William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Grief’

When We Ripen

If ours isn’t a true friendship, maybe it’s because we aren’t really listening to each other. * From Emerson’s journal, 1869: In the heavy storm I heard the cathedral bells squeaking like pigs through the snout. * Time and energy given to hurt feelings is time and energy taken from feeling compassion for the person you think has hurt them — the result being, there are two feeling hurt instead […]

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Medic

Your wings are cold, Mother. How will we live? There was no answer. A soft wind arose, moving her feathers.                           Another man fell.                                                          Brother! I’m here! . [ 1408 ]

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Street Song

Shorts, a T-shirt, and another run through the dark in the rain. Fifty-two degrees, a joy to move and breathe. And then there’s the news: the neighbor’s overflowing gutter, a streetlight out, a car with a for-sale sign, the sound of distant geese. Wet arms, wet face, wet hair, wet feet. Nations come and nations go. Rally ’round the flag — a mother’s grief, her bloody sheets, her once-bright tablecloth. […]

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Borne by the Bier

Sweet sleep, for we might say sleep is that from which we arise, to emerge at birth and find ourselves astonished by the light; and then, at the appointed time, that to which we return, ripe and ready for the next miracle. Sweet, for how could it not be? — as sweet as the sleep of the child one was, is, and will become — sweet as the dew on […]

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Early-Morning Streetlight

James Baldwin: Collected Essays, in the fifteenth printing of the Library of America edition — a gift for Christmas from “The Kids.” At one-thirty in the morning, the sound of a raccoon climbing the fence near our bedroom window. Into the kitchen for a sip of water, the cold floor a comfort to my warm bare feet. Streetlights and a dusting of snow. December 26, 2021 . Early-Morning Streetlight For […]

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Thistledown

O, dear one, life is a lightly blown kiss. Can you imagine a love like this? Or will you choose pride, regret, and loneliness? “Which Way the Breeze?” Recently Banned Literature, August 2, 2017 . Thistledown Freedom is the art of letting go, now, of all that will be washed away in the end — our prejudices and cares, our politics, arrogance, religion, and despair, our national identities, our borders, […]

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Knowing and Not Knowing

While reading Emerson’s journal this morning, I came to a one-line entry of such a painful, personal nature that even now, almost two hundred years after it was written, I feel I have invaded the poor man’s privacy. Yet I am glad I read it. Had I been the editor, I would have thought long and hard about including it, but I am sure I would have done so — […]

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Transitions

The hush of a forest. The sanctity of an old cathedral. A freeway through the graveyard of an unknown people. And here is the place where Love buried her sweet shy kitten. See the neon epitaph — Even grief wears a mask — As bright grows the sky where it’s bitten. [ 836 ]

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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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