William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Cottonwoods’

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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Love Child

Here I am, barefoot in my shoes, walking through cottonwoods to the sweet sound of running water — and I think, The leaves and the breeze have given birth to a daughter. [ 756 ]

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Laughing

Early morning. Goose Lake is nearly as full as we’ve seen it and is sprouting lilies by the thousand, some just beginning to bloom. From our vantage point, the water hugging the far shore seems higher than the ground we’re on, the surface alive with yellow stars. Everything’s in a state of fragrant intensity; every life-form, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is rapt in the sacred rite of spring. We’re exalted […]

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In the Forest Heard

Almost two miles into our walk near Goose Lake, where the path winds around an open field, we saw two coyotes trotting along on the bare ground, their reddish-brown coats gleaming with health in the morning sun. Headed in the direction we were, they paused and looked our way. Then we all rounded the bend, and they set off without urgency on another course, as if they might have been […]

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Canvas 824 — Patience

Canvas 824 — January 17, 2017

I wonder, is it possible to cultivate a patience so gentle and profound that it outlives the flesh? Or is patience a pond we bathe in, and cannot defile with our death? We were greeted by a friendly, talkative woodpecker yesterday near Goose Lake — a young bird more intent on socializing than carrying on its regular craft and trade. Watching us from a bare trunk not five feet away, […]

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Paradise, Tragedy, Love

Near the river this morning, we walked through beds of maple leaves six or eight inches deep. The leaves are still bright. And there is a pungency about them, for in the moist atmosphere their undersides are already being consumed by the elements. What sticks to our shoes is paradise to a host of our fellow beings, even as we innocently help hasten their end. And so paradise and tragedy […]

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