William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Figs’

Mist, Clown, Veil

I walked early yesterday morning in a heavy mist, grateful the ocean had come for a visit. In August, with the grapes ripening, the peaches rising, the berries falling, and the tomatoes fat on the vine, I feel as conscious as a bee winging home to the hive, bearing his load of pollen. I feel as sad and as serious as a clown’s smile. I feel joy. The mist gave […]

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Morning Exercise

Morning Exercise — July 7, 2020

This drawing reminds me of something that happened a few days ago. While I was watering the flowers in one of our wine barrels, two tiger swallowtails fluttered past me from behind, just above my left shoulder. I fluttered after them. Up over the fig tree we went, past the birch, and into the neighbor’s yard. We were halfway down the street when I remembered I couldn’t fly. I turned […]

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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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x Frames

When I see birds chase each other through the maze of the budding fig tree without so much as touching a twig, I realize how quickly they must be processing the visual information given them by their eyes. If I view the scene at x frames per second, they must be viewing it at x frames a great many times over; it is this, perhaps, that makes them wise. Perhaps, […]

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Bring the Blossom

The doves were here again today. They have visited the fig tree about five times now. And the cherry trees have started to snow. Their petals are like pages, where poetry goes. March 21, 2020. Afternoon.   Bring the Blossom As a child knows to scratch the ground just where the earth most needs it, love brings the blossom down to please it — love, bring the blossom, my vow […]

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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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Tomorrow

Each addition to this collection of poems, notes, and drawings has been made with the understanding that it could have been the last. This entry is no different. As far as I can tell, I am here now. I seem to be healthy. I ate a small breakfast and took a walk again this morning, filling my lungs with the fresh chilly air. I took a shower. I see now […]

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Even Now

The pain? It’s not so bad. As the cold rain falls, I write the words withered fig, After the one I saw yesterday, still clinging to the bough. What made me pick it? I’d tell you if I knew. Even now, hard and brown, it’s out there on the ground. Even now, as tough and wet as hell. Even now, a piece of peace the sky holds down. The size […]

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The Trick

It’s a wonderful occupation, this search for the ordinary, knowing it can never be found. Sixteen days have passed since I noticed a fallen birch leaf riding piggyback on a fig leaf still attached to the tree. The fig leaf is yellower now and with pronounced reddish veins. And the birch leaf, having lost most of its color and diminished in size, remains right where it was. November 6, 2019 […]

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The Art of the Cumulative

Minding the details, relishing them, staying with them day after day through the years — we might call this the art of the cumulative. The ground behind the house is deep in yellow birch leaves. Here and there, they are suspended in spider webs under the eaves; some dangle from a single thread and twist and turn in the breeze. The fig tree, too, is yellowing. An hour ago, I […]

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