in a puddle — sunlight-celebration. * Death is the poet’s last poem. Life is the page it’s written on. * The body ages like a star. The mind is its light, seen from afar. * Joy […]

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