William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Owls’

Almost

While walking yesterday evening, I almost heard an owl, its voice coming to me through the dark at regular intervals. It was a strange and beautiful thing, this almost hearing. It was like almost thinking, almost dreaming, almost being. But to the owl, maybe it was not so strange. Maybe he was playing. December 15, 2020 . [ 958 ]

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The Mist and This

If I had not walked in the mist before dawn, I would not have heard the owl calling from the fir tree on this side of the wetland. And the land is wet, as were we. I need to explore the backyard, which has been transformed by the recent storms into a forest floor strewn with branches, cones, and leaves. There are fir branches six to eight feet long on […]

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Canvas 419 — I Wonder

Canvas 419 — August 23, 2014

  I Wonder After a long absence, they began to fear for him, and so they sought him in the cave where he sometimes slept. He was not there; but they found a striking image of him which seemed to have etched itself onto one of the walls, where at certain times of the year water would seep through and trickle down. They gazed upon the image for a long […]

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A Few Nasturtiums

Through an open window in the dark, you imagine what you’ve seen before. Then you hear an owl, who-hooting in the firs. Coffee’s ready. Scarce past four. You imagine not a thing before. And the owl concurs.   A Few Nasturtiums A few nasturtiums where nothing else will grow. Fir needles. Who can count them all. And the tales they tell of galaxies in dew and dust. A calligrapher’s turn […]

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Tree People

The intimacy of the charcoal-green outlines of trees near dawn — grayer at a distance, greener in their fairy tale approach — these sisters and brothers, the dark redwoods and bare oaks, the wise owls of one’s thought. Lights on over breakfast tables. Still wind chimes, wondering which clothes to put on. I shall wear a sparrow. And another, The mist is enough. February 13, 2020 [ 665 ]

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Adagio

What of someone who is happy and joyful, but unable to communicate, while those around him assume he is miserable and sad? And what of those who are miserable and sad, who assume everyone else is? Early morning the day after Christmas — not one soul out to see the frosty rooftops. I saw, or think I saw, an eagle in the neighbor’s fir tree the other day. But it […]

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Moss, Frost, Tea

It may seem a small matter, chancing to pass the house of a neighbor the very moment he is cursing vehemently in his driveway at six in the morning, his garage door open and garage brightly lit behind him; and it may seem an equally small matter, chancing to pass the same house the following evening and to have the scene repeated, with minor variations — this time he was […]

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After

Sunday evening and the house is calm, the voices have returned to the street and their bodies have followed them, their bodies have gone to the stars, gone to the moss on the sidewalks and cushioned retaining walls, to the dogwood leaves on the ground and the soft velvet cedar, padding on dark wild feet with sharp nails exposed to the frost, where the owl shakes down a wealth of […]

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The Art of the Cumulative

Minding the details, relishing them, staying with them day after day through the years — we might call this the art of the cumulative. The ground behind the house is deep in yellow birch leaves. Here and there, they are suspended in spider webs under the eaves; some dangle from a single thread and twist and turn in the breeze. The fig tree, too, is yellowing. An hour ago, I […]

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