William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Cottonwoods’

When Gravity Meets Memory

On the trail a few days ago, I saw a very large cottonwood leaf, a brittle survivor of winter. It struck me as a kind of landmark, something that would always be there, even in its eventual absence, and in mine, its brown face held together by distinct veins, waiting patiently for an ant to walk by. I’ve thought of it each day since. Next time, if there is a […]

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Reflections

Thirty-six degrees. After so many inches of rain, Goose Lake has risen and expanded by hundreds of feet all around. We have never seen it this full, or as heavily populated by ducks. The road that leads deeper into the park is submerged far and wide beneath swiftly moving water, part of the river having returned to its old channel — the area by the old black cottonwood that has […]

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Friendship, Devotion, and Care

Our recent walk through the fog near Goose Lake seems like something that happened ages ago — a lifetime, maybe more. I study the calendar: is it something I really know how to read? Upon our arrival, we met a man and a dog who had just finished their walk. Standing beside the open door of his small yellow pickup, the man was gently blotting moisture from the dog’s head. […]

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How, of a Morninge

Goose Lake. A dense fog, the cottonwoods dripping, the oaks, the cherries, the brambles, the berries. For the first time in a year we are able to walk to the water’s edge. This end of the lake is very shallow and full of decaying lilies, between which can be seen the mossy bottom just inches below. Quiet. Few birds are out, and none are chattering or calling from the immediate […]

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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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