William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Dahlias’

Robin Smiles

The robins and I have a funny ritual. Every afternoon, in the cool shade of the house, they scratch up the front flowerbed and scatter dirt on the sidewalk. Every morning, I sweep it all back in. Then I water the sweet alyssum and dahlias, thus maintaining the conditions that attract them. Sometimes, when I stand by the window, I see them looking up at me, heads turned just so, […]

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Bouquet

A bumblebee asleep on a flower dreams of the last time he danced. August 9, 2020   Bouquet Dahlia buds every which way all pointing homeward and then you say here my love Recently Banned Literature, September 26, 2016 [ 833 ]

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Time Out

Instead of walking early this morning, I spent an hour and a half watering and tending the garden. It takes time to visit everyone, to top a dahlia here, touch a dewdrop on a maple sprout there, pick a pint of strawberries, count the Agapanthus blooms, marvel at the number of new cones high up in the firs, admire the smooth stones in the shade garden — but of course […]

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Just Enough to Wash Away

Yesterday’s birds: towhees, chickadees, robins, starlings, scrub-jays, downy woodpeckers, flickers, doves, geese, hummingbirds, crows — and, late in the evening, with my throat feeling a bit dry, two timely swallows. Yesterday’s planting: twenty-one dahlias — twelve in the main garden, three in the “test plot,” and three under the kitchen window where our daughter’s little boys used to dig for treasure. Yesterday’s walk: barefoot in the grass in front of […]

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Dear Ones

If I had not known desperation, could I now know calm? What does the house feel, when it’s pelted with cones? If I had not known fear, could I now know love? What does the house dream, when the sun warms its bones?   dahlias in the rain bowed heads weak stems she brings them in [ 519 ]

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Whispers

Dahlia leaves, intensely green after a thunderstorm. Ferns and moss, a fertile, humid prayer. Cleaning the iris bed — old, worn mothers with their fearless children. The scent of mushrooms soon to sprout. A friendly neighbor says a spirit haunts his house. Books — Walt Whitman and John Muir. Melville and Thoreau. And how strange Emerson, if he’d had a beard. September 12, 2019 [ 510 ]

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At the Flower Show

During the last few years of her life, my mother did not know the time, the day, the month, the season, the year, or the name of the town where she lived. She just lived. She liked music. She liked flowers. She liked apple juice. She did not like pain. Now, I know what time it is. But I do not know what time is. I like rain.   At […]

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Dahlias

A long, dry fall. Almost November, and we still have dahlias. Cool, smoky, misty mornings. Spiders asleep in their chosen colors. The other hand clapping. Want less, want not, want nothing at all.   Dahlias Sunday evening after the flower show I dream of two dead uncles. Penny Thoughts and Photographs, September 1, 2009 [ 166 ]

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A Reasoning Bee

The flower might be a rose — let’s say it’s wild, uncultivated, madly scented, and that you’ve come upon it on a path near a river. Or it might be a prize dahlia, or a humble marigold — and suddenly you’re on your knees, sniffing the clover in your lawn — honey, you think — and in that moment you are a bee — a reasoning bee, a bee with […]

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Joyous, Loud, and Something Else

Coffee on, I was reading near the open front window this morning at a little after four, when a robin started singing, either from the lush volunteer cedar near the walk, or from the roof, or from the tall juniper directly across from the window and behind the dahlias. I couldn’t quite tell, but its voice was so joyous and so loud, all I could do was stop and listen. […]

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