William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Perspective’

Living Script

I thought I’d write a little something, and was about to begin, when I saw an ant climbing the computer screen. It was beautiful, a bit of living script on a blank white page. As gently as I could, I picked it up, carried it to the door, took it outside, and let it crawl from my fingertip onto the step. And so now I’ve done two things: I’ve helped […]

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Occasional Pieces

So far as it pertains to collecting and preserving what I feel are the best of my old writings and drawings, the time has come — if it has not passed already — to lay this work to rest. As such, I have tried to make Poems, Notes, and Drawings cohesive and readable from beginning to end. In that regard, I think of it as a book; I also see […]

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Proud Old Men In a Row

More snow during the night — about an inch, maybe a little less. Thirty degrees on the front step; barefoot down to the end of the driveway, and then back up, possibly a little colder. Still, relatively speaking, the weather is mild. Real cold — Solzhenitsyn’s cold and Jack London’s cold — is not a joke. It is not to be trifled with. It’s easy to walk barefoot outside for […]

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Not Only Trees

Trees are not only trees: they pretend to be trees. They know I am used to seeing and thinking of them as trees, and are kind enough to act accordingly. At the same time, like me, they are what they are by virtue of a process that disperses and combines everything in the universe to arrive at something familiar, yet always original and new. And so now, in effect, it […]

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Standing and Crawling

I am on my feet; the laptop is resting on four sleeved volumes — two containing the work of Nora Zeale Hurston, and the others, nine novels from the Harlem Renaissance. The left side of the computer is above and partly hides my old Royal typewriter. To the right, The Life of Langston Hughes. Behind them, Plutarch’s Lives. Behind them, the complete writings of Robert Browning. And behind all that, […]

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The Flowering Dark

A clear, quiet dawn. Forty-nine degrees. Barefoot on the dew-soaked grass. If a church is a sacred place, so is a hospital, so is a barn, so is a kitchen or playground. Everything is sacred or nothing is, yet most people think they can pick and choose. They think they know. They think they can perceive a difference. They see as divided a world that is whole. Tiny peppers. Tiny […]

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Cold Beer on a Hot Day

This much I know: if we had a two- or three-story house, I would, with or without a stick-horse, be galloping up and down the stairs numerous times a day. As it is, having to stay inside due to the smoke, I take regular walks over the length and breadth of our dwelling for the exercise. It has become quite the meditation. In the mysterious atmosphere of family heirlooms and […]

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Wilderness Areas

In a space I can traverse in two or three steps, an ant or other creature of similar or lesser size can revel and burrow for days — can pass whole lifetimes and seasons, if the space is left undisturbed. This is why, around the house, I’ve established wilderness areas. Passersby, if they notice them, might see them as weed patches or dandelion infestations. But the miracles that unfold there […]

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When God

Says sky to pond, Do trees go off in search of happiness? Do stones? No, the pond replies. But see how the river runs — and how it would stay, if it could.   When God When God was a little boy he threw a stone into a pond and that is the history of this world. When God was a little girl she invited everyone to tea and that […]

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Discovery

Above rooftops and trees, between clouds, there is a familiar collection of stars and planets — a small gathering of faithful friends, inspiring and nonjudgmental. And yet how many millions of miles and years are between them? And what of the space between us? Surely, it is imagined.   Discovery Late one night, when he was very old, they found the great astronomer holding a ruler at arm’s length, measuring […]

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