William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘War’

Contradictions

Stars and clouds. The moon a sliver, upon which rests its round shadow. Nearby, within just a few million miles, Venus. Air cool, immaculate. A light rain, then no rain. At the top of the hill, while looking up at the stars, I see a string of lights, which at first glance look like more stars. The lights, though, are moving. For the most part, they are evenly spaced. They […]

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The Fall of the Ten Thousand

Imagine living in a society that values business and entertainment more than it does the health, safety, education, and welfare of all of its members. Imagine living in a society that despoils the environment in favor of comfort and monetary gain, while shunning the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Imagine a society that glorifies violence and war, and regards people of different backgrounds and customs as evil or unclean. […]

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A Threat to Security

In this country, if one isn’t descended from the land’s indigenous people, or from those who were brought here in chains and sold into slavery, then one is an immigrant, or, as I am, the descendant of immigrants. Many, of course, are a combination of one with another, and sometimes all three. And still there is hatred, still there is prejudice. “This land is your land, this land is my […]

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A Curious Blend

How wise, really, were the founders of this country? Could they have been merely smart, and not wise at all; or at least as blind, perhaps, as they were wise? Surely their supposed wisdom can and should be questioned. After all, some of them owned slaves. Can a man who preaches equality, and who buys and sells human beings, still be wise? Certainly he can be nice and mean well; […]

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Crossroads

With the rain, the mushrooms — bright-white at first, they soon become flared skirts and fans in an elfin dance; cursed, or worse — or blessed — quiet, composed — kissed — for some the world ends like this; others are smashed by tanks and NATO equipment. September 28, 2020 Crossroads#2 Pencil on Index CardJuly 2, 2010 . [ 884 ]

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Hollow Hobo

I had just finished vacuuming the kitchen floor and was about to turn off the machine when I saw an enormous spider walking my way. I pressed the off button. The spider was beautiful, brown and hairy like a small tarantula, but of a much less stocky build. And even if it was not beautiful to my dull standards, I had no desire to end its life, especially in such […]

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On the Precipice

Little by little, the ocean is breathing life into the valley. The air is still dangerous to breathe, but now it contains far more moisture, which is helping to slow the spread of the fires. Yesterday afternoon, there was a lot more bird and squirrel activity — the birds bathing, splashing, and scratching for seeds and worms, the squirrels with nuts in their mouths, scurrying along the fence tops. Humans […]

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A Feather on the Scale

We’re told this morning that more than 900,000 acres of Oregon’s forests have been burned or are in the process of burning. We’re also told that ten percent of the state’s population has been evacuated to safer areas. The valley we live in is dense with smoke. The air quality readings are well into and beyond what is deemed hazardous. Yesterday evening our youngest son brought us two air purifiers […]

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Flames

Another Library of America book purchase: William Wells Brown: Clotel and Other Writings. Violence at Oregon’s state capitol — flags, baseball bats, guns. Only humans are intelligent enough to express themselves in this manner. High winds from the east. Smoke and ash. Fires raging in the Cascades. Widespread evacuations. Windows closed against the elements. Early morning. Here in the dark, one thinks of the birds. The cricket in the rhododendron […]

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Give Us This Day

At the table — linen napkins, fine crystal — flesh to recall cave times. Dancing lambs in a sunny field — mothers cry to daffodils. Home from the war — in a coffin — in the night — whippoorwills.   Give Us This Day The house on the hill has a song behind its door each morning someone lets it out out of kindness the song flaps up to the […]

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