William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Robins’

A Letter to the Boys

Yesterday afternoon I cleared the driveway of snow with one of the old manure shovels my father and grandfather used on the farm during the Great Depression and after the Second World War, and which we continued to use in later years, and which now reside, along with several other tools from that earlier time, in an old barrel in the little shed behind the house. While I was out, […]

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Winter Watch

The birds are out, the robins in pairs, their colors intense. They are like little day-lanterns that help me see the light. And now it is night, and the wind is high in the meadow. And the wind is why my body is a hut the trees know. Recently Banned Literature, December 19, 2017 . [ 1287 ]

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Naming

The robin has left her nest. She was such a brave, patient little bird; likely it was her first attempt at motherhood. Her nest is a perfect work of art: a primitive weave, a deep and noble interpretation of dry grass and mud. It holds only one egg, dull, pale, almost transparent blue, beautiful even in its infertility. The extreme heat, the neighbor’s fireworks — it must have been difficult […]

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Apricots, Finches, Plums

Found early this morning, fallen from the tree: a very ripe, very sweet apricot — I know, because I ate it right after washing off the ants. The house finches prefer drinking from the shallow glass water dish that we have hanging from the fig tree. The main birdbath, it seems, is a little too large and too busy for them. After watering the barrels, planters, and pots behind the […]

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Walk on Water

A robin chirps, scolds, exclaims in one way, loudly, urgently, but sings from a treetop in another, sweetly, yet with remarkable projection, and you think there must be two kinds of birds making these sounds, not one. The little boy next door explains and describes things in a tongue not always easy to understand, yet you feel and are caught up in his happiness. And then later that same day, […]

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Under Our Hats

I found an ancient pair of worn out jeans and cut them off a little above the knee. I’m wearing them now. I wore them early this morning while working barefoot in the garden and watering our assorted plantings and pots. Dirt, water, sun — childhood. We bought half a crate of strawberries yesterday. They’re called “Ruby June.” For whatever lucky reason, I’ve had more close-up meetings with birds. As […]

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In Simplest Terms

A little before four this morning, it was cloudy with only one star briefly visible; then, a few minutes later, between the birches and firs, through a break in the clouds just above the neighbor’s second-story roof, we caught a sustained glimpse of the full lunar eclipse, as the shadow passed and the moon began to emerge. Now there is a robin singing from the chimney-top. It comes to mind […]

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The First to Sneeze

A healthy body wants only what it needs. A healthy mind acts accordingly. The stars were still bright at four this morning. Even then I could hear robins singing up the street. No shoes or socks: I was listening with my feet. Red, purple, pink: three big barrels of geraniums, three plants in each. They join us at each meal. Being geraniums is an art: sometimes we are in the […]

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Tell Me About the Robins

Well, for one thing, tho’ the street lights are on all night, they don’t say a word. Then, at the first hint of daylight, even on the darkest and cloudiest of mornings, they start singing and calling to one another from the trees. And so the street lights are lighter than daylight, and dawn is darker than night. But the robins — yes, the robins, still get it right. February […]

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