Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary. Often posting 1st drafts and editing in (almost) real time.

Month: October, 2013

The Chosen Ones by William Michaelian

Royal Song 1


If we cannot love everything and everyone,

can we, truly, love anything or anyone?


 In choosing whom or what we love (if such choice were possible),

do we not proclaim that our judgment is larger than life itself?

New Royal Song

Is not that choice an illusion?

Curling Smoke


 If we love only what we think we love, are we not, then,

defining love and placing on it certain limitations?


 Would it not be better to be defined by love,

than to try to define it?



Are we so small in our uncertainty and fear that we must love

only that which pleases us, or which we think reflects well on us,

or which loves us in return? If so, how can we call that love?

new royal song f

It is a grave error we make in thinking that anything exists

outside of love.



Can you, in your deepest thought and contemplation,

say which part of you loves and which does not?

Tinted Overlay

Royal Song framed

If you say the mind loves, or the heart loves,

or that love is harbored in various glands and organs,

what, then, of the rest of you? Are parts of you worthy

or unworthy of love? Is love necessary to one part,

but not to another?


spotted new royal song

Is love a condition that changes with history,

time, and weather?


 luscious also

And what of the insane?

Are we love’s orphans, love’s abandoned step-children?


William Michaelian is an American writer, artist, and poet. His newest book is the Tenth Anniversary Authorized Print Edition of his first novel, A Listening Thing. His Author’s Press Series now contains three volumes: The Painting of You, No Time to Cut My Hair, and One Hand Clapping. Two poetry collections, Winter Poems and Another Song I Know, were published in 2007 by Cosmopsis Books. He lives in Salem, Oregon.



Royal Song 1

 I thought my most recent painting, Royal Song (the first image), might work with the pulsing ebb and flow of William Michaelian’s poem. Love and gold work together on some mysterious level. There is a lot of air (and thought) in this poem and the painting depicts a scroll and throne (in the open air) beneath a sun. The idea of light informing the conscious mind influenced my variations on the original image.

The Sorrow of a Brown Hat by Steven McCabe


Crumpled fading newsprint

As yesterday’s armies march

Into tomorrow


A future we predicted

fly by


We accepted sleep standing upright

Sleep never understood;



A chapter of blank pages: my darling, your wrist hanging

Over the bed

extreme sorrow

Your blood a confusion

Your heartbeat the black window

Swallowing my hands


Fingers forming a circle

simple sunset

Bottom of a fleet casting shadows across the seabed


I toss my hat overboard



new pearl

from my book Hierarchy of Loss (2007) Ekstasis Editions

An erasure poem created from ‘The Last of the Knights Templar. A Poem, With historical notes.’ by Thomas Billington (1866)


Memory scorns the hand

In sweet response to heaven

19. city

6.Amber Curtains

Fame outlives

Mighty hearts

Earth and sea obey

8. y

The blood of many a son

Tarnished in liberty

Fade 1

12. Moon Over Knight2

An offended sky

Hoarsely sung,

Shadows wear the crowns

15. Taken Aback

The conquering sons of

Neptune’s vaunted eye,

His dinted blade

5. Johnny Appleseed25 linenFade 2

The echoes sing,

Your faith of obedience

Like snow flakes

11. Moon Over Knight9 Pale Grey

Comets of heaven

March on to glory,

No tongue shall number

A calm blue ocean

10. Now This

The glorious dead

Came upon the sea


2. a.13. Swirl

The tide of that deep abyss

Struck by the Templars’ sword

Fade 2

Each vaunted knight

An inspiring heaven

cobra18. See?

One vast clay sun

Now morning emerald

Detail 8f15. Taken Aback25 linen

Enchantment’s radiant form

In desolation’s train –

Her last revenge

7. Turquoise Wall

The cherished isle of steel

A soldier’s bed –


Goes terribly forth

17. Your Arrival Changes Everything

25 Blurred Reality

The black herald of sorrow

Reeking in dying cadence

16. Statement

Linger on the carnival

16. Statement7. Turquoise Wall

Look on the headless brothers

Your work of hate


Detail 2f

A whirlwind’s Autumn on helmets clashing

Deaden the pangs of a soldier’s doom

19. city15. Taken Aback

Onward Templars press

A frenzied rite

On condor’s wing a cold embrace

Fade 1


Thunder blackening the lament

A winding sheet

Like seafroth

6.Amber Curtains

His swollen veins darkening

Hail our Queen!

6.Amber Curtains

The edge upon our lips


Wading in a fiery grave

20 Blue Knight

Each convent bell


No seabird to warn the boatman

5. Johnny Appleseed

A fairy thing –

The whiteness of her sail

Raptures your lonely shore

new branch

Detail 1f

Whispery the void

 Nature a weary scene

Not a sigh escaped

25 Blurred Reality

20 Blue Knight

Laugh of vacancy

Babylon’s lustful day

Detail 5f

The night grown weary

All was still

Fade 9

The chains savage

24 Gleam

The (original) 56 page poem is a retelling of history & loaded with glorification of battle & cultural/religious point of view, details of woe and foe, and the ecstasy of triumphs. It’s really quite the technicolour blockbuster epic. Followed by almost 30 pages of historical text. I found it when I was looking for a connection between the Knights Templar and limestone (believe it or not). Two things happened simultaneously: I was skimming an old Canadian educational book called ‘Pioneer Arts and Crafts’ written by Edwin G. Guillet, M.A. (dedicated to Marguerite Guillet Brooks – Designer, Thread Workers Guild of America) and reading a fascinating section about ‘Lime – Burning.’  At the same time I had a digital image, rather ‘knight-ish,’ which I wanted to use with a poem. I began to imagine Marguerite sewing silk tassels for a knight’s helmet. And somehow, well, it all came together. My ‘erasing’ was done fairly quickly, like snapshots, grabbing a few impressions.

Winter by Linda Woolven

winter one lw


smudge the countryside

in winter blue and purple.

winter two lw

winter ten lwwinter ten lw

As shadows steal

the winter white.

winter six lw Read the rest of this entry »