William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Grief’

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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Canvas 419 — I Wonder

Canvas 419 — August 23, 2014

  I Wonder After a long absence, they began to fear for him, and so they sought him in the cave where he sometimes slept. He was not there; but they found a striking image of him which seemed to have etched itself onto one of the walls, where at certain times of the year water would seep through and trickle down. They gazed upon the image for a long […]

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