William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Hiking’

Proverb 17

And what of the salamander we met on the trail, skin smooth, mud-colored, orange beneath, walking on its toes, crossing in the chilly damp? And what of the woodpecker knocking unseen from above? What of the massive cleft rock in the stream? Are we to think nothing of them and pretend their existence away? Or shall we carry them with us, and make ourselves living reminders that all is not […]

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Destruction and Joy

Finished early this morning: The Diversity of Life, by Edward O. Wilson. The leaves are changing in the canyon. Yesterday morning, all through our three-and-a-half-mile walk from North Falls to Winter Falls, to Twin Falls, and then back to North Falls and on to Upper North Falls, the canopy was dripping from the previous night’s rain. In fact, it was raining, but the rain itself was being absorbed well above […]

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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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Good to See You, Strange to See You Go

The nine-millimeter sandals are designed to keep one grounded by means of a copper plug, which makes regular contact with the earth, and a single continuous conductive lace, which hugs the foot and keeps the sandal snugly and comfortably in place for a near barefoot experience — ideal for this morning’s three-mile climb on the Perimeter Trail to Rackett Ridge and the subsequent scamper down again. The most strenuous part […]

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Variable Gravity

Two and a half miles near, but not in view of, the river. A silence that is scent, the scent silent in silent assent. The ascent of this idea or thought: variable gravity. Let us suppose that on this earth, instead of gravity being a steady, predictable thing, it varies from person to person and day to day; let us know, through experience, that we cannot always count on having […]

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The Patience of Ferns

Four miles of dusty trails, with side trips down to what is now a very low-running stream. No clouds, no fog, no mist, no smoke. Far off, on the other side of the canyon, the great echoing voice of a raven. The talk now is of rain, and the patience of ferns. Bare feet. Thirty-nine degrees. Even in drought, we outlive our own death. September 16, 2021 . [ 1229 […]

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Smoke in the Canyon

How proud we are of the useless nonsense recorded in our brains — jingles, slogans, brands, styles, and trivia of every kind — none of which truly enriches our lives or helps us survive. That these things have replaced a dependable catalog of natural wonders, such as bird song, the habits of insects, and the subtle changes in our environment and signs in the weather, is a sad commentary on […]

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Shall I Tell You of My Former Life?

Slow verse, dry stones, the river shows her age. Kind nurse, soft tones, her smile full of maple leaves. August 20, 2021 . Shall I Tell You of My Former Life? Shall I tell you of my former life? It happens in the strangest way, today, not yesterday, before tomorrow begins, and where my new life ends, over, and yet over, again. Like smoke, it rides the wind, and as […]

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Jesus Bugs

Here, below the falls, on the surface of the clear quiet pools, A ballet unfolds: scooters, skaters, skippers, striders, skimmers, Skeeters, Jesus bugs, making light of your reflection. Someday you may be crucified, for all they know. After all, men still do such things. Women, too. Or, you may simply sink, like a stone. Into the primitive. The wise. The beautiful. Alone. August 7, 2021 . [ 1191 ]

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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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