William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Religion’

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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A Few Clay Pots

Let’s leave behind a few clay pots and a worn out pair of sandals. As for dreams and thoughts, let’s keep them guessing. They will be anyway: Religion, music, poetry, science — cathedrals, symphonies, books — Fragments that represent, but never quite make, the whole. Our little daughter said it best with the very first word she spoke: Light. She was nine months old. And when she was seven, She […]

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A Flower for Marian

Today is the birthday of my father’s little sister, Marian. It is also the anniversary of my grandfather’s death in 1990 and the day the ancient orthodox Armenian Church observes Christmas — except in Jerusalem, where the Brotherhood at the Monastery of St. James follows an older calendar and Christmas falls on a later date. In the dimly lit, incense-laden sanctuary of St. James itself, there is a nook where […]

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Explain Yourself

Open, honest, illuminating, inspiring, heartbreaking, profound — I am glad to have read James Baldwin’s masterfully written essay, “Notes of a Native Son.” Yesterday morning, upon rising and after the coffee was on, I drank two large glasses of water. This morning I had less than a glass. Sometimes I have one, sometimes one and a half. Day in and day out, all through my growing up years, my father […]

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Call to Joy

Every breath is a call to the joy of consciousness. If I’m afraid of that consciousness coming to an end, or try to think of ways I can hold onto it forever, the joy immediately slips away. Joy then becomes just one more word in a numbing, distracting intellectual exercise in which I’m both martyr and hero. When that happens, the moment simply goes on without me. It doesn’t matter […]

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Feathers and Dust

When once we see everything is a flower — from wayward child to walnut shell, changing sky to ancient, mottled hand — we understand that no measurement or value can express the shimmering grace of this world. Life is so fine and so rare, it cannot be fathomed by means of comparison, or appreciated on such narrow, limiting terms. Just as there is profound strength in the whole, the individual […]

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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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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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