William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Short Poems’

Three Poems from the Oregon Coast

The cool, moist airflow off the ocean this July is bringing the seagulls inland. With such a fine current at their disposal, I imagine the sixty-mile journey here is but a two- or three-hour ride. It’s good to hear their cries. And their arrival makes me wonder about the summer ahead. Will it be milder than the past several, which have been marked by excessive heat and numerous forest fires? […]

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Ask Yourself

At the rate I’m going, steady though it may be, it will take me several years to finish reading all fourteen volumes of Thoreau’s journal. I hope I have those years. But if I don’t, I’m happy to have had those leading up to them. And when I say hope, I mean I’m willing to live them if they’re given me, and that I understand very well they might not […]

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Epitaph

Love is light in the palm of the beloved, and a bee’s in the dew on the rose. June 30, 2019   Epitaph what strange liquor is this? who poured it into my glass? why do I love its flavor? why can I not resist? Songs and Letters, October 12, 2006 Another Song I Know, Cosmopsis Books, 2007

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War

An impartial reading of history reveals that with few exceptions, what is considered good diplomacy is really nothing more than pressing one’s advantages and driving a hard bargain. But these mean business principles are hardly something to take pride in, and the so-called fruits of their gains only strengthen the chains that bind us. There is no honor among thieves. And there is certainly no more dignity in their legalized […]

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Meditation — Three Short Poems

Asked if he practices the art of meditation, the old man smiled and said, I don’t know. If I think I am meditating, am I?   Meditation It’s not a question of loss or gain, but of the neighbor’s healthy lettuce; how many veins and folds it must contain of all that’s best for us; just as the less there is to test in us, the more the rest of […]

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Zen Érotique

The beautiful thing about expecting nothing is that when it arrives, I’m always delighted and surprised. It’s only when I expect something that I’m disappointed. But, as they say, those days are gone. It’s been ages since I expected anything. And if you think this sounds silly, childish, frivolous, clever, or contrived, you should read the rest of this book. Read it page by page from the very beginning. Then […]

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The Old Life

My never-to-be-published writings really don’t amount to much — a few hundred thousand words at most, represented by two or three thick typescripts, quite a few stories, and dozens of poems. And when I say never-to-be-published, I mean that they are going directly into the flames. They had to be written; how else was I to learn? That purpose served, now they can be thrown away. And while I might […]

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Morning Sounds

More often than not, when writing the first words of the day, I feel I’m returning from a long absence or great distance. Maybe I am. Each sound is a powerful summons. The tables and chairs have grown roots. And the house — is it moving? Am I at sea?   Morning Sounds When their horns echo in the mist, I’m half-convinced the trains have turned to ships. I go […]

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Four Short Poems in Greek Translation

The poems offered here are from my book of sixty-four short poems, Another Song I Know, published by Cosmopsis Books in 2007. The translations and transliterations are the generous, fine work of poet and friend, Vassilis Zambaras, author of numerous poems, as well as Sentences, Aural, Triptych, and other collections. Vassilis and I met online in the blog world in 2008. Within days, I felt we’d known each other for years […]

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