William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Language’

Virtuoso

Whatever the medium or craft — music, language, carpentry, working with the soil — the virtuoso is, first and foremost, a life-long learner — a child in an aging body whose heart and mind are an image in kind of the flowering cosmos. If it were only a matter of skill, the word virtuoso wouldn’t have the meaning it does. The world would be overrun with them. And yet that, […]

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Is This What It Is?

What miracle will this body reveal today? What lesson? What truth? I’m ready. I’m listening. This breath is the proof. There’s a path in the canyon. It winds through the mist. Is it this? Waterfalls and ravens. Stones and downed trees. Is it that? Or is it the place where my ancestors once walked? Is it their well and their garden? Is it their dark crusty bread? The song of […]

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How, of a Morninge

Goose Lake. A dense fog, the cottonwoods dripping, the oaks, the cherries, the brambles, the berries. For the first time in a year we are able to walk to the water’s edge. This end of the lake is very shallow and full of decaying lilies, between which can be seen the mossy bottom just inches below. Quiet. Few birds are out, and none are chattering or calling from the immediate […]

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Dry as Dust

A short dream: Without questioning its odd location, I realize that the bookshelf outside on our front step would be more useful inside. There are only a few books on it, while in the house there are enough scattered and stacked about to fill it and more. What strikes me most, though, is the near absence of dust. Why is there so much more dust on the other shelves inside, […]

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In So Many Words

Another nuthatch visit. This time, while I was filling the birdbath, one came down from the birch tree and landed on the edge, within two feet of where I was standing. Was the drink it took meant to satisfy it, or me? Both — and the water itself. There is no such thing as a foreign language in this musical world. September 9, 2021 . [ 1224 ]

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Walk on Water

A robin chirps, scolds, exclaims in one way, loudly, urgently, but sings from a treetop in another, sweetly, yet with remarkable projection, and you think there must be two kinds of birds making these sounds, not one. The little boy next door explains and describes things in a tongue not always easy to understand, yet you feel and are caught up in his happiness. And then later that same day, […]

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At the Poem Museum

Like the poem that follows, this collection, too, is a poem museum. At least I imagine it as such. But 1,000 pages? Was that really necessary? I wonder if I will ever know. . At the Poem Museum The other day, I went to the poem museum. There were poems of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some were made of words and others were physical objects, or word-extensions that very […]

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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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In the Language

We hear it said that words are symbols, as if in a sense they were lined up on one side, with reality on the other, and us in between — dirty things tainted by their own meanings, useful as a daily sort of common currency, but basically crippled as a means of expressing life in its great profundity and mystery, which are best trusted to silence. This is very much […]

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