William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Apricots’

A Letter to the Girls

The great naturalist, Edward O. Wilson, has died. But the world has not lost him, as the common phrase goes. He lives on his books, in his colleagues, and in the countless people he has influenced and taught. He lives on in the environment and ecosystems he helped and is still helping to save. It is not necessary to meet and know someone personally to benefit from his or her […]

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Ages and Pages

Yesterday morning we dug the dahlias, and in the afternoon I manured the ground for planting next spring. Fluffed and raised from digging, the space looks like a new grave. This morning, the tubers having been cleaned, separated into smaller clumps, and dried, we tucked them away in peat moss for their winter nap in the garage. The apricot tree is bare and fruit buds for next year’s crop are […]

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Life, Death, Fall

This morning I finished Edward O. Wilson’s Naturalist. After lunch I read in Emerson’s journal about the death of his little boy, Waldo. Two months ago, I ordered Library of America’s forthcoming two-volume edition, Molière: The Complete Richard Wilbur Translations. Today I removed the plants from the pots, barrels, and planters behind the house. I also cleared the gutters, which were full to the brim with birch leaves and fir […]

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Proverb 18

I was ankle-deep in organic composted dairy manure, shovel in hand, when the mailman stopped at the foot of the garden space and said with a smile, “I just realized you look exactly like Gandalf.” I pointed to the manure pile in the driveway and replied, “And this is the source of my magic.” Under the vine, then, under the apricot, under the blueberry. Under the sun, the moon, and […]

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My Trust, My Hand

Cedar, juniper, green maple, red maple, pine. Arborvitae, crape myrtle, rhododendron, barberry, apricot. Blueberry, grape, fig, birch, fir. Grasses. Such, in varying numbers, constitute the perennials on this relatively average-sized suburban lot. Hosta, fern, moss. Lilac. Ivy. Rose. To arrive at a complete list, one would need to comb the area with notebook in hand, to look carefully, see calmly, patiently, making it the work of a lifetime, his own […]

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Standing and Crawling

I am on my feet; the laptop is resting on four sleeved volumes — two containing the work of Nora Zeale Hurston, and the others, nine novels from the Harlem Renaissance. The left side of the computer is above and partly hides my old Royal typewriter. To the right, The Life of Langston Hughes. Behind them, Plutarch’s Lives. Behind them, the complete writings of Robert Browning. And behind all that, […]

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Moving Day

This morning I saw a hairy spider crawling on the edge of the counter in the bathroom. It was in no hurry. I found the small plastic jar we keep for such situations, guided him into it, covered the top, then released our surprised friend outside, where he trundled off through some dry moss. I try not to sit very often or for very long. I feel better when I […]

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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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Under the Tree

Two apricots fell yesterday, and another during the night; they weren’t fully ripe, but they were sweet enough to eat — casualties, it seems, of the heat. The other fruit is large and coloring, two or three weeks ahead of the usual ripening time. Food and shelter is a miracle. It’s not earned. It’s received. I don’t deserve the food on our table and the roof over our heads; to […]

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How Do You Hold It?

Five in the morning. Seventy degrees. A light dew. Is there a way to separate memory from smell? It seems one is dry grass, and the other is ripening fruit. Shall we ask the toes? Is there anything they do not know? Early morning watering. The humans are expecting temperatures today as high as one hundred seven degrees. The plants, though, show no sign of concern. Which should we believe? […]

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