William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Juncos’

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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High Low Bee

We met a wee toddler with his parents on the canyon trail this morning. This afternoon, I saw the junco father with his recently hatched little ones. They were finding things to eat in the shade garden. The father flew up to the pine, landed on a branch just above me, and ticked a bit — it was just like old times. honey high on the mountain low in the […]

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Seventeen Syllables of Silliness

Several weeks ago I made three angel wing begonia cuttings from an indoor plant gone wild and put them in a small glass vase to root. This afternoon I potted them, and set them at the bottom of the front step, where I expect they will be for the rest of the summer. By late fall the plants will likely be too tall for the pot. So it goes. The […]

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Night, Flight, Light

The grass seed farmers have started cutting their fields. The summer scent of drying grass is intense this morning, like childhood and death in one divine breath. The streets were so quiet during my run at four-thirty, it seemed the houses were all empty. I wonder how many times the world has ended today; I wonder how many times it will begin. While I was watering the hanging basket, the […]

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I Think I Know

This morning we visited South Falls, Lower South Falls, and Frenchy Falls. On the way there, we talked about learning and doing things slowly, simply for the sake of learning and doing them, with no thought of achievement, results, or how long they might take. One could focus on learning to play an instrument, for instance, or take up a language; I could learn English, even how to write poetry. […]

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The Late Show

Warm days, clear nights. The junco babies are frantic with hunger, and keeping both of their parents busy bringing food to the nest. The early-morning watering ceremony continues. Frantic, yes — but when evening comes all grows quiet and the birds sleep through the night, their tiny bodies resting and growing until dawn wakes them again. Circadian perfection will guide them all of their lives, while we torture and punish […]

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Peace, Death, and Other Tales

Cloudy, calm, sixty-one degrees. Twice during this morning’s run, I was met with the scent of star jasmine, and once with that of a cigarette. Then someone, perhaps unable to bear the dark and the quiet, or the idea of facing another day of meaningless, underpaid drudgery, set off a loud firework somewhere to the east. The silence, though, didn’t mind; it held the noise close until it died in […]

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Flower Child

This year on Mother’s Day, our eldest son arrived with a large hanging flower basket he bought from someone who’d set up a display on Highway 99E a little north of the town of Corvallis. He’d been hiking and running in the woods near there and was on his way home when the display caught his eye. The man had stuffed just about every plant imaginable into his baskets — […]

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To Have and Have Not

The world owes me nothing. It gives me everything. I can claim that I have what I have through my own effort, but it simply isn’t so. I have what I have because life is in me and I am in life. I have awareness and breath. I need nothing else. And when they leave this body, they will take that need with them. The sudden arrival of about a […]

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