William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Politics’

Acorns and Oaks

I ran before five yesterday morning in a driving wind and rain. The only person I met was a very large skunk, which was crossing the road in front of me when it stopped briefly at the sound of my footsteps, then scurried on. It ran along the edge of the opposite sidewalk for a distance of about a hundred feet before taking cover in some bushes. The rain was […]

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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 […]

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The Old City

If I am correct about the year, I first read Dostoevsky in 1984, on an airplane bound for Israel and the old city of Jerusalem. I had bought a paperback copy of The Brothers Karamazov, not quite aware at the time that I was beginning at the end, with what is considered the great writer’s crowning achievement. I read for several hours from Los Angeles to New York, and then […]

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No Thinker to Think, No Doer to Do

I try to learn something every day. The subjects vary from the natural environment, to diet, exercise, and health from ancient and modern perspectives, to human behavior and the mechanics of habit and addiction, to sleep, dreams, and memory, and to other things seemingly related or unrelated that suggest themselves along the way, and which seem to shed light on this existence. That this does little to allay my general […]

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Proverb 17

And what of the salamander we met on the trail, skin smooth, mud-colored, orange beneath, walking on its toes, crossing in the chilly damp? And what of the woodpecker knocking unseen from above? What of the massive cleft rock in the stream? Are we to think nothing of them and pretend their existence away? Or shall we carry them with us, and make ourselves living reminders that all is not […]

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Front Row Blues

If I were a songwriter, I’d make it a good one. I’d make it a hit in the fast food parade. People would pay me, then they would slay me, all while they sit — in the fast food parade. August 22, 2021 . Front Row Blues Fences and flags, rich men and thugs, pickups and guns — see them all at the fast food parade. Pay to get in, […]

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Thistledown

O, dear one, life is a lightly blown kiss. Can you imagine a love like this? Or will you choose pride, regret, and loneliness? “Which Way the Breeze?” Recently Banned Literature, August 2, 2017 . Thistledown Freedom is the art of letting go, now, of all that will be washed away in the end — our prejudices and cares, our politics, arrogance, religion, and despair, our national identities, our borders, […]

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Storm and Demand

I went to war for a dewdrop. The first battle was opening the door. By then it was noon, and the dew’d been consumed by the roar. May 13, 2021 . Storm and Demand When you predict or expect the worst, you are sure to help bring it about. Repeat the pattern, and your negative outlook becomes a habit; ultimately, the habit becomes an excuse to remain the same, and […]

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Crime and Punishment

The idea that there are certain kinds of behavior that must be punished — where has it come from, and why is it so widely accepted? Why do millions of people call for the punishment of corrupt politicians? Why do they desire so strongly to see them punished? And what of the millions of others who emulate and praise their behavior, and see it not as evil, but as good? […]

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Peace

I remember when being idealistic earned a young person a sympathetic smile and a pat on the head. Once he or she had finished school, though, such an outlook was considered impractical, and looked upon almost as threatening behavior. Making money was the thing. Impressing the neighbors. Getting ahead. Buying insurance. It was better to fit in and have a heart attack than it was to be comfortable in one’s […]

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