William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Bare Feet’

How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way? High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters […]

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Ocean, Boat, Sail

Fresh air and a bright blue sky, with just a few thin white clouds arranging and rearranging themselves, all as if there were no fires in the West, or, for that matter, no trouble, land or sea, anywhere in the world. Out of this there comes the loud scolding voice of a crow in close pursuit of a smaller hawk, the birds matching speeds high above the treetops and rapidly […]

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If You Would Have

It’s been a week and a half since I’ve worn socks and shoes, and even then I had them on for only an hour. I’ve also not worn full-length pants since then. I’ve written in shorts, I’ve made soup and salad in shorts, I’ve tended the garden in shorts, I’ve walked by the river in shorts, and I’ve bought berries in shorts. And yet prior to this summer, wearing shorts […]

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River Notes

Creeping thistle in full flower, arranged in a honeyed, aromatic bank several yards deep and many yards long; an eruption of tansy, not yet in bloom; wild carrots; birdsfoot trefoil. Seven rabbits, one so small its fur is coarse and looks as if it has just been licked for school by its mother. Several instances of deer scat, some containing cherry pits. A week and a heat wave after noticing […]

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Ocean Spray, Chicory, Thyme

Found blooming along the path on the Goose Lake trail: ocean spray, chicory, and thyme; also daisies, blackberries, clover, and St. John’s wort. Barefoot a quarter-mile, upon an old maiden aunt’s carpet of drying grasses. The sound of bees in her parlor, made by a swarm in the largest of the black walnut trees near the old Mission cottonwood. Or is it her tea kettle? Just past the cottonwood, the […]

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The Flowering Dark

A clear, quiet dawn. Forty-nine degrees. Barefoot on the dew-soaked grass. If a church is a sacred place, so is a hospital, so is a barn, so is a kitchen or playground. Everything is sacred or nothing is, yet most people think they can pick and choose. They think they know. They think they can perceive a difference. They see as divided a world that is whole. Tiny peppers. Tiny […]

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Sunday Morning as Rain Approached

How to describe the complex scent left behind by yesterday’s rain? First the nose asks the toes. Then they all have a good laugh at the brain. June 14, 2021 . Sunday Morning as Rain Approached Sunday morning as rain approached, we walked by the river among snowing cottonwoods. I inhaled a pound of lint. Yesterday I heard a girl I grew up with lost her husband to cancer. I […]

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King of the Dull Boys

There was a little rain yesterday, and some again last night. At six this morning I swept the driveway. Then I swept the sidewalk, which was covered with a nice accumulation of fine needle growth from the juniper. The sidewalk, being mostly shaded most of the time, is quite mossy. It’s also in fairly rough shape, with pits and divots where stones have worked their way free from the concrete. […]

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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 […]

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Under Our Hats

I found an ancient pair of worn out jeans and cut them off a little above the knee. I’m wearing them now. I wore them early this morning while working barefoot in the garden and watering our assorted plantings and pots. Dirt, water, sun — childhood. We bought half a crate of strawberries yesterday. They’re called “Ruby June.” For whatever lucky reason, I’ve had more close-up meetings with birds. As […]

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