William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Politics’

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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Religio Medici

In the latter pages of his Religio Medici, Sir Thomas Browne mentions in passing that in addition to several regional dialects, he knows six languages. He does not write so to impress; it strikes me more as an expression of his generous, liberal nature: he sees himself not as the center of the universe as it was then known and understood, but as a fortunate participant in everything it has […]

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A Bird in the Hand

I often rhyme without meaning to. On the bright side, though, I am not a senator. . A Bird in the Hand How many juncos must there be, that we always have our generous share? How many scrub-jays, chickadees, and crows? They are everywhere, from breathless dawn to chilly dusk. They make shadows of memory, soft gray mist of thought. They do not mind our ways, our windows and our […]

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In Session

Around Salem, the size and number of homeless encampments have grown dramatically, and of late, with winter coming on, the process has accelerated. Homeless people appear now in places they were rarely or never seen before — in neighborhoods, walking along quiet roadsides, watching, resting, and waiting in the relative safety and privacy of brambles and brush and small stands of trees. Where there is one makeshift tent, others soon […]

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Prune, Persimmon, Plum Bun

This afternoon I swept the walk, the driveway, and the moss-covered patio area behind the house, which was buried in dry, frosted birch leaves. Then I ate two dates, two prunes, a piece of dried mango, and a fresh ripe persimmon. Lately I have had to delete several telephone messages, in which were the recorded voices of people telling us in ignorant, angry tones how we should vote. One man […]

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Flames

Another Library of America book purchase: William Wells Brown: Clotel and Other Writings. Violence at Oregon’s state capitol — flags, baseball bats, guns. Only humans are intelligent enough to express themselves in this manner. High winds from the east. Smoke and ash. Fires raging in the Cascades. Widespread evacuations. Windows closed against the elements. Early morning. Here in the dark, one thinks of the birds. The cricket in the rhododendron […]

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And Meet Here an Angel

Up at three-thirty, for no particular reason, other than, like an oft-reheated meal, the sleeper was done, and then some. But the night joys are great ones, with dawn coming on. Dawn, the grand assumption. It is a cricket-morning, the first of the late-summer, early-fall season. Crickets cast no votes. They do not need mail boxes or polling places. They have no gerrymandered districts. They have rhythm and purpose. They […]

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Fool’s Gold

Is there a problem that’s not more readily, fully understood after setting aside the ego? And when a problem is understood, is it still a problem? Even the much-respected word solved is an obstacle. One solves many problems during the course of a lifetime, only to find that the so-called solutions spawn new, more complicated problems. Complication is the opposite of understanding: first there’s one problem, then there are three, […]

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One More Cherry Blossom Poem

Death, or politics? Politics have neither death’s dignity nor purpose; and they lack death’s sublime, optimistic future; for after death, that which is once said to have been living, goes on living in myriad forms and ways; whereas politics are an accumulation of toxic waste matter that is dangerous to all living things. That politics often cause death, is reason enough to set them aside. Why sacrifice my precious energy […]

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