William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Understanding’

Lilac Tale

The two little girls were surprised when I gave them each a sprig of lilac and asked them to smell the flowers. They were hushed, too, because in their boredom they’d torn them off, along with others and many tender leaves. And they were saddened, when I gently told them we’d given the plant to my mother many years ago, that it was her favorite, and that though she had […]

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An Empty Glass

While growing up, I was never in serious trouble. There were a few childish capers, a few lies, a few dangerous chances taken, but no harm was directed at others, only at myself. Once I was old enough, almost all of these mindless adventures included the consumption of alcohol. Why this would be so is not entirely clear. I never witnessed excessive use as a child, unless we deem excessive […]

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Ancient Scrolls

Looking back, if I think of each insect and bird, each leaf and handful of soil, each mountaintop and white puffy cloud as an ancient scroll waiting to be read, then my daily childhood surroundings on the farm might be seen as a kind of living, breathing Library of Alexandria. And I had it all at my disposal without a single bit of advertising — no pop-up ads, unless they […]

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Between Memories

It would be wrong to characterize my childhood as anything but enchanted. To do so may seem like a combination of denial and choice, but my memory of those days is clear enough that I still feel it’s true. And while I don’t remember what happened between each individual memory, I clearly recall the daily rhythm and atmosphere, my awareness of the passing seasons, flowers blooming around the house, the […]

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Holy Torment

Once I realized I would live forever, I forgot all about it. Truth be told, if in my life there’s a common theme, it’s that almost without exception, whatever flash of insight I have, or feel I have, I forget within a day or two. And so it might be said that my present understanding is an accumulation of inspired residue dating back to childhood, those tiny bits which, against […]

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A Poetry of Unwritten Laws

If I see life as something imperfect in its design, I guarantee my own unhappiness. If I embrace it as it is, on its own terms, I become a participant in its mystery and wonder. As judge and jury, I will never be able to set things right. The thought that I might make improvements to an arrangement so grand that it effortlessly, even casually, includes an inexhaustible number of […]

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