William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Nature’

Cultivation and Preservation

Dark, rich, thick, smooth — a not-quite-full six-ounce cup of pour-over coffee. Dream coffee, slowly consumed. Coffee in the bright light shadow of a setting full moon. The fir tree has a very heavy new crop of green pitch-glistening cones, which, as they mature, are shedding bits of themselves. When I was working under it the pieces fell around me and on me. The garden is engulfed in purslane, which […]

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Believe Not In Corners

The movement of birds, leaves, and insects; the changing patterns of light and shade; clouds; a walker passing by; all accompanied by subtle changes in humidity and temperature — these are the things we miss when we stay indoors and focus for too long on books and screens. Not only do we miss them, we miss the naturally beneficial medicine of our physical engagement and response to random stimuli, our […]

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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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June Rain

Like April, and again like May, June has been a cool, cloudy, rainy month — much more so than what is considered normal, but of course normal is nothing but an average of the dry years and the wet years taken together. Last June, for a stretch of several days, we had to cover our cucumbers and dahlias with sheets to protect them from record high temperatures, which registered, at […]

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Movement and Grace

Even an old elephant, as big and heavy as it is, shows grace in its movement and step. Squirrels, tigers, bears — all touch the earth with the minimum force necessary, whether engaged in foraging, hunting, teaching, or play. And the wild creatures that live alongside us in cities and towns are unfazed by our sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. Unshod and unclothed, they’re like animated springs. The idea that […]

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Teachers

I could never think of myself as a self-made man. I’ve learned something important and indispensable from everyone I’ve known, every step of the way. Immediate family, relatives, friends, acquaintances, playmates, school teachers, employers, coworkers — each has contributed something, each has awakened something in me, each has helped show me the way. In this process, I also count forgotten random encounters. I include pets. And I most certainly include […]

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The Earth Says Hello

There were high winds and heavy rain throughout the night. Now that it’s light, I see several more fir branches are down. Most are about six to eight feet in length; the longest, with its thick end leaning against the fig tree, is about twelve feet, and two inches in diameter. And so nature’s cleanup of last year’s ice storm continues. Later I’ll go out and have a look at […]

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Whales and Wild Grains

The affairs of humans, certainly — but not exclusively. The stars, the birds, the flowers, the wind. Mountains. Whales. Insects. Worms. Wild grains. These things are all to be considered, and each has something to say. A mountain range publishes glaciers and snowstorms, rivers and forests; it does so simply, reliably, and without bias — it tells the complete truth, and nothing but the truth. This is the claim of […]

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Breath Coins

We spend our entire lives breathing, taking into our lungs and bloodstreams that which is outside the body; and yet a vast majority of us, despite this simple, obvious fact, see ourselves as something apart from nature. Deprived of air, the body dies. The body also requires water. Again, water that exists outside the body must be taken into the body in sufficient amounts, or the body dies. The same […]

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