William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Violence’

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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Combinations

Another early-morning skunk visit: when I opened our front door at four, our fluffy friend was passing by. When I went out at four-thirty to run, its scent was strong in the air. When I returned, the scent was gone — which is to say, it had become part of the breathable atmosphere we all share, thus making us part skunk. Stardust and skunk. Roses, too. Violence and intelligence do […]

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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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Kirk

I note here the death of my eldest brother, Kirk. A research scientist in the field of photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy, Kirk was overtaken mid-stride late last May by an aggressive brain tumor. They ran side by side for a while, but the tumor was an ill-mannered competitor without the capacity to appreciate Kirk’s steady, fair-minded pacifism. Like so many of us, the tumor had to win. And so, two days […]

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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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A Letter to the Girls

The great naturalist, Edward O. Wilson, has died. But the world has not lost him, as the common phrase goes. He lives on his books, in his colleagues, and in the countless people he has influenced and taught. He lives on in the environment and ecosystems he helped and is still helping to save. It is not necessary to meet and know someone personally to benefit from his or her […]

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The Old City

If I am correct about the year, I first read Dostoevsky in 1984, on an airplane bound for Israel and the old city of Jerusalem. I had bought a paperback copy of The Brothers Karamazov, not quite aware at the time that I was beginning at the end, with what is considered the great writer’s crowning achievement. I read for several hours from Los Angeles to New York, and then […]

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Stirring the Ashes

Which is the greater fallacy — that we can know what is coming, or that we can be prepared? * For the latest news, see the cutting room floor. * Nothing dies. In its own time and at its own pace, everything becomes something else — the leaf, the cloud, the body, the star, the stone. What we see is a graceful dance and fleeting references to energy. * We […]

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Moving Day

This morning I saw a hairy spider crawling on the edge of the counter in the bathroom. It was in no hurry. I found the small plastic jar we keep for such situations, guided him into it, covered the top, then released our surprised friend outside, where he trundled off through some dry moss. I try not to sit very often or for very long. I feel better when I […]

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