William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Peace’

Newborn

I raked some leaves that didn’t need raking, Just to feel my muscles and lungs. I walked some ground that didn’t need walking, To see how the sky would respond. I watched some birds that didn’t need watching, I ate an orange that didn’t need eating, I thought a thought that didn’t need thinking, And the thought thought the same about me. Then I sat, then I stood, then I […]

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Not You

Is this really a certain day, of a certain month, in a certain year? Perhaps, if that is what one believes. And yet, it has been shown that one can, and will, believe anything — for instance, that peace and joy are a destination that can be arrived at through the intellect, when it is clear that those who choose to do battle on those grounds wear themselves out searching, […]

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O Holy Night

the sweet call to rest / the bare lilac / the mossy wall / the cedar chest December 23, 2021 . O Holy Night I do love the short days, the early closing in of the dark, the long nights beginning in the afternoon, the afternoons even earlier on the rooftops through the firs. There is so much light in everything everywhere I turn, in objects, faces, and books, the […]

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Make It Old

Steady rain — three inches and counting. There are rows of tents in the park downtown, where, decades ago, families gathered and children played. Sometime during the night, I awoke from a dream in which I and some unknown but familiar others were approached and threatened by a vague form of hostility. As the danger grew nearer, we watched and waited near a glistening cedar. Suddenly the danger was gone, […]

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Soft Landing

Forty-seven degrees. Across the street, the big bare tree behind the neighbor’s house is full of starlings, so many it sounds like spring. Earlier, from the front window, I saw a squirrel jump from the edge of the roof into the cedar. Such a leap would not have been possible a year ago — the tree has grown that much. In that spirit, I am making a small leap myself. […]

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Breakfast

Bread, seeds, nuts, raisins, honey. But what did I really have for breakfast? One by one, before taking a single bite, I thought of the origin and lives of each — walnut trees, fields of sunflowers and pumpkins, peanuts in the ground, a variety of grains swaying in the breeze, vineyard rows in autumn, bees busy in berry blossoms. And then I ate — slowly, marveling at how each of […]

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Loose Ends

When I was born, I was given a genocide. I was also given a dear dead uncle who had killed, and been killed, in war. I was given simplicity, poverty, hunger, and joy. I was given anger and disappointment. I was given pride and competition. I was given physical and psychological pain. I was given fear. I was given honesty. I was given laughter. I was given play. I grew […]

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Your Breath, My Hand

A deep breath / and then / the word is a bell / you invite to sound November 2, 2021 . Your Breath, My Hand You begin slowly, speaking softly, saying, One word at a time, gently we go, with love, just as if you are a cushion of fresh green moss on a wall, beyond which bare fields sleep until spring. And then someone happens along and replies: I, […]

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Gently Now

Bide with your pain, your discomfort, your illness, the way a dog does. Bide with your worry, your problem, your puzzle, your fear, your mood. Lick your paw, scratch behind your ear, then settle down and sit quietly. Whether it is for a moment or for an hour, sit forever, the way a dog does. Later, when it is time to stir, do whatever it is you need to do […]

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