William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Spirit Ducks

It’s rare anymore that I use the word mymy writing, my poems, my books, my furniture, my house, my friends, my wife, my love, my life, my time. Only when it’s necessary for the sake of clarity and meaning, or to properly assume responsibility, does the word seem justified — as in, This is my perception, or, This is my experience, or, This is my mess. Otherwise, the easy, casual possessiveness of the term strikes me as arrogance. It’s been a gradual process. I didn’t decide one day to avoid the word. Rather, by and by, it has become less applicable, and the vocal and written constructions in which it was typically contained have fallen away. But perhaps I delude myself, and am still convinced in some way, at some level, that I am the center of the universe. It’s possible. Fools are easy to fool, especially when the fool is oneself.

Daylight. To Goose Lake and environs. A walk through still, cold air on frozen ground, everything held fast in a crystalline quilt of ice. On the far side of Mission Lake, standing in the water at the very edge, a very large great blue heron, its upside down reflection making two birds. A motionless meditation. Finally, after several minutes, he slowly lowers his head, not to eat, or drink, but perhaps to listen, or to study his face in the water. Towhees. The cry of a hawk. At Goose Lake, which has risen somewhat from recent rains, more ducks than we have ever seen. Through a gap in the trees, the early morning sun is full upon the water. On its surface the ducks appear almost white. They are duck spirits, or spirit ducks, gathered for a silent hymn.

December 5, 2020


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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