William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

That Precious Bit of Nothing

It would be a lie to say the mile I walked barefoot near Goose Lake and the river this morning was completely pain-free. But the little discomfort I felt was well within tolerance, and I enjoyed every step of the way. The only thing my feet haven’t fully adjusted to are the small, sharp rocks the park service has used in a few places to firm or help drain the path, as well as some scattered here and there that are part of the natural landscape. The latter, though, are much easier to navigate, and are cushioned for the most part by wild chamomile and other ground-hugging plants. Walking through these various grasses, especially when they are wet with dew, as they were today, not only soothes, but cleans the feet as well. At one point, after walking over damp shaded ground and through fir needles, they were fairly dirty; a while later, though, they were surprisingly clean. Two or three times I did step on something prickly, possibly a splinter or an old weathered blackberry thorn; but when I stopped out of curiosity to check, I found nothing attached to the sole. And so the feet are becoming the sturdy shoes nature intended. As for the barefoot experience in general, it is a joyous one. Not only has it already changed the way I walk, it is changing the way I see the world. There is a big difference between crashing through the woods in hiking shoes and walking silently on one’s bare feet. Everything is nearer somehow; birdsong is uninterrupted; and when I turn around there is almost always no sign of my having passed over the ground. I did leave wet footprints in one place where I crossed the road that leads deeper into the park. They were clearly human, much to my amusement and even a little to my surprise.

June 4, 2021. Afternoon.


That Precious Bit of Nothing

That precious bit of nothing

you’ve given me today

I too give away

that nothing

may stay

the way

between us

Recently Banned Literature, June 11, 2015


[ 1126 ]

Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Recently Banned Literature

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,