William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Cottonwoods’

Rising

Less than two inches of rain appears to have raised the level of Mission Lake about one foot. The thick green coating of algae remains undisturbed. The dead tree upon which birds roosted during summer is now mostly submerged. Further on, a great blue heron rests on what remains visible of another snag, soaking up the very bright early morning sun. The path, too, has been transformed; the dust is […]

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Variable Gravity

Two and a half miles near, but not in view of, the river. A silence that is scent, the scent silent in silent assent. The ascent of this idea or thought: variable gravity. Let us suppose that on this earth, instead of gravity being a steady, predictable thing, it varies from person to person and day to day; let us know, through experience, that we cannot always count on having […]

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A Way of Life

Imagine a race of beings so in love with themselves, so jaded, so steeped in their bitterness, that they choose daily to revel in their own righteous filth. Impossible, of course. Yellowed cottonwood leaves on the trail. The trees shudder to think. Gray skies all day without a hint of blue, the smoke pushed east again for a time. Broken green husks of walnuts on the steps. Squirrels, or birds? […]

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It Might Be a Stone

Blue elderberry — one fairly dense shrub about ten feet tall alongside the path above Goose Lake; another twice as high, several hundred feet farther on where the path and dry stream bed turn; a third, the smallest, but with a crop every bit as ample as the others, not far north. Mission Lake, below the old black cottonwood, green with algae, very shallow, dotted with softly illuminated shore birds, […]

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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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Sunday Morning as Rain Approached

How to describe the complex scent left behind by yesterday’s rain? First the nose asks the toes. Then they all have a good laugh at the brain. June 14, 2021 . Sunday Morning as Rain Approached Sunday morning as rain approached, we walked by the river among snowing cottonwoods. I inhaled a pound of lint. Yesterday I heard a girl I grew up with lost her husband to cancer. I […]

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Bare Feet and Chamomile

Early yesterday morning, after we had listened for several minutes to an immense choir of birds at Goose Lake and were back on the main path, I took off my sandals and walked a fairly long stretch on my sixty-five-year-old bare feet. They were so thrilled by the sensation of the cool earth and budding chamomile that, if they had eyes, they might have wept for joy. This gave way […]

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Conclusions

Back to Goose Lake, this time beneath a rapidly developing snow sky, with an early morning view of the Cascades: Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson are sharply defined and the entire range is aglow. Thirty-four degrees. Hawks, flickers, towhees, and talkative wrens; an eruption of ducks; near the old cottonwood, a picnic table that has absorbed so much moisture it looks like it will soon be growing again. Goose Lake […]

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Rabbits in a Row

Back again early this morning to Goose Lake and environs, where the fading wildflowers and drying grass are among the first signs of summer. Even without rain, the lake itself seems not to recede, its waters sealed tight beneath a heavy layer of algae and scum. All that’s heard is the deep bellowing of a bullfrog, his voice as loud as any dock worker or boatman. A humid atmosphere, the […]

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