William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Goose Lake’

Tenacious Fuzz

Out already for half an hour or so, the first person we met in the canyon early yesterday morning was a man we saw several days ago on the Perimeter Trail. Quiet, friendly, and about our age, he told us he retired last year, and that he hikes in the area about four times a week. With the stream rushing and the maples yellowing in the moss-moldy atmosphere recharged by […]

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A Way of Life

Imagine a race of beings so in love with themselves, so jaded, so steeped in their bitterness, that they choose daily to revel in their own righteous filth. Impossible, of course. Yellowed cottonwood leaves on the trail. The trees shudder to think. Gray skies all day without a hint of blue, the smoke pushed east again for a time. Broken green husks of walnuts on the steps. Squirrels, or birds? […]

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It Might Be a Stone

Blue elderberry — one fairly dense shrub about ten feet tall alongside the path above Goose Lake; another twice as high, several hundred feet farther on where the path and dry stream bed turn; a third, the smallest, but with a crop every bit as ample as the others, not far north. Mission Lake, below the old black cottonwood, green with algae, very shallow, dotted with softly illuminated shore birds, […]

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Whatever It Is

Jimsonweed, a single plant with one open flower. The ferry, closed, because of low water. Whatever it is — does it really need to be said? Does it need to be thought? Does it need to be done? August 16, 2021 . [ 1202 ]

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Is This Where?

Near the receding edge of lily-infested Goose Lake, in the brambly shadows just beyond the dense growth of Wapato now in flower, there’s a casual assemblage of Bittersweet nightshade. The shoreline, such as it is, and visible nowhere, has retreated about forty feet — normal for the time of year — at this one remaining place of access. On the far side, seen through one gap, is another colony of […]

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The Annotated Proverbs of Hell

Once upon a time, a very long short time ago, I “annotated” William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. Written in 2007 during the months of November and December, my sixty-nine mostly odd, somewhat awkward, likely absurd poetic responses to the Proverbs comprise the entire sixteenth volume of Songs and Letters. The Proverbs are from the 1994 Dover edition of Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Here is the sixth: The […]

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With Or Without Us

Three vultures atop a dead tree at the edge of Goose Lake. The water has receded; the surface is crowded again with lilies. Around the edge, a dense colony of Sagittaria latifolia, the potato-like tubers of which, according to Lewis and Clark, were prized by the natives and filled their canoes during their watery harvest. Wapato. In bloom and attracting bees on the main trail, the fuzzy pink spikes of […]

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Naming

The robin has left her nest. She was such a brave, patient little bird; likely it was her first attempt at motherhood. Her nest is a perfect work of art: a primitive weave, a deep and noble interpretation of dry grass and mud. It holds only one egg, dull, pale, almost transparent blue, beautiful even in its infertility. The extreme heat, the neighbor’s fireworks — it must have been difficult […]

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River Notes

Creeping thistle in full flower, arranged in a honeyed, aromatic bank several yards deep and many yards long; an eruption of tansy, not yet in bloom; wild carrots; birdsfoot trefoil. Seven rabbits, one so small its fur is coarse and looks as if it has just been licked for school by its mother. Several instances of deer scat, some containing cherry pits. A week and a heat wave after noticing […]

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Ocean Spray, Chicory, Thyme

Found blooming along the path on the Goose Lake trail: ocean spray, chicory, and thyme; also daisies, blackberries, clover, and St. John’s wort. Barefoot a quarter-mile, upon an old maiden aunt’s carpet of drying grasses. The sound of bees in her parlor, made by a swarm in the largest of the black walnut trees near the old Mission cottonwood. Or is it her tea kettle? Just past the cottonwood, the […]

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