William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Life’

Maybe

I don’t believe in an afterlife — certainly not one in terms of punishment or reward, of safety, security, bliss, or pain. Neither do I believe that I’ve lived before, in the sense that I’ve passed through previous incarnations that have led to the one I’m living now. I don’t say these beliefs are wrong. I only say that in the sense in which they’re traditionally accepted, they don’t ring […]

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Weeds

Weeds — June 22, 2020

Let’s just say these sprouted here, and that we decided to let them grow. Let’s say the rain came, and that our hoes and shovels broke. Let’s say we are weeds ourselves. Yes, and before we die, let us recognize the truth.   Weeds I love the weeds growing around my door, Familiar, independent, working without pay. They would be on a hillside if they could, And someday will be […]

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Time Out

Instead of walking early this morning, I spent an hour and a half watering and tending the garden. It takes time to visit everyone, to top a dahlia here, touch a dewdrop on a maple sprout there, pick a pint of strawberries, count the Agapanthus blooms, marvel at the number of new cones high up in the firs, admire the smooth stones in the shade garden — but of course […]

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We Are Our Own Lens

In light of the sheer immensity of things, any endeavor, however well executed, is bound to seem trivial and small. We write poems, build bridges, send rockets to the moon; yet within this vast expanse, the page is small, the earth is small, the moon is small, the galaxy is small. How powerful, really, would a universal lens have to be to even show we are here? One partial answer […]

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Pale Wisps and Blossom Clouds

This spring, everything that blooms has bloomed heavily, in scented blossom clouds. Last spring it was the opposite, a sparse bloom in pale wisps, like an invalid’s dry cough, or a storm that disperses before it arrives. It rained again last night. At six this morning, the trees were dripping in the bright sunlight. At the top of the hill, even the old one-sided maple looked like it was in […]

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Paradise is Paradise

I seek no other heaven. If this vast wonder-garden is a perfect god’s creation, what improvement would it need? Paradise is paradise, as far as I can see. And if it isn’t perfect, if it happened of itself or is here by some other cause, my judgment of it is bound to share the same imperfection, because I am a part of it. In this garden, the grasses come and […]

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Our Lives Outlive Us

It’s a contradiction to speak of progress, spiritual or otherwise, and then complain about having to do the dishes. The little things one resists, once seen in their true light, are understood as blessings, death included. Our lives outlive us — by one smile, one poem, one soothed pain, one axe, one gun, one malicious stroke of the pen, the present flesh recoils, and mortal breath is thrilled again. June […]

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No Pride or Noble Crowns

There’s the familiar saying, If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention. To me, just the opposite seems true. When I’m attentive, I’m not angry, I’m aware. And when I’m aware, the root of the problem is revealed. When I say attentive, I don’t mean with such and such a motive or purpose, or desire for a particular outcome; that isn’t attention, but a subtle form of self-glorification, the ego’s […]

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The Living and the Dead

Sometimes, when the bow is not taut, the arrow flies much farther.   The Living and the Dead A pair of starlings are feasting on something in the maple tree outside my window. The tree has just begun to bloom. Its larger branches are covered with moss, some of it old, much of it new. The birds have found something to eat in the moss — newly hatched insects, or […]

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