William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘War’

The Perfect Gift

Every newborn is a perfect gift to the world. That fact doesn’t change, even when we believe and act otherwise. Someday, when all children grow up knowing they’re a perfect gift to the world, there will be no more war. There will be no culture of greed, anger, and retaliation, and no need to prove who’s stronger. There will be universal acceptance, cooperation, and gratitude for each other’s unique insights […]

Continue Reading →

Star Light, Star Bright

A picture of a mountain isn’t a mountain. So with a river, a flower, and those we hate and love. Memory, too, is a kind of picture, as are words. The word mountain isn’t a mountain. But to show each other our pictures, we climb mountains and mountains of words. The memory of something that happened isn’t the happening. Maybe that’s one reason we keep fighting wars. Genocide in books […]

Continue Reading →

Tenderness

I go on reading things in Emerson’s journal he thought would never see print. And yet here they are, more than a century and a half later, and so here is Emerson. Almost word for word, I remember many things said by my grandparents. And so here they are. Friends, parents, relatives, animals, places, here they are, to be forgotten and remembered for however long. And here we are. Glaciers. […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Inside the Egg

When we expect or fear the worst, we increase the chance of it happening, and of making ourselves the instrument that helps bring it about. Observe; go into it carefully; the evidence is all around us. The same can be said of expecting the best. Of course, it’s worth asking if we can always, or even possibly, know what’s worst and best. The most sensible approach is to leave that […]

Continue Reading →

Kirk’s Nose (and other stories)

A few words about my recently departed brother — a short, incomplete remembrance, if you will: Kirk was born November 22, 1946, on our parents’ third anniversary. He was named Kourken Haig, after our father’s mother’s youngest brother, Kourken, and after our father’s older brother, Haig, who was killed in the Second World War. Kirk didn’t begin talking until he was four — then, suddenly, he started in with what […]

Continue Reading →

War Is Over

Two and a half miles and two owls. Robins and rain. Petals and pollen. Street, feet, sandal-squeak. And that was my run. My brother’s funeral has come and gone. It was in Edmonton. We were here at home. There was video provided the next day, despite a power outage during the service, which left the room dark. A side door had to be opened to admit some light. Admit the […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Twice Up the Hill

Soaked to the skin. Forty-eight degrees. Running in the rain and wind. Twice up the hill, the fir trees rocking, the street littered with petals and puff balls, branch bits, catkins, needles, and cones. Two and a half miles. Relaxed. Calm. When we say This is mine, we plant a flag in our hearts. I’ve lived almost sixty-six years, and have never seen peace follow the planting of any flag. […]

Continue Reading →