William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Figs’

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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Apricots, Finches, Plums

Found early this morning, fallen from the tree: a very ripe, very sweet apricot — I know, because I ate it right after washing off the ants. The house finches prefer drinking from the shallow glass water dish that we have hanging from the fig tree. The main birdbath, it seems, is a little too large and too busy for them. After watering the barrels, planters, and pots behind the […]

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Sunday Salad

Silent, motionless, unblinking: after four years, robins have built another nest in the fig tree. I don’t know how many times I’ve passed under it without knowing it was there; several today; and recently when the heat was at its peak, I moved several potted plants into the shade, very near where the mother is patiently sitting. An ocean breeze has cooled the valley. Yesterday the temperature fell to eighty-seven […]

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Around the Bend

A return to the Goose Lake trail, the bees humming, the chamomile deeper, the buttercups and blackberries in bloom. Barefoot for half a mile. While looking at our young cucumber plants, I was visited by a hummingbird, which paused in the air within three feet of me, long enough to say hello. Olive oil is the skin lotion I use. In my life I have planted one olive tree, which […]

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Inside and Out

It’s our very good fortune that every window of this house looks out on lush green growth: the maples, pine, and cedar; the birches and firs; the garden, vine, apricot, and blueberry; the juniper and the dense, tall arborvitae; the fig, the lilacs, the rhododendrons; the ferns, moss, grass, and volunteer oak and hazelnut seedlings; and in the distance, the trees of the neighborhood. Each view changes from hour to […]

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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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For You, Love

You will forgive an old man, won’t you, his worn out poems, like shoes, by the door? Twenty-six degrees. An all-night freeze. The early morning sunlight upon the frosted fig leaves is causing them to fall in yellow clumps and bunches, their soft rattle audible through the partly open window. And the living, breathing orchard floor, inches deep with hands and stems, made in timely session by a single tree, […]

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Prune, Persimmon, Plum Bun

This afternoon I swept the walk, the driveway, and the moss-covered patio area behind the house, which was buried in dry, frosted birch leaves. Then I ate two dates, two prunes, a piece of dried mango, and a fresh ripe persimmon. Lately I have had to delete several telephone messages, in which were the recorded voices of people telling us in ignorant, angry tones how we should vote. One man […]

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The Fall of the Ten Thousand

Imagine living in a society that values business and entertainment more than it does the health, safety, education, and welfare of all of its members. Imagine living in a society that despoils the environment in favor of comfort and monetary gain, while shunning the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Imagine a society that glorifies violence and war, and regards people of different backgrounds and customs as evil or unclean. […]

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