Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Think of Bones


I think of bones and the way they heal
in the ground — except for that multitude
of empty hands, which we mistake
for fallen leaves beside
the road.

(first publication)


Updates:
“I Think of Bones” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

13 comments:

don't be emily said...

Bother you, William. I will no longer be able to look at leaves the same way!

Akeith Walters said...

You have such a great way with words and images.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

oh my god, remeind me to remember the Nazi concentration camps... a moltidude of empy hands...

William Michaelian said...

Well, Katie, hooray if that’s a good thing, and if it isn’t, then I’m willing to accept the blame.

Thanks, Gray. But it’s probably the words and images that have a way with me.

Laura, that’s a terrifying, yet appropriate way to read this poem. Not the only way, but it’s one of many things that passed through my mind when I was writing it.

Anthony Duce said...

A very good observation. I have thought of leaves as hands before. I should of known you would be the one to put the idea into words, and so well.

Two Tigers said...

I guess this poem fits those lines of mine you liked about the bonsai - a pure truth wise and expansive, in a perfect small package! You said that words have a way with you. Reminds me of a favorite quote I can't seem to Google-hunt down, probably by some old Euro responsible for several lovely heavy dusty tomes the likes of which people no longer read, that goes something like "don't say that I write - say rather that I am written."

Jean Spitzer said...

Terrific image.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Anthony. And I’ll leave the actual painting of them up to you....

Well, Gabriella, if you ever do find it, let me know. And I have to laugh, because I’m reading Proust at the moment, and I expect the moment to last into the coming year.

I’m glad you like the poem. By the looks of it, I’d say the wind is blowing directly from east to west — unless you think it was trained that way....

Thanks, Jean.

Two Tigers said...

Proust! Lucky you! If this is your first time with him, oh the envy. He occupies about one third of one of my bookshelves. I dedicated an entire summer (whilst an unemployed twentysomething) to conquering Remembrance of Things Past. At first, the "moment" felt like it would last into my thirties, but sadly, the last few hundred pages went all too quickly...bonne chance!

William Michaelian said...

First time, and I’ve read almost 700 pages of the 2,265 so far. My son is also reading it. We started on the first day of August. But I usually have two or three books going at a time, so this really could last until the arrival of my second childhood. Make that third.

Two Tigers said...

Well, they do say that third childhood is the new second childhood, so now you have even more to look forward to!

Ruth said...

Remarkable, and memorable. And with such a small amount of space. Bravo.

William Michaelian said...

Right, Gabriella. I just hope I’m childish enough to recognize it.

Ruth, thanks very much.