William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Ants’

Canvas 1,250 — Such a Hero

I helped another ant. Or did I? Finding it in one part of the house and then taking it out through the front door must have separated it from its colony, in which case it’s now disoriented and lost in the rhododendron leaves, or the maple leaves, or the grass, or the flowerbed, depending on the direction it chose. My intention was kind — kind, yet possibly selfish. Did I […]

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Living Script

I thought I’d write a little something, and was about to begin, when I saw an ant climbing the computer screen. It was beautiful, a bit of living script on a blank white page. As gently as I could, I picked it up, carried it to the door, took it outside, and let it crawl from my fingertip onto the step. And so now I’ve done two things: I’ve helped […]

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When Gravity Meets Memory

On the trail a few days ago, I saw a very large cottonwood leaf, a brittle survivor of winter. It struck me as a kind of landmark, something that would always be there, even in its eventual absence, and in mine, its brown face held together by distinct veins, waiting patiently for an ant to walk by. I’ve thought of it each day since. Next time, if there is a […]

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Good to See You, Strange to See You Go

The nine-millimeter sandals are designed to keep one grounded by means of a copper plug, which makes regular contact with the earth, and a single continuous conductive lace, which hugs the foot and keeps the sandal snugly and comfortably in place for a near barefoot experience — ideal for this morning’s three-mile climb on the Perimeter Trail to Rackett Ridge and the subsequent scamper down again. The most strenuous part […]

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Apricots, Finches, Plums

Found early this morning, fallen from the tree: a very ripe, very sweet apricot — I know, because I ate it right after washing off the ants. The house finches prefer drinking from the shallow glass water dish that we have hanging from the fig tree. The main birdbath, it seems, is a little too large and too busy for them. After watering the barrels, planters, and pots behind the […]

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Wilderness Areas

In a space I can traverse in two or three steps, an ant or other creature of similar or lesser size can revel and burrow for days — can pass whole lifetimes and seasons, if the space is left undisturbed. This is why, around the house, I’ve established wilderness areas. Passersby, if they notice them, might see them as weed patches or dandelion infestations. But the miracles that unfold there […]

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In the River Remarkably Still

Will the doves choose the fig tree for their nest? They were back again yesterday afternoon, settled peacefully in the same place, which would safely support a new home. Maybe if they are left undisturbed long enough, they will decide to stay. Then again, considering the way they watch us through the kitchen window, they might also be angels. Earlier in the day, I rode with our eldest son up […]

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The Art of the Cumulative

Minding the details, relishing them, staying with them day after day through the years — we might call this the art of the cumulative. The ground behind the house is deep in yellow birch leaves. Here and there, they are suspended in spider webs under the eaves; some dangle from a single thread and twist and turn in the breeze. The fig tree, too, is yellowing. An hour ago, I […]

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