William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Naked in the Realm

The air was so fresh and clean yesterday, so perfectly scented with subtle fall fragrance, the edges of the clouds so beautifully crisp and defined, that one would think there had never been a fire in Oregon, or that nearby there are fires burning still. And now, borne by the southwest wind, rain approaches.

In the afternoon I took out our tired old tomato plants; the cherry tomatoes, though, I left in, as they are still producing. In the process, there fell to the ground a goldenrod crab spider, almost pure white. The spider reminded me of a similar one I saw in the crown of our Black Mission fig tree when I was a boy on the farm. I must have been eight or nine. The tree was immense. Ever since, the spider has lived in my mind.

The dahlia colors are intense, their rich shining leaves greener than green, each an emerald isle, each an eye, each a way into the mad artist’s dream.

Birch leaves in the birdbath. Bright-yellow marigolds with thin broken necks, blooming by a thread. A dark cloud of mold from the first lobelia to proceed unto death; with its top trimmed away and its dry roots in the center, the clay pot it was in looks like a little round graveyard. Everything there is, is food for something else — everything, even that which does not exist, and which thrives naked in the realm of impossibility.

September 23, 2020


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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