William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

A Few More Scratches

Ivy Detail

Today I started removing our last big swath of ivy, which looked something like a green glacier flowing down from the wide, mounded base of the fir tree in the southeast corner of the backyard — the leafy “ice” being about two and a half feet deep and matted with summer spider webs, twigs, needles, and cones, twenty feet long, and six feet wide. When I’m done, there will be […]

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Skunk Detail

When I turned on the front step light at 4:30 this morning, the skunk seemed only mildly surprised. It wasn’t on the step, just a few feet beyond. It sniffed the air and peered at me through its thick glasses, then moved off into the darkness, toward the pine. Careful alert regard, mutual curiosity — I’ve known friendships to begin this way. Another way is the wondrous miracle of instant […]

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Enough Revolution for One Day

Two glasses of water, a pause online to say hello, then a nice brisk run in the dark. A tiny bit of coffee — it seems, of late, I’ve lost my taste for it. Three or four sips is enough. It may be, after all these years, the body and mind have decided to move on. A half-cup of quinoa cooked and cooling for this week’s salad. Before I complain […]

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A Poetry of Unwritten Laws

If I see life as something imperfect in its design, I guarantee my own unhappiness. If I embrace it as it is, on its own terms, I become a participant in its mystery and wonder. As judge and jury, I will never be able to set things right. The thought that I might make improvements to an arrangement so grand that it effortlessly, even casually, includes an inexhaustible number of […]

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High Low Bee

We met a wee toddler with his parents on the canyon trail this morning. This afternoon, I saw the junco father with his recently hatched little ones. They were finding things to eat in the shade garden. The father flew up to the pine, landed on a branch just above me, and ticked a bit — it was just like old times. honey high on the mountain low in the […]

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Repetition

Late yesterday evening, I was taking a barefoot stroll through the clover in front of the house when I saw, about ten feet away, a fine healthy skunk in the shade garden, quietly sniffing amongst the ferns. It had two white stripes. It seemed not to notice me. And in that instant I didn’t notice myself. That came immediately after, when I softly turned away and left it alone. There […]

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Juniper Tales

Yesterday I saw a hummingbird visit a small spider that had made its web in the juniper, about fifteen feet above the ground. Twice it appeared to touch the spider with its long beak, and each time it did so, the spider held perfectly still. Then, when the hummingbird zipped away, the spider moved to the tip of the nearest branch. It’s hard to know exactly what happened. The hummingbird […]

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