William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Earth’

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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Making Us Round

Yesterday evening after dark, we had the universe to ourselves. So it seemed, so it felt, out walking under the clouds and stars, knowing full well that the clouds and stars were under us as well, making us as round as this dear round globe. Above us, though, in the swath that was visible to our bare naked eyes, were majestic rivers — rivers of illuminated clouds in galactic strands; […]

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Please Stay

A warm steady rain. The dust all washed away, the tea made, the earth peeled and set out upon a plate, this world is the perfect meal for every child who comes to play. “Please stay.”             But they do not. Nor can we. She folds the cloth. Sets the seal. Ends the day. December 20, 2020 . [ 962 ]

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Once Upon a Rose Garden

It’s one thing to order the destruction of an historic rose garden; more tragic, though, is that there’s always someone willing to follow such orders, when the intelligent, logical thing to do is refuse: No — if you want to destroy something everyone holds in trust, do it yourself, with your own hands, for all the world to see. And if you’re worried about blisters, you might try a moral […]

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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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