William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Peace’

June Rain

Like April, and again like May, June has been a cool, cloudy, rainy month — much more so than what is considered normal, but of course normal is nothing but an average of the dry years and the wet years taken together. Last June, for a stretch of several days, we had to cover our cucumbers and dahlias with sheets to protect them from record high temperatures, which registered, at […]

Continue Reading →

Time

It takes time to learn carpentry; algebra; to build bridges; plant a vineyard; fly to the moon. But to live simply and joyfully, to be kind, to breathe deeply, love, and be free, time is not needed at all. Peace is not a matter of identity, struggle, or effort; ask any tree or ever-changing cloud. You are here; the date, the hour, need not be recorded; the world need not […]

Continue Reading →

A Bell

I find, not for the first time, that I have little to say, and even less that seems or feels worth saying, or that I haven’t already said before. I could, of course, go into the far, dark side of personal minutiae, and record how many glasses of water I drink and what I eat each day; how many pages I read in books and online and their artists and […]

Continue Reading →

Kirk’s Nose (and other stories)

A few words about my recently departed brother — a short, incomplete remembrance, if you will: Kirk was born November 22, 1946, on our parents’ third anniversary. He was named Kourken Haig, after our father’s mother’s youngest brother, Kourken, and after our father’s older brother, Haig, who was killed in the Second World War. Kirk didn’t begin talking until he was four — then, suddenly, he started in with what […]

Continue Reading →

War Is Over

Two and a half miles and two owls. Robins and rain. Petals and pollen. Street, feet, sandal-squeak. And that was my run. My brother’s funeral has come and gone. It was in Edmonton. We were here at home. There was video provided the next day, despite a power outage during the service, which left the room dark. A side door had to be opened to admit some light. Admit the […]

Continue Reading →

Kirk

I note here the death of my eldest brother, Kirk. A research scientist in the field of photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy, Kirk was overtaken mid-stride late last May by an aggressive brain tumor. They ran side by side for a while, but the tumor was an ill-mannered competitor without the capacity to appreciate Kirk’s steady, fair-minded pacifism. Like so many of us, the tumor had to win. And so, two days […]

Continue Reading →

Twice Up the Hill

Soaked to the skin. Forty-eight degrees. Running in the rain and wind. Twice up the hill, the fir trees rocking, the street littered with petals and puff balls, branch bits, catkins, needles, and cones. Two and a half miles. Relaxed. Calm. When we say This is mine, we plant a flag in our hearts. I’ve lived almost sixty-six years, and have never seen peace follow the planting of any flag. […]

Continue Reading →

Without Arms

A slow run in the cold starry hour before dawn — up the hill, past the old couple’s crocuses still closed for the night, looking like color specialty shops where love models scarves and little boys wonder about their mother’s soft moles — to the corner, and then an eastward turn, ’neath streetlights that die as they burn — proud and solemn, trees without arms — without arms, without arms, […]

Continue Reading →

The Beauty Inside

And war, Master? Upon hearing these words, the old man smiled. Beside him was a bowl of nuts. He chose one and held it up. War, he said, is the breaking of the shell. Then, between mottled hands that were as strong as they were gentle, he cracked the nut and pried it open to reveal the beauty inside. He gave half to his pupil and put the other half […]

Continue Reading →