William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Simplicity’

Blue Sky Cry

Health, leisure, good fortune, and very modest means. Blueberries, and other transitory things. No desire to possess or own. Catkins and birch-bits. Sunflowers. Bees. Cucumbers. The spider in my hair, taken back outside. Aware — yes, aware — there are troubles in the world. Hunger. Suffering. Violence. Greed. Pain. Wildfire. Drought. Climate change. The poses we assume. The lies we tell. The games we play. Aware — yes, aware — […]

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The Late Show

Warm days, clear nights. The junco babies are frantic with hunger, and keeping both of their parents busy bringing food to the nest. The early-morning watering ceremony continues. Frantic, yes — but when evening comes all grows quiet and the birds sleep through the night, their tiny bodies resting and growing until dawn wakes them again. Circadian perfection will guide them all of their lives, while we torture and punish […]

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A Turn In the Dance

After a slow start, and a slow run up the hill, the body said, Alright, enough nonsense, let’s go. And so off we ran, pushing beyond the comfortable limit of breath, and then beyond again and again, finding exhilaration at each new level, never once needing to open the mouth. See? You thought you had forgotten. Forty-seven degrees. Stars and clouds. The cool, rainy weather continues. I’ve been wearing them […]

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As Simple as This

Age? Health? Good fortune? Whatever the reason, I’ve come to see life this way: there’s no greater wealth than this moment, this breath, and this body. In that light, there can be only one goal, one challenge, one mission worth pursuing: to make what remains of it an act of giving, while wishing absolutely nothing for myself. Call it impossible. Call it a prayer. And though I may forget, or […]

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When a Bird Sings

Yesterday morning while I was watching the birds finding things to eat on the frosty ground, I was struck again at how crippled by convenience I am, in the sense that, for much of the year, I am cut off from the activity of getting food. The time spent in direct contact with the earth, the energy used, and the attention and involvement required in an endeavor that yields varying […]

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Morning Tea

After sipping icy water spiced by moss-crowned leaves, the robin flies from the birdbath to the fence-top for a meeting with the squirrel. When they arrive, they find the sun already waiting at the spot. Welcome to my secret hideaway, says he. I’m surprised you found it. Then the clouds move, and the sun, the robin, and the squirrel disappear. And here we find the poet, not quite ready, in […]

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Soft Landing

Forty-seven degrees. Across the street, the big bare tree behind the neighbor’s house is full of starlings, so many it sounds like spring. Earlier, from the front window, I saw a squirrel jump from the edge of the roof into the cedar. Such a leap would not have been possible a year ago — the tree has grown that much. In that spirit, I am making a small leap myself. […]

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Loose Ends

When I was born, I was given a genocide. I was also given a dear dead uncle who had killed, and been killed, in war. I was given simplicity, poverty, hunger, and joy. I was given anger and disappointment. I was given pride and competition. I was given physical and psychological pain. I was given fear. I was given honesty. I was given laughter. I was given play. I grew […]

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