William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Ignorance’

Drought

Grass fires. Forest fires. Climate change. Drought. A neighbor decides he does not like his wise old fir. He cuts it down. Grinds the stump. Pours concrete. Complains about his electricity bill. June 21, 2021 . Drought Laughter in the well. Granddad, you come out of there. Buried him that very same year. Songs and Letters, January 30, 2009 . [ 1141 ]

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Images

A thousand years from now, maybe someone will find this and say, How sad, and wonder what it was like to live in such strange and selfish times. . Images I tell my ignorance what it longs to hear             You are beautiful, I love you And in its face I see a thousand mirrors Recently Banned Literature, April 21, 2011 . [ 1086 ]

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Canvas 990 — The Finger Sketches

We are the only beings intelligent enough to drug ourselves, poison our food, wear synthetic shoes, stay indoors, and breathe foul, recycled air. Poor birds! Poor animals! Poor dumb creatures everywhere! March 22, 2021 Canvas 990 August 6, 2017 . The Finger Sketches The finger sketches. The thumb hums along. Suddenly the thumb stops. What is wrong? The finger stretches. Is it the palm? The breath catches. The mind fetches. […]

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If I Have Time

Evil, it seems to me, is an acute form of ignorance. If I have time to be angry, then I must also have time to love. And if I love, I have no time to be angry. And time itself is an illusion. Will these words reach you before we are gone? Will they reach anyone? What can that matter, if we love? Recently Banned Literature, February 21, 2018 . […]

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William Wells Brown

The Library of America volume devoted to the writings of William Wells Brown begins with his 1847 Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave. I’ve read twenty-eight of its forty-five pages thus far. And while it has revealed no general detail about slavery that I haven’t already encountered, the simple, stark clarity of Brown’s writing, coupled with his frank honesty in terms of his personal regrets and easily forgiven […]

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Wildflowers

We may believe a cataclysmic end of our world can be prevented by the enlightened understanding of a few. But is it true? Evidence thus far suggests the possibility; but blindness and wishful thinking are such close cousins that even on the very precipice, truth may go unrecognized. In every age, we have witnessed the dangers of our abysmal ignorance, the masses raging toward some imagined desirable end, which has […]

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The Mist and This

If I had not walked in the mist before dawn, I would not have heard the owl calling from the fir tree on this side of the wetland. And the land is wet, as were we. I need to explore the backyard, which has been transformed by the recent storms into a forest floor strewn with branches, cones, and leaves. There are fir branches six to eight feet long on […]

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Reply

Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem, the second offering in the Library of America’s two-volume collection of nine Harlem Renaissance novels, is an outstanding, refreshing, exhilarating, musical work full of sweet longing and suspense, an artful record of the timeless love affair between pain and laughter in which each, mutually and gratefully dependent on the other, flowers and bleeds. The source of pain: American history, ignorance, hatred, prejudice. The source of […]

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The Fall of the Ten Thousand

Imagine living in a society that values business and entertainment more than it does the health, safety, education, and welfare of all of its members. Imagine living in a society that despoils the environment in favor of comfort and monetary gain, while shunning the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Imagine a society that glorifies violence and war, and regards people of different backgrounds and customs as evil or unclean. […]

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A Threat to Security

In this country, if one isn’t descended from the land’s indigenous people, or from those who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, then one is an immigrant, or, as I am, the descendant of immigrants. Many, of course, are a combination of one with another, and sometimes all three. And still there is hatred, still there is prejudice. “This land is your land, this land is my […]

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