William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Earth’

Ten Horses, No Sails

I haven’t raked the leaves from under the maples, or those that are piled deep beneath the big rhododendron by the front door. What’s living in, on, and under them plays a far more important role in the local ecology than any so-called neatness I might achieve. The walk is swept. The flowerbed is ready for spring. That’s enough tidiness. Behind the house, the irises are pushing, and an abundance […]

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November

The mild rainy weather has given rise to a new generation of mold, creating a scented atmosphere as complex and alluring as a newly opened grave. November 15, 2021 . November The ear fills with sky-sounds, the eye with cloud-motion and leaf-fall. Distances are not what we think them at all, but blessings ripe and uncountable. The glad-spent remains of the summer garden are brought to the pile. Manure is […]

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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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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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Tragedies and Toy Soldiers

We are the bird, the cloud, the drifting insect. We are the waterfall. We are delicate bits of dandelion fluff. We are all of space, and all that space contains. And we contain that space: space enters and leaves our bodies with every breath. Space is not only out there, where the stars are. It is here, where Earth is, and where we are. And we — you, I, and […]

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Stay

I spent part of yesterday afternoon weeding the front slope. Leaning against the mossy retaining wall, I did the work by hand, one weed at a time, my right hand pulling, my left planted firmly on the ground. As I went along, I also used my right hand as a rake, massaging every inch of the moist, aromatic soil, my hand being massaged in return. This went on for an […]

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Suburban Sailor

It’s still too cold for a barefoot walk through the wet grass. And yet I’m tempted. Let it be a short walk, across the yard and back. Hands on one of the broad limbs of the fig tree, I listen to the neighbor’s firs creaking in the wind. Lines; grooves; the pigmentation of aged but youthful skin. It’s not that I’m afraid to let go; it’s the earth’s grounding force […]

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