William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Bare Feet’

Unbearably Light

There’s still some snow at the North Falls trailhead, and on the path that leads to Upper North Falls, but it’s easy enough to walk on. On the Rim Trail, though, and in the canyon, the path is bare, save for scattered fir debris. The falls themselves are roaring and bright, each creating wind and turbulence according to its personality and size. Again, my bare feet drew notice and a […]

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A Letter to the Boys

Yesterday afternoon I cleared the driveway of snow with one of the old manure shovels my father and grandfather used on the farm during the Great Depression and after the Second World War, and which we continued to use in later years, and which now reside, along with several other tools from that earlier time, in an old barrel in the little shed behind the house. While I was out, […]

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Proud Old Men In a Row

More snow during the night — about an inch, maybe a little less. Thirty degrees on the front step; barefoot down to the end of the driveway, and then back up, possibly a little colder. Still, relatively speaking, the weather is mild. Real cold — Solzhenitsyn’s cold and Jack London’s cold — is not a joke. It is not to be trifled with. It’s easy to walk barefoot outside for […]

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Early-Morning Streetlight

James Baldwin: Collected Essays, in the fifteenth printing of the Library of America edition — a gift for Christmas from “The Kids.” At one-thirty in the morning, the sound of a raccoon climbing the fence near our bedroom window. Into the kitchen for a sip of water, the cold floor a comfort to my warm bare feet. Streetlights and a dusting of snow. December 26, 2021 . Early-Morning Streetlight For […]

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Reflections

Thirty-six degrees. After so many inches of rain, Goose Lake has risen and expanded by hundreds of feet all around. We have never seen it this full, or as heavily populated by ducks. The road that leads deeper into the park is submerged far and wide beneath swiftly moving water, part of the river having returned to its old channel — the area by the old black cottonwood that has […]

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Whispers

It took me sixty-five years to discover the joy of working barefoot in the cold winter-wet yard. All those years in socks and shoes, trying to keep warm — what next will I unlearn? December 15, 2021. Afternoon. . Whispers The old man, they say, has lost his mind. But we do not lose what we give. And it is cold where they wait to be known. It is cold […]

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To Have and Have Not

The world owes me nothing. It gives me everything. I can claim that I have what I have through my own effort, but it simply isn’t so. I have what I have because life is in me and I am in life. I have awareness and breath. I need nothing else. And when they leave this body, they will take that need with them. The sudden arrival of about a […]

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The Misty Presence

At thirty-seven degrees in the canyon, with everything dripping, the falls roaring, and the stream running high, it didn’t take long for the soles of my bare feet and the thin foot bed of my sandals to become soaked and coated with mud. But I never felt cold. Twice, farther on, I washed them together in the swiftly moving water, which was not only cleansing and invigorating, but felt positively […]

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