Saturday, June 25, 2011


I make note of this bright hour,
passed in the quiet, alone.

No song is its equal, no poem,
only the joy a child knows.

I mark my hunger and thirst,
my tired muscles, fingers, and bones.

I set down my ignorance;
beside it, I place all I understand.

Let the two know one another.
Let them smile and become friends.

From Songs and Letters, first published January 25, 2006.

“Canvas 268”
June 24, 2011

[click to enlarge]


Tess Kincaid said...

Beautiful. I love the notion of ignorance and understanding becoming friends.

William Michaelian said...

The trick, I guess, is that we don’t come between them. Thank you, Tess.

Jim Murdoch said...

What I liked about this was the use of present tense. Simple and effective.

erin said...

right here! i swear, i do believe i reside right here, in between: I set down my ignorance; beside it, I place all I understand. unfortunately for me both of my ears don't work at the same time! oh my, i do cause myself great problems.

always you write with such a quiet voice, william. well, once you surprised me and shouted, but mostly you come at the world so quietly, from a chair, or from under a tree. how do you manage to move at us so when you are sitting so still?


William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Jim. In fact, the poem was written just as it was being lived, so I guess the tense was inevitable.

That would be a hard question to answer, Erin, if it were only the body involved. But you and I both know that a poem is a meeting place for minds that hunger and roam. And what we bring is every bit as important as what we take away.

“In one ear and out the other,” my dear mother used to say.

jasmin said...

lieber William, welch schöne und kluge Worte,
es steht für Wahrheit und Weisheit, ich bin sehr beeindruckt…..
ich denke wir sind Gäste deiner Gedichte und können dankbar sein, daran teilzuhaben. Danke.

Wer schlauer ist als seine Mitmenschen, der hat es oft nicht leicht im Leben. Schon sehr früh in der Schule lernt man, dass die wirklich klugen Kinder von niemandem gemocht werden - ja sogar oft Spott oder gar Prügel ertragen mussten. Die dummen Kinder dagegen waren immer schon die Coolen. Sie hatten jede Menge Freunde, waren beliebt und hatten gewiss eine spaßigere Jugend als die Streber. Vielleicht lag das auch daran, dass die Blöden diejenigen waren, die die schlauen Kinder quälten. Der Grund dafür war und ist natürlich Neid.
man kann den Schritt nicht groß genug machen……aber es gibt noch Freunde.
Ich wünsche dir ein schönes Wochenende mit Freude, gute Wünsche Jasmin

William Michaelian said...

Time and again, Jasmin, you make the effort to understand despite our difference in language, and despite the difficulties inherent in machine translations of poetry. Thank you. And I, too, of course, struggle from this side of the barrier. But somehow the spirit always seems to come through, and for that I’m grateful. The other day, I told a friend privately that I think we are all children. Some of us are just older or younger than others. But our needs are all the same. It’s a pity we can’t always see that and remember it.

Transcend Designs said...

So genius...

: )

William Michaelian said...

So kind....

Thanks, Brad.