William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Hunger’

Blue Sky Cry

Health, leisure, good fortune, and very modest means. Blueberries, and other transitory things. No desire to possess or own. Catkins and birch-bits. Sunflowers. Bees. Cucumbers. The spider in my hair, taken back outside. Aware — yes, aware — there are troubles in the world. Hunger. Suffering. Violence. Greed. Pain. Wildfire. Drought. Climate change. The poses we assume. The lies we tell. The games we play. Aware — yes, aware — […]

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Night, Flight, Light

The grass seed farmers have started cutting their fields. The summer scent of drying grass is intense this morning, like childhood and death in one divine breath. The streets were so quiet during my run at four-thirty, it seemed the houses were all empty. I wonder how many times the world has ended today; I wonder how many times it will begin. While I was watering the hanging basket, the […]

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The Late Show

Warm days, clear nights. The junco babies are frantic with hunger, and keeping both of their parents busy bringing food to the nest. The early-morning watering ceremony continues. Frantic, yes — but when evening comes all grows quiet and the birds sleep through the night, their tiny bodies resting and growing until dawn wakes them again. Circadian perfection will guide them all of their lives, while we torture and punish […]

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Inside the Egg

When we expect or fear the worst, we increase the chance of it happening, and of making ourselves the instrument that helps bring it about. Observe; go into it carefully; the evidence is all around us. The same can be said of expecting the best. Of course, it’s worth asking if we can always, or even possibly, know what’s worst and best. The most sensible approach is to leave that […]

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Cracks in the Sidewalk

In light of our ancient, wild heritage, it’s interesting that we imprison ourselves in flat, stale, climate-controlled boxes filled with every convenience, where we grow sicker and weaker with each passing year. We’d be better off climbing on the counter than cleaning it, swinging from the chandelier, and chattering from atop the nightstand and dining table. Such precision. Such order. Such safety. Such security. Teams of professionals trimming our bushes […]

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Explain Yourself

Open, honest, illuminating, inspiring, heartbreaking, profound — I am glad to have read James Baldwin’s masterfully written essay, “Notes of a Native Son.” Yesterday morning, upon rising and after the coffee was on, I drank two large glasses of water. This morning I had less than a glass. Sometimes I have one, sometimes one and a half. Day in and day out, all through my growing up years, my father […]

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Grace and Nourishment

I can eat with gratitude and reverence, or I can thoughtlessly shovel it in. Either way, how I eat is how I live. If I eat thoughtlessly, my body will respond accordingly; we two will become coarse and crude, and be both cause and mirror of hunger and strife in the world. If I eat mindfully, and consume only what I need, the good food I eat will bring joy […]

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Poetry Saves Lives

Let us say, for the moment, that poetry saves lives. Then, let us imagine a world in which only those who can afford to pay for it, are able to go on living. Meanwhile, old people and young, children and in between, are dying everywhere — all for the want of poetry. Some will shrug and say, That is the way of the world. And others will say, It’s only […]

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Loose Ends

When I was born, I was given a genocide. I was also given a dear dead uncle who had killed, and been killed, in war. I was given simplicity, poverty, hunger, and joy. I was given anger and disappointment. I was given pride and competition. I was given physical and psychological pain. I was given fear. I was given honesty. I was given laughter. I was given play. I grew […]

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Birds and Words

Early yesterday afternoon, like a feathered storm, a swarm of bushtits settled briefly in the juniper, then moved to the dahlias, where, in communal glee, they hopped and pecked their way from joint to joint along the branches and stems as if they were attending a fall smorgasbord. Their visit lasted about five of our human earth minutes. Part of it took place within my reach, as I stood motionless […]

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