William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Barefoot Journal’

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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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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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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Around the Bend

A return to the Goose Lake trail, the bees humming, the chamomile deeper, the buttercups and blackberries in bloom. Barefoot for half a mile. While looking at our young cucumber plants, I was visited by a hummingbird, which paused in the air within three feet of me, long enough to say hello. Olive oil is the skin lotion I use. In my life I have planted one olive tree, which […]

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In Simplest Terms

A little before four this morning, it was cloudy with only one star briefly visible; then, a few minutes later, between the birches and firs, through a break in the clouds just above the neighbor’s second-story roof, we caught a sustained glimpse of the full lunar eclipse, as the shadow passed and the moon began to emerge. Now there is a robin singing from the chimney-top. It comes to mind […]

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Bare Feet and Chamomile

Early yesterday morning, after we had listened for several minutes to an immense choir of birds at Goose Lake and were back on the main path, I took off my sandals and walked a fairly long stretch on my sixty-five-year-old bare feet. They were so thrilled by the sensation of the cool earth and budding chamomile that, if they had eyes, they might have wept for joy. This gave way […]

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The First to Sneeze

A healthy body wants only what it needs. A healthy mind acts accordingly. The stars were still bright at four this morning. Even then I could hear robins singing up the street. No shoes or socks: I was listening with my feet. Red, purple, pink: three big barrels of geraniums, three plants in each. They join us at each meal. Being geraniums is an art: sometimes we are in the […]

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