William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Goose Lake’

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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That Precious Bit of Nothing

It would be a lie to say the mile I walked barefoot near Goose Lake and the river this morning was completely pain-free. But the little discomfort I felt was well within tolerance, and I enjoyed every step of the way. The only thing my feet haven’t fully adjusted to are the small, sharp rocks the park service has used in a few places to firm or help drain the […]

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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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Bare Feet and Chamomile

Early yesterday morning, after we had listened for several minutes to an immense choir of birds at Goose Lake and were back on the main path, I took off my sandals and walked a fairly long stretch on my sixty-five-year-old bare feet. They were so thrilled by the sensation of the cool earth and budding chamomile that, if they had eyes, they might have wept for joy. This gave way […]

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Tea and Oranges

Fennel seed tea with just a bit of blackberry honey: a timely cure for all the physical and mental ailments of which I remain unaware. On the path beyond Goose Lake, we came to a place where a tree was down, blocking our way. Just inside the network of slender bare branches, there were two brown rabbits. They kept their eyes on us as we made the long way around. […]

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Conclusions

Back to Goose Lake, this time beneath a rapidly developing snow sky, with an early morning view of the Cascades: Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson are sharply defined and the entire range is aglow. Thirty-four degrees. Hawks, flickers, towhees, and talkative wrens; an eruption of ducks; near the old cottonwood, a picnic table that has absorbed so much moisture it looks like it will soon be growing again. Goose Lake […]

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