William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Pandemics’

On the Precipice

Little by little, the ocean is breathing life into the valley. The air is still dangerous to breathe, but now it contains far more moisture, which is helping to slow the spread of the fires. Yesterday afternoon, there was a lot more bird and squirrel activity — the birds bathing, splashing, and scratching for seeds and worms, the squirrels with nuts in their mouths, scurrying along the fence tops. Humans […]

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The Grapes Are Early This Year

Our grapes, nearly ripe, were mostly ruined last night by a raccoon. At least two-thirds of the crop was on the ground, along with several leaves, the berries shattered from the bunches and scattered around. We had checked on the vine late yesterday evening and all was well. Then, early this morning, I noticed several places around the house where the animal had dug, the telltale holes being unmistakable. We […]

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The Mad Artist

Fifteen years. Do I really remember this, or does this remember me? . The Mad Artist Yesterday I was waiting at a light when a mad artist quickly sketched a little girl in front of me in the crosswalk. The girl looked up and gave me the prettiest, craziest smile — a smile of freedom and recognition. I replied with a silly grin. This made her eyes shine, even brighter […]

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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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These Eyes

The Man Who Lost His Head

Reckoning from the year 1776, this country is two hundred and forty-four years old. I have lived sixty-four of those years, roughly a quarter of that span. Reading the relatively brief history of this land, how can I not be stunned and saddened by the magnitude of the slaughter, theft, exploitation, and waste that marks each stage of its development? Certainly I am not surprised to find the country as […]

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Laughing

Early morning. Goose Lake is nearly as full as we’ve seen it and is sprouting lilies by the thousand, some just beginning to bloom. From our vantage point, the water hugging the far shore seems higher than the ground we’re on, the surface alive with yellow stars. Everything’s in a state of fragrant intensity; every life-form, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is rapt in the sacred rite of spring. We’re exalted […]

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Someone

When the morning sun reveals every grain of dust on my desk, and papers, and books, I see oxen and stars. Random Note, April 1, 2010   Someone Someone sewing masks. Someone dropping bombs. Someone preaching hatred. Someone washing hands. Someone lights a candle. Someone whispers love. [ 713 ]

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This and a Little Bit Less

Thoreau’s journal entry for July 13, 1852, begins with this one-thought paragraph: A journal, a book that shall contain a record of all your joy, your ecstasy. I found it waiting for me this morning when I opened the book to pick up from where I had left off reading yesterday. Upon reading it, I realized it had waited almost one hundred sixty-eight years. I closed the book. One relishes […]

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Blind Fishermen

Early morning. Fresh air, dark clouds, robin-song. And I ask myself — In this paradise, if I am not ready to die, have I ever really lived? March 25, 2020   Blind Fishermen It’s been so long — I think of writing you today. Do you think of writing me? — And do you wonder what to say? So many letters set out this way — Like little rafts at […]

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