William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Grapes’

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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Believe Not In Corners

The movement of birds, leaves, and insects; the changing patterns of light and shade; clouds; a walker passing by; all accompanied by subtle changes in humidity and temperature — these are the things we miss when we stay indoors and focus for too long on books and screens. Not only do we miss them, we miss the naturally beneficial medicine of our physical engagement and response to random stimuli, our […]

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Nothing Like Anything

A couple of mornings ago I dug up the garden space. It’s been a very cool, wet April, one of about half a dozen of the coolest and wettest on record. The soil is in wonderful condition, a joyful fact confirmed by an abundance of fat, healthy worms. With luck, despite a continued chance of rain in the forecast, we’ll be able to plant a few things this week or […]

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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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Proverb 18

I was ankle-deep in organic composted dairy manure, shovel in hand, when the mailman stopped at the foot of the garden space and said with a smile, “I just realized you look exactly like Gandalf.” I pointed to the manure pile in the driveway and replied, “And this is the source of my magic.” Under the vine, then, under the apricot, under the blueberry. Under the sun, the moon, and […]

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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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Chairs

This morning, after watering the various plants and flowers, which are now taking on their fall tones, I continued my early morning celebration by soaping myself in cool water and rinsing with cold. It was a bit like bathing in a river and then standing under a waterfall. The shower space is small, but there is a skylight in the bathroom. Only in the dark days of winter do I […]

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