William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Mission Lake’

Reflections

Thirty-six degrees. After so many inches of rain, Goose Lake has risen and expanded by hundreds of feet all around. We have never seen it this full, or as heavily populated by ducks. The road that leads deeper into the park is submerged far and wide beneath swiftly moving water, part of the river having returned to its old channel — the area by the old black cottonwood that has […]

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Friendship, Devotion, and Care

Our recent walk through the fog near Goose Lake seems like something that happened ages ago — a lifetime, maybe more. I study the calendar: is it something I really know how to read? Upon our arrival, we met a man and a dog who had just finished their walk. Standing beside the open door of his small yellow pickup, the man was gently blotting moisture from the dog’s head. […]

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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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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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Rising

Less than two inches of rain appears to have raised the level of Mission Lake about one foot. The thick green coating of algae remains undisturbed. The dead tree upon which birds roosted during summer is now mostly submerged. Further on, a great blue heron rests on what remains visible of another snag, soaking up the very bright early morning sun. The path, too, has been transformed; the dust is […]

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It Might Be a Stone

Blue elderberry — one fairly dense shrub about ten feet tall alongside the path above Goose Lake; another twice as high, several hundred feet farther on where the path and dry stream bed turn; a third, the smallest, but with a crop every bit as ample as the others, not far north. Mission Lake, below the old black cottonwood, green with algae, very shallow, dotted with softly illuminated shore birds, […]

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Bare Feet and Chamomile

Early yesterday morning, after we had listened for several minutes to an immense choir of birds at Goose Lake and were back on the main path, I took off my sandals and walked a fairly long stretch on my sixty-five-year-old bare feet. They were so thrilled by the sensation of the cool earth and budding chamomile that, if they had eyes, they might have wept for joy. This gave way […]

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Spirit Ducks

It’s rare anymore that I use the word my — my writing, my poems, my books, my furniture, my house, my friends, my wife, my love, my life, my time. Only when it’s necessary for the sake of clarity and meaning, or to properly assume responsibility, does the word seem justified — as in, This is my perception, or, This is my experience, or, This is my mess. Otherwise, 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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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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