William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Hiking’

In the Forest Heard

Almost two miles into our walk near Goose Lake, where the path winds around an open field, we saw two coyotes trotting along on the bare ground, their reddish-brown coats gleaming with health in the morning sun. Headed in the direction we were, they paused and looked our way. Then we all rounded the bend, and they set off without urgency on another course, as if they might have been […]

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Paralyzing Definitions

To have a voice the size of a firefly, with the fleeting effect of a falling star. And then there’s the place where you are, when darkness ripens like a plum.   Paralyzing Definitions I met her walking in the woods. It was late fall. We had the trail to ourselves. We were both outfitted for the night, so we set up camp together near a tiny lake just below […]

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Canvas 824 — Patience

Canvas 824 — January 17, 2017

I wonder, is it possible to cultivate a patience so gentle and profound that it outlives the flesh? Or is patience a pond we bathe in, and cannot defile with our death? We were greeted by a friendly, talkative woodpecker yesterday near Goose Lake — a young bird more intent on socializing than carrying on its regular craft and trade. Watching us from a bare trunk not five feet away, […]

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And What Is This Earth Ship

Back to the falls — but not the same falls, no; never have we seen the water rushing so madly; never have we heard it thundering so loudly on the rocks below; the creek in torrent, fed by laughing streams dancing across the path on one side, and spilling over ferns, moss, rocks, and downed branches on the other; a dusting of snow all around; the temperature about thirty-five degrees; […]

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Impressions

Two impressions met in the wind; each asked where the other had been; caught in a glance, both said; and passed again.   Impressions Year upon year, fall upon fall, the maple leaves on the path remind me of hands. And one must die to know what it is to be held that way — die to the branch, die to the stem, die to the light, die to the […]

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A Hymn to Love

Yesterday at the falls, the forest atmosphere was so complex, there was no way to know just how many individual scents had gone to make up the magical one we were breathing — the myriad births, lives, and deaths, the microscopic miracles wrought by sun, shade, light, and water. In the first moment, we were transformed; and, with the ripe fall earth deep in our lungs and warm in our […]

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Hoh Rain Forest

Hoh Rain Forest

Rain, in such volume, with such force, and the cedar, unperturbed, a solemn drinker at closing time — yes, what is wisdom worth in this leaky house of mine? September 18, 2019 Hoh Rain Forest July 20, 2010 One saw swans back then. Another, fingers, hands. I saw faces. I see them again.

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Passager

With practice, there comes trust and confidence in one’s own footing; a rocky path and its frequently changing grades is a joy and a meditation; there is no need to survive or prove or conquer; there is only the path, and there is not the path, but a kind of spirit-communion and spirit-passing; a presence, and not a presence. The same may be said of drawing and writing, or of […]

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Heron, Cricket, Moon

At one of the ten falls, up a side path through leafy shade where ferns and moss and piggyback plants abound, we came upon a great blue heron standing at the pool, statue-still. Noticing us, it turned its head, and seemed somehow to become an even taller, leaner bird, as if it had pulled its feathers more tightly around itself. Sorry for our intrusion, and hoping not to frighten it, […]

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Alders

I acquire bits of knowledge as if I were stringing beads. But there is no knot at the end. And the older beads slip off into my lap. From there I take them up and hold them to the light. And back on the string, they are new again. The stream that leads to the falls at the north end of the park is running low, and much of its […]

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