William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings


A barefoot journal, written entirely outdoors — why have I never done such a thing? This afternoon, within five minutes of walking out into the warm grass in front of the house, I was renewed and restored. Whatever the time of year, I’m in the habit of going barefoot inside — but it’s not the same. Five hours or five lifetimes — carpet is carpet, tile is tile, vinyl is vinyl; whereas five minutes in direct contact with the living earth is a breath of eternity. While I was out I collected a large handful of spent male cones from the western juniper — this from the tips of just four or five branches. I remember the clouds of pollen the tree shed early this spring. Under the glass, the cones seem almost like little bunches of wooden grapes, wide at the top, tapering down to a point — dust-dried berries. I suppose one could use them as cereal, and cook them into a strange-hearty mush. I wonder what would be the smell while they steamed, as they became it. “What’s this? What on earth are you doing now?” Surely a small bowl wouldn’t hurt, maybe with a touch of honey. The pine cones, meanwhile, are still securely attached to their tree. But I did hear a telltale click. Hark! as Poe would say. Seventy-nine degrees. After a rainy week, warmth comes as a shock. For the first time this year I saw honeybees. A crane fly drifted by on the breeze. Numerous small insects. Stepping into a shaded area, I could feel this morning’s dew still clinging to the grass — a dense green Pentecost, the earth speaking in tongues. The gospel of toes.

April 9, 2020. Evening.

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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