William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings


Early morning. Goose Lake is nearly as full as we’ve seen it and is sprouting lilies by the thousand, some just beginning to bloom. From our vantage point, the water hugging the far shore seems higher than the ground we’re on, the surface alive with yellow stars. Everything’s in a state of fragrant intensity; every life-form, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is rapt in the sacred rite of spring. We’re exalted by the simple working of our lungs. Bird song, wind song, song of leaf and green; numberless; inseparable; all come together as one — a child’s universe held fast like a raindrop on a resinous needle or a feathered wax wing.

The great black walnut — is it really possible for a tree this large and this wide to bear the weight of another year’s growth? And yet its work seems play, and its play no effort at all.

And the black cottonwood by Mission Lake, thought to have germinated sometime around 1786 — here it is with a wealth of tender green leaves, shimmering in the breeze, laughing as if there had never been an American Civil War, and as if that war weren’t today still unresolved; laughing as if there were no deadly virus being spread through the ignorance and arrogance of man; laughing, simply laughing, in a timeless celebration of sun.

May 16, 2020

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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