William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Birches’

Nothing Easier

The shedding birch catkins have attracted the bushtits. Brief as it was, theirs was a joyous visit this morning. Music by the pound. There must be at least forty pounds’ worth in the plastic tub — lesson books, sheet music, and various bound collections. I took out a few — a book of scales in my old piano teacher’s hand, complete with fingering; two books for new beginners; and books […]

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Blue Sky Cry

Health, leisure, good fortune, and very modest means. Blueberries, and other transitory things. No desire to possess or own. Catkins and birch-bits. Sunflowers. Bees. Cucumbers. The spider in my hair, taken back outside. Aware — yes, aware — there are troubles in the world. Hunger. Suffering. Violence. Greed. Pain. Wildfire. Drought. Climate change. The poses we assume. The lies we tell. The games we play. Aware — yes, aware — […]

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Night, Flight, Light

The grass seed farmers have started cutting their fields. The summer scent of drying grass is intense this morning, like childhood and death in one divine breath. The streets were so quiet during my run at four-thirty, it seemed the houses were all empty. I wonder how many times the world has ended today; I wonder how many times it will begin. While I was watering the hanging basket, the […]

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Flower Child

This year on Mother’s Day, our eldest son arrived with a large hanging flower basket he bought from someone who’d set up a display on Highway 99E a little north of the town of Corvallis. He’d been hiking and running in the woods near there and was on his way home when the display caught his eye. The man had stuffed just about every plant imaginable into his baskets — […]

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A Happening

The morning began with a robin leading the way, From birch, to maple, to fig, invisible to me, singing, My favorite tree! My favorite tree! My favorite tree! Or so it seemed as I ran in the calm and misty dark, So it seemed, so it seemed, so it seemed, Each of us a playful happening, Like every leaf and star. . [ 1450 ]

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For Your Own Sake

Men seek wisdom, sunflower sprouts spring from the warming soil. * Rich or poor, for your own sake, ask yourself what you would do if money weren’t a concern. * Love is the sound the shovel makes. * Birch clock: the dead branch, the singing bird. * Cedar clock: the low branch, the rope swing. * Old or young, ask yourself what you would do if time weren’t a concern. […]

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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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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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You Will Forgive Me

Maybe I have changed. Clearing the downspouts of birch leaves in a light rain at fifty-three degrees while wearing shorts and short sleeves and being barefoot is something I have never done before. That I felt warm and completely comfortable while doing it is, I think, as good a sign as the early fall rain, which is drenching everything in fine winter style. Fifty-three, of course, is not cold. The […]

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In So Many Words

Another nuthatch visit. This time, while I was filling the birdbath, one came down from the birch tree and landed on the edge, within two feet of where I was standing. Was the drink it took meant to satisfy it, or me? Both — and the water itself. There is no such thing as a foreign language in this musical world. September 9, 2021 . [ 1224 ]

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