William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Pines’

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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Skunk Detail

When I turned on the front step light at 4:30 this morning, the skunk seemed only mildly surprised. It wasn’t on the step, just a few feet beyond. It sniffed the air and peered at me through its thick glasses, then moved off into the darkness, toward the pine. Careful alert regard, mutual curiosity — I’ve known friendships to begin this way. Another way is the wondrous miracle of instant […]

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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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Do You See?

She bends when the wind blows, is still when it’s calm. I stand by the window, an indoor pine. December 10, 2021 . Do You See? Do you see that sapling tested by the wind? And its family and forebears around her, sublime and sturdy as can be? And now, do you see yourself, and the strength, and the beauty, in vulnerability? Recently Banned Literature, February 2, 2017 . [ […]

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My Trust, My Hand

Cedar, juniper, green maple, red maple, pine. Arborvitae, crape myrtle, rhododendron, barberry, apricot. Blueberry, grape, fig, birch, fir. Grasses. Such, in varying numbers, constitute the perennials on this relatively average-sized suburban lot. Hosta, fern, moss. Lilac. Ivy. Rose. To arrive at a complete list, one would need to comb the area with notebook in hand, to look carefully, see calmly, patiently, making it the work of a lifetime, his own […]

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Crossing — My Father’s Side

I didn’t learn to type in school. With the help of a book from the public library, I taught myself when I was in my early thirties. Prior to that, I used the time-honored hunt-and-peck system. I’m a fair typist, not a good one. I can type these lines without looking at the keys. But if I need to incorporate numbers, I have to look down. Once many years ago, […]

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The Fear of Death and the Desire to Be Remembered

I slept for a few minutes yesterday after lunch. When I awoke to the tender tips of the lacy green maple moving in the breeze, and the pine needles glistening in the light of the clear blue sky, and its swirl of upward-curved branches gently lowering and rising, I was nigh overwhelmed by the timeless, trembling, whispering intimacy of what was happening, not only outside, beyond the open window, but […]

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King of the Dull Boys

There was a little rain yesterday, and some again last night. At six this morning I swept the driveway. Then I swept the sidewalk, which was covered with a nice accumulation of fine needle growth from the juniper. The sidewalk, being mostly shaded most of the time, is quite mossy. It’s also in fairly rough shape, with pits and divots where stones have worked their way free from the concrete. […]

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All of Us

Adults, intent on fences, wishing their backyards were bigger. Children, on swings and trampolines, as light and free as birds. May 16, 2021 . All of Us I climb the corner pine, my cousin ahead on the branch above. It’s our birthday month. Higher and higher. Needles and bark. When we come down, we’re sixty-five. Some say age. I say luck. We run a race. We hide. We throw clods. […]

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Inside and Out

It’s our very good fortune that every window of this house looks out on lush green growth: the maples, pine, and cedar; the birches and firs; the garden, vine, apricot, and blueberry; the juniper and the dense, tall arborvitae; the fig, the lilacs, the rhododendrons; the ferns, moss, grass, and volunteer oak and hazelnut seedlings; and in the distance, the trees of the neighborhood. Each view changes from hour to […]

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