William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Robins’

Robin

Last night I dreamed I saw a bright, beautiful robin, with striking marks around his eyes. He stood before me in the grass. He did not say. I did not ask. December 24, 2020 . [ 967 ]

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Water, Clear and Cold

The celebration of rain is past. The wind has changed. A great part of the moisture has been reclaimed by the sky gods. The air is smoky again. But it is not as smoky as before, at least here at ground level. Instead, there is a high haze thick enough to keep the sunny fall days several degrees cooler than they would be. One can feel the smoke. The robins […]

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Contaminated Spirits

It’s well worth putting on a mask and spending a short time in the thick, hazardous smoke for the birds’ sake alone. As before, within minutes of refilling and refreshing the birdbath, I saw a robin vigorously splashing in the water. Even as I stood there with the hose, I heard him chirping not far above me in the birches. Found early in the first chapter of the January 1877 […]

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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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Robin Smiles

The robins and I have a funny ritual. Every afternoon, in the cool shade of the house, they scratch up the front flowerbed and scatter dirt on the sidewalk. Every morning, I sweep it all back in. Then I water the sweet alyssum and dahlias, thus maintaining the conditions that attract them. Sometimes, when I stand by the window, I see them looking up at me, heads turned just so, […]

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A Dance of Light and a Shiver Through

A few years ago we brought home a stained-glass birdbath to hang in the backyard. It’s shallow and about the size of a small dinner plate, and though it has since become somewhat discolored, it’s still pretty with the light shining through it and onto the ivy below. I keep it full and fresh through the warm part of the year, then take it down late in the fall. Whenever […]

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The News

The news is a mass addiction. Every minute of every day, millions of people return to it, in quiet desperation, in anger, in distraction, for another dose, another fix. It’s a form of collective hysteria, this thirst and hunger for the negative and obvious, this fear of not knowing what is already known, and which represents only a tiny portion of what it means to be alive in this wondrous […]

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Smoke and Robins

If it takes me as long to read Thoreau’s journal as it did for him to write it, I will never finish. I have, however, read the first four volumes. Ten remain. At the beginning of the fifth, he refers to himself as a mystic, transcendentalist, and natural philosopher, and says that in most cases he finds it best, or at least easiest, to let people think otherwise — that […]

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Time Out

Instead of walking early this morning, I spent an hour and a half watering and tending the garden. It takes time to visit everyone, to top a dahlia here, touch a dewdrop on a maple sprout there, pick a pint of strawberries, count the Agapanthus blooms, marvel at the number of new cones high up in the firs, admire the smooth stones in the shade garden — but of course […]

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