William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Figs’

Applause

Late yesterday evening a very active thunderstorm passed through this part of the valley, moving northwest from the Cascades, bringing with it a spectacular display of lightning and enough thunder to wake the dead. And yet somehow, I fell asleep before it was over — but not before I heard the music of heavy rain landing on the roof and on the plants outside. That, and being generally exhausted from […]

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Robins

There’s a young robin building a nest on top of a light fixture under the eaves next to the little door that leads from the garage into the backyard. She worked at it Sunday for about eleven hours, having great difficulty at first due to the slippery metal, but by evening she’d managed to form what looked like a relatively secure base. Fluffy and determined, she resumed work yesterday morning […]

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A Happening

The morning began with a robin leading the way, From birch, to maple, to fig, invisible to me, singing, My favorite tree! My favorite tree! My favorite tree! Or so it seemed as I ran in the calm and misty dark, So it seemed, so it seemed, so it seemed, Each of us a playful happening, Like every leaf and star. . [ 1450 ]

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Jiggity-Jig

When we set out in the cold this morning, the body said, Are we sure? We didn’t answer, of course. And when we finished our run, with our feet wet and warm, the body again said, Are we sure? We climbed the steps, let ourselves in. Took off our wet cap, dried our sandals, and propped them against the wall above the furnace vent. Coffee? we said. Gladly, was the […]

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The Earth Says Hello

There were high winds and heavy rain throughout the night. Now that it’s light, I see several more fir branches are down. Most are about six to eight feet in length; the longest, with its thick end leaning against the fig tree, is about twelve feet, and two inches in diameter. And so nature’s cleanup of last year’s ice storm continues. Later I’ll go out and have a look at […]

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Ages and Pages

Yesterday morning we dug the dahlias, and in the afternoon I manured the ground for planting next spring. Fluffed and raised from digging, the space looks like a new grave. This morning, the tubers having been cleaned, separated into smaller clumps, and dried, we tucked them away in peat moss for their winter nap in the garage. The apricot tree is bare and fruit buds for next year’s crop are […]

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Life, Death, Fall

This morning I finished Edward O. Wilson’s Naturalist. After lunch I read in Emerson’s journal about the death of his little boy, Waldo. Two months ago, I ordered Library of America’s forthcoming two-volume edition, Molière: The Complete Richard Wilbur Translations. Today I removed the plants from the pots, barrels, and planters behind the house. I also cleared the gutters, which were full to the brim with birch leaves and fir […]

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My Trust, My Hand

Cedar, juniper, green maple, red maple, pine. Arborvitae, crape myrtle, rhododendron, barberry, apricot. Blueberry, grape, fig, birch, fir. Grasses. Such, in varying numbers, constitute the perennials on this relatively average-sized suburban lot. Hosta, fern, moss. Lilac. Ivy. Rose. To arrive at a complete list, one would need to comb the area with notebook in hand, to look carefully, see calmly, patiently, making it the work of a lifetime, his own […]

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What They Are Saying

It was very calm and quiet out, clear and cool, a lovely morning. I had placed our old ten-foot orchard ladder in the narrow gap between the fig tree and the little shed near the back fence. For the moment, my back was to the ladder. From behind me, very near, I heard the voice of a nuthatch. I turned around. Not three feet away, looking directly at me from […]

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