William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Ferns and Moss’

In the River Remarkably Still

Will the doves choose the fig tree for their nest? They were back again yesterday afternoon, settled peacefully in the same place, which would safely support a new home. Maybe if they are left undisturbed long enough, they will decide to stay. Then again, considering the way they watch us through the kitchen window, they might also be angels. Earlier in the day, I rode with our eldest son up […]

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And What Is This Earth Ship

Back to the falls — but not the same falls, no; never have we seen the water rushing so madly; never have we heard it thundering so loudly on the rocks below; the creek in torrent, fed by laughing streams dancing across the path on one side, and spilling over ferns, moss, rocks, and downed branches on the other; a dusting of snow all around; the temperature about thirty-five degrees; […]

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A Hymn to Love

Yesterday at the falls, the forest atmosphere was so complex, there was no way to know just how many individual scents had gone to make up the magical one we were breathing — the myriad births, lives, and deaths, the microscopic miracles wrought by sun, shade, light, and water. In the first moment, we were transformed; and, with the ripe fall earth deep in our lungs and warm in our […]

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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

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Heron, Cricket, Moon

At one of the ten falls, up a side path through leafy shade where ferns and moss and piggyback plants abound, we came upon a great blue heron standing at the pool, statue-still. Noticing us, it turned its head, and seemed somehow to become an even taller, leaner bird, as if it had pulled its feathers more tightly around itself. Sorry for our intrusion, and hoping not to frighten it, […]

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Don’t Fly Away

It’s summer, and a path is worn from the front door, through the clover, past the shade garden — that quiet harbor of ferns and moss — beneath the pine branch that makes us duck, to the grapevine, apricot, and blueberry bush. And if that does not seem like much, beware, my friend, observe: for that is how paradise is lost. Dragonfly with one wing gone, swarm of ants bright-red […]

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Still and Again

The towhees around our house are quite friendly. Not only do they not avoid me, some seem downright eager for conversation. Within just a few feet, they stop and look at me, then hop about in the ferns and moss and rhododendrons without wariness or alarm. Late in the afternoon two days ago, while I was watering the hostas not far from the birdbath, a male with beautiful markings alternated […]

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Heaven

When I cut off the old fronds of the ferns, mold is my reward. Later, I celebrate with double and triple sneezes, violent enough to rattle the dishes. In the center of the mound, the new fronds are unfurling, prehistoric, hairy, and willing. I find treasure therein — needles, twigs, and shells; fir and filbert sprouts. The Creeping Jenny is rampant under the white birch. If not trimmed a bit, […]

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The Door Swings In, The Door Swings Out

We had been away from the falls for several weeks. But when we returned to find them recharged by the rain, it was like a meeting of old friends, the kind of gathering one sees in the brick coffeehouses downtown, where tables are pushed together and chairs have coats draped over them like the ferns and moss that cling to the bare maples and line the canyon walls. Mist everywhere. […]

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Mirror Words

An inch or two of rain, and the falls are transformed. How easy it is to walk for miles on uneven ground — up, down, rocks, roots, leaves, ferns, moss, mud. On the hard surface of a residential street, where there are no obstacles, the feet soon tire and the muscles compress like old bed springs; but the trail is a veritable massage and the perfect recipe for dreamless sleep. […]

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