William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Clouds’

The Patience of Ferns

Four miles of dusty trails, with side trips down to what is now a very low-running stream. No clouds, no fog, no mist, no smoke. Far off, on the other side of the canyon, the great echoing voice of a raven. The talk now is of rain, and the patience of ferns. Bare feet. Thirty-nine degrees. Even in drought, we outlive our own death. September 16, 2021 . [ 1229 […]

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How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way? High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters […]

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Ocean, Boat, Sail

Fresh air and a bright blue sky, with just a few thin white clouds arranging and rearranging themselves, all as if there were no fires in the West, or, for that matter, no trouble, land or sea, anywhere in the world. Out of this there comes the loud scolding voice of a crow in close pursuit of a smaller hawk, the birds matching speeds high above the treetops and rapidly […]

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From Wing to Wonder

The dragonflies are out again. Yesterday two landed on stakes in the dahlia bed to sun themselves. Each, after resting for several seconds, would lift off, hover briefly, then land again. They did this three or four times, until one finally decided to change stakes, flying up near my face before landing. The dragonflies were small and of a reddish color. As easy as it would be to find out, […]

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Among the Living

Early morning. Cloudy. Quiet. Owl acoustics. Most birds don’t mind singing in the wind. But owls prefer a hushed auditorium. Dimmed chandeliers. Hills sloping downward, soft carpet leading to the stage. A voice captures the audience. Hear it once, and you will wait forever to hear it again. Owl heartbeat. Owl meditation. Owl silence. Hear it a second time, and a third, eternity in between. It comes from the south. […]

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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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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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Without Looking Down

Yesterday afternoon I saw a great brown hawk, perhaps three hundred feet from the ground, standing on air, facing a cold spring wind, with its wings open wide. When he allowed it to take him, even eternity was surprised. Dark gray clouds. Rain. Clear blue sky. While I was out, I could not always see him, but I could hear his cries. A storm in the pine: two startled mourning […]

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Spring is the Hat

The apricot buds are still closed, but not as tightly. Those most advanced are showing little puffs of color — this, after the entire tree was encased in a thick coating of ice during the ice storm. The tree and I are cosmic relatives. We are different expressions of the same energy. Here is a junco, a wren. Clouds. Wind. We all are friends. Rejoice, the beating of wings, spring […]

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