William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Cedars’

A Letter to the Boys

Yesterday afternoon I cleared the driveway of snow with one of the old manure shovels my father and grandfather used on the farm during the Great Depression and after the Second World War, and which we continued to use in later years, and which now reside, along with several other tools from that earlier time, in an old barrel in the little shed behind the house. While I was out, […]

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Make It Old

Steady rain — three inches and counting. There are rows of tents in the park downtown, where, decades ago, families gathered and children played. Sometime during the night, I awoke from a dream in which I and some unknown but familiar others were approached and threatened by a vague form of hostility. As the danger grew nearer, we watched and waited near a glistening cedar. Suddenly the danger was gone, […]

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Soft Landing

Forty-seven degrees. Across the street, the big bare tree behind the neighbor’s house is full of starlings, so many it sounds like spring. Earlier, from the front window, I saw a squirrel jump from the edge of the roof into the cedar. Such a leap would not have been possible a year ago — the tree has grown that much. In that spirit, I am making a small leap myself. […]

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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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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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Gratitude

Early morning. The little birds come close, just to say yes to the man with the hose. Their eyes meet. He nods and smiles. Ferns, moss, rhododendron. Lilac, cedar, dandelion. They drink from the leaves as more trickles down. Blessed are the boughs. Sweet is the ground. So the song goes. All together now. June 22, 2021 . [ 1142 ]

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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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June Rain

By holding their leaves upward, the tender young plants in the garden catch even the slightest trace of rain and send it running down their stems and trunks directly to their roots. The cedar, on the other hand, after absorbing what it will, sheds the rest around its perimeter, retaining just enough to show off as jewelry when the sun peeks through the clouds again. Later, as the air warms, […]

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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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Stay

I spent part of yesterday afternoon weeding the front slope. Leaning against the mossy retaining wall, I did the work by hand, one weed at a time, my right hand pulling, my left planted firmly on the ground. As I went along, I also used my right hand as a rake, massaging every inch of the moist, aromatic soil, my hand being massaged in return. This went on for an […]

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