William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Blueberries’

Proverb 18

I was ankle-deep in organic composted dairy manure, shovel in hand, when the mailman stopped at the foot of the garden space and said with a smile, “I just realized you look exactly like Gandalf.” I pointed to the manure pile in the driveway and replied, “And this is the source of my magic.” Under the vine, then, under the apricot, under the blueberry. Under the sun, the moon, and […]

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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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Standing and Crawling

I am on my feet; the laptop is resting on four sleeved volumes — two containing the work of Nora Zeale Hurston, and the others, nine novels from the Harlem Renaissance. The left side of the computer is above and partly hides my old Royal typewriter. To the right, The Life of Langston Hughes. Behind them, Plutarch’s Lives. Behind them, the complete writings of Robert Browning. And behind all that, […]

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How Do You Hold It?

Five in the morning. Seventy degrees. A light dew. Is there a way to separate memory from smell? It seems one is dry grass, and the other is ripening fruit. Shall we ask the toes? Is there anything they do not know? Early morning watering. The humans are expecting temperatures today as high as one hundred seven degrees. The plants, though, show no sign of concern. Which should we believe? […]

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Mint

I’ve started a new bed of mint between the apricot tree and the blueberry. It’s from the mint that grew on our old farm, behind my childhood home, where for a time near the edge of the bed there was a small, well-shaded hole in the ground, from which, in the cool of the evening, a fat toad would emerge for a meal and a peek through the mint at […]

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Inside and Out

It’s our very good fortune that every window of this house looks out on lush green growth: the maples, pine, and cedar; the birches and firs; the garden, vine, apricot, and blueberry; the juniper and the dense, tall arborvitae; the fig, the lilacs, the rhododendrons; the ferns, moss, grass, and volunteer oak and hazelnut seedlings; and in the distance, the trees of the neighborhood. Each view changes from hour to […]

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Prune, Persimmon, Plum Bun

This afternoon I swept the walk, the driveway, and the moss-covered patio area behind the house, which was buried in dry, frosted birch leaves. Then I ate two dates, two prunes, a piece of dried mango, and a fresh ripe persimmon. Lately I have had to delete several telephone messages, in which were the recorded voices of people telling us in ignorant, angry tones how we should vote. One man […]

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Lincoln Memorial

Afternoon sunlight on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, following a long foggy prelude. In it, the rising snowflakes are small moths. Earlier, juncos were splashing in the mossy-leafy rainwater collected in the birdbath. Most birds, I have found, do not like a clean tub. A scrub-jay just arrived, bright-blue against its bare perch in the fig tree. The shepherd’s purse is starting to bloom. The front sidewalk and retaining wall are deep […]

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Monastery of Psalms

Now bare and heading into its winter dormancy, our young grapevine is supported by a sturdy stake and a tall narrow decorative arch shaped like a thirteenth century church window. Early in the summer, I made a simple temporary arbor by attaching some twine to the metal frame, which I stretched up to a hook near the eave at the end of the house, ran back and looped around a […]

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Delirium Detail

A full pint basket of beautiful ripe fruit — I picked the last of our blueberries yesterday. In the evening, the first flight of geese. The gentle summer continues. By the front step, on the big rhododendron, next spring’s flower buds have already formed. Before lunch, I ate one slice of a fresh, sour, Gravenstein apple. I could feel the juice on its way down, spreading a tart panic. It […]

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