William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

In the River Remarkably Still

Will the doves choose the fig tree for their nest? They were back again yesterday afternoon, settled peacefully in the same place, which would safely support a new home. Maybe if they are left undisturbed long enough, they will decide to stay. Then again, considering the way they watch us through the kitchen window, they might also be angels.

Earlier in the day, I rode with our eldest son up to the falls. But instead of walking the canyon trail, we took a three-and-a-half-mile loop on the edge of the back country, which he has been exploring the last few months. As we wound through a large stand of old mossy firs, we tramped through mud, walked on snow and ice, and crossed little streams. The air was clear and cold. The berries were budding, and wherever the sun shone through, the ferns were greening to life. Where a stream passed through a wide sunny area, the first skunk cabbage blooms were already beginning to appear. We even saw a few plants breaking the soil along the path under the naked alders. We also saw two very large ant mounds, crawling with rugged brownish-red ants. On old moss-covered stumps, there were lichens bigger than pie plates. Where some were attached, it looked like someone had poured pancake batter that had defied gravity and not run — a foundation of buttermilk and forest flour. And once, when I chanced to look up, I noticed a fern growing high in a fir tree, much farther above the ground than I remember ever having seen one. Most startling, though, was the purity of the air. At the end of our hike, we emerged from the path, a pair of fully expanded pink-visible lungs.

March 18, 2020

In the River Remarkably Still

In the river remarkably still,
a reflection of clouds, and of you.

A reflection of you, remarkably still,
and of clouds, and the river.

Remarkably still, a reflection of all:
the river, the clouds, and you.

In the river, a reflection, reflecting itself,
remarkably still.

And what is the river? What is this calm?
It is, remarkably, you. And it is still.

And it is still the remarkable river,
and it moves.

Recently Banned Literature, March 18, 2018

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Recently Banned Literature

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