William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Moss’

A Bird in the Hand

I often rhyme without meaning to. On the bright side, though, I am not a senator. . A Bird in the Hand How many juncos must there be, that we always have our generous share? How many scrub-jays, chickadees, and crows? They are everywhere, from breathless dawn to chilly dusk. They make shadows of memory, soft gray mist of thought. They do not mind our ways, our windows and our […]

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Prune, Persimmon, Plum Bun

This afternoon I swept the walk, the driveway, and the moss-covered patio area behind the house, which was buried in dry, frosted birch leaves. Then I ate two dates, two prunes, a piece of dried mango, and a fresh ripe persimmon. Lately I have had to delete several telephone messages, in which were the recorded voices of people telling us in ignorant, angry tones how we should vote. One man […]

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And This

The iris bed is ready for winter. The sleepers are settling in, some with space between them, others in full embrace, with backs and shoulders turned to the soft fall sunlight. None, apparently, are concerned about the presence of the two tiny oak seedlings that sprouted earlier in the year, not even those that are two or three inches away. And anyway, that’s just a human measurement; irises and oaks […]

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A Feather on the Scale

We’re told this morning that more than 900,000 acres of Oregon’s forests have been burned or are in the process of burning. We’re also told that ten percent of the state’s population has been evacuated to safer areas. The valley we live in is dense with smoke. The air quality readings are well into and beyond what is deemed hazardous. Yesterday evening our youngest son brought us two air purifiers […]

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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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No Small Thing

Even after a thorough washing, the fingertips of my left hand wear the strong scent of marigolds — this from having plucked three mostly dried blooms from their plants. On each side of the marigolds, we have lobelia in two clay pots. The pots and the marigolds are on an old mossy concrete bench. The bench looks like it belongs in a cemetery. Bees love the lobelia. The lobelia love […]

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Pale Wisps and Blossom Clouds

This spring, everything that blooms has bloomed heavily, in scented blossom clouds. Last spring it was the opposite, a sparse bloom in pale wisps, like an invalid’s dry cough, or a storm that disperses before it arrives. It rained again last night. At six this morning, the trees were dripping in the bright sunlight. At the top of the hill, even the old one-sided maple looked like it was in […]

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Photosynthesis

When I see an ad that says Last chance! I know immediately it’s for something I don’t need. What I do need is to spend as much time outside as possible. Nature never stoops to such tricks. Her treasures are inexhaustible, and all are freely given. From birth, we are drawn to her. A child in her arms is a happy child. This is written, of course, from the perspective […]

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The Living and the Dead

Sometimes, when the bow is not taut, the arrow flies much farther.   The Living and the Dead A pair of starlings are feasting on something in the maple tree outside my window. The tree has just begun to bloom. Its larger branches are covered with moss, some of it old, much of it new. The birds have found something to eat in the moss — newly hatched insects, or […]

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Letters

Late each evening, the male towhee comes out from the rhododendron for one last look at the world and a little something to eat before bed. He is done singing for the day, and still mindful of the nest. Under the lilac, he finds something that intrigues him in the moss, and starts scratching like a chicken. The motion propels him forward several inches, then he hops back and pecks […]

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