William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Blackberries’

With Or Without Us

Three vultures atop a dead tree at the edge of Goose Lake. The water has receded; the surface is crowded again with lilies. Around the edge, a dense colony of Sagittaria latifolia, the potato-like tubers of which, according to Lewis and Clark, were prized by the natives and filled their canoes during their watery harvest. Wapato. In bloom and attracting bees on the main trail, the fuzzy pink spikes of […]

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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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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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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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Tea and Oranges

Fennel seed tea with just a bit of blackberry honey: a timely cure for all the physical and mental ailments of which I remain unaware. On the path beyond Goose Lake, we came to a place where a tree was down, blocking our way. Just inside the network of slender bare branches, there were two brown rabbits. They kept their eyes on us as we made the long way around. […]

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Mist, Clown, Veil

I walked early yesterday morning in a heavy mist, grateful the ocean had come for a visit. In August, with the grapes ripening, the peaches rising, the berries falling, and the tomatoes fat on the vine, I feel as conscious as a bee winging home to the hive, bearing his load of pollen. I feel as sad and as serious as a clown’s smile. I feel joy. The mist gave […]

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Last Words

If I were to walk two hours in the heat, carrying my canvases through wild blackberries into the heart of the grass seed fields, and spend the day painting while hunger gnaws at my bones, and then come home exhausted with no means for my bills, and if you found me here, sitting on my only chair, ministered by angels and haunted by ghosts, what would you say to me? […]

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Bees and Berries

Goose Lake is still choked with lilies, but here and there a small patch of water is now visible. The muck slowly recedes, but there’s no shore, no place to put in a canoe, or to cast a line. By all signs, it won’t be that kind of summer. A fallen cottonwood branch lies across the part of the path that leads to the only other place of easy access […]

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