William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Hiking’

Tragedy, Triumph, Hope

On the street just south of us, the owners of three houses have already put up Christmas lights. They do so every year, but this is early even for them. They usually wait until Thanksgiving. Two of the houses are homes to families with young children. The other is occupied by a woman and her young adult son. Whatever their lights mean to them — a more cheerful present, a […]

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The Horizontal Life

Here in the time of yellowing maples and drifting leaves, the falls and streams are charged with new life by the recent thunderstorms. Numerous spiderwebs cross the path, so fine that one is not aware of them until they are broken in passing through; removed from around the forehead and eyes, parts still cling; or maybe it is the memory of their touch that has not quite died away. At […]

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Amazing Grace

Early morning. From North Falls to Winter Falls via the Rim Trail, then down into the canyon, still in shadow. Soon after beginning the descent we meet a raven as big as the next two or three crows, its beak and head capable of lunacy and wisdom, prophecy and mayhem. Its flight up from the path to a mossy low maple branch is an action deliberately made and slowly taken, […]

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Grace, Rights, Privileges

Back to the falls. In the dry chilly atmosphere, mosquitoes nod from their bar stools, too numb to bite. The old maples along the stream are moss-covered enchantment. One leans far over the water, clinging to the eroded path with exposed gnarled roots, watched over closely by another concerned for its welfare, each knowing the demise of the other would bring it more light — a study in grace, a […]

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Rabbits in a Row

Back again early this morning to Goose Lake and environs, where the fading wildflowers and drying grass are among the first signs of summer. Even without rain, the lake itself seems not to recede, its waters sealed tight beneath a heavy layer of algae and scum. All that’s heard is the deep bellowing of a bullfrog, his voice as loud as any dock worker or boatman. A humid atmosphere, the […]

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Laughing

Early morning. Goose Lake is nearly as full as we’ve seen it and is sprouting lilies by the thousand, some just beginning to bloom. From our vantage point, the water hugging the far shore seems higher than the ground we’re on, the surface alive with yellow stars. Everything’s in a state of fragrant intensity; every life-form, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is rapt in the sacred rite of spring. We’re exalted […]

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The Poet Tree

To my mind, John Muir is a poet of the wilderness in the most divine literary sense — his praise and gratitude for the natural world is a song as sublime, inspirational, and wise as any sung by Homer or Whitman; in his hands, a journal entry seems the work of angels, here to recall man from the nightmare of his blind, narrow self. Muir is explorer, artist, scientist, dreamer, […]

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In the River Remarkably Still

Will the doves choose the fig tree for their nest? They were back again yesterday afternoon, settled peacefully in the same place, which would safely support a new home. Maybe if they are left undisturbed long enough, they will decide to stay. Then again, considering the way they watch us through the kitchen window, they might also be angels. Earlier in the day, I rode with our eldest son up […]

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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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