William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Squirrels’

Gray October

Our garden space is small, but this year we were still able to give away dozens and dozens of cucumbers and many baskets of cherry tomatoes. Now the garden is on the wane, with a tomato here, a cucumber there, and as many sunflower seeds as the birds can hold and the squirrels can tuck away. Whole heads, their spiny necks broken, jays squawking, squirrels chattering and scolding — we […]

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A Way of Life

Imagine a race of beings so in love with themselves, so jaded, so steeped in their bitterness, that they choose daily to revel in their own righteous filth. Impossible, of course. Yellowed cottonwood leaves on the trail. The trees shudder to think. Gray skies all day without a hint of blue, the smoke pushed east again for a time. Broken green husks of walnuts on the steps. Squirrels, or birds? […]

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Three Leaves

Near the old horse-drawn French plow, around which in spring the bluebells bloom, there is a tiny oak with three jagged yellow-orange leaves still firmly attached to its dark sturdy stem — its entire growth for the year. In all likelihood, a squirrel planted it there — a noble destiny from a forgotten meal; and a solemn joy to note, for someone who often cannot remember what he had for […]

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Mushrooms and Mildew

Mushrooms and mildew — so much mildew, it’s possible the mushrooms have mildew. The alyssum and dahlias in the front flowerbed are white with mildew. Even the lilac has mildew. But the peppers don’t. Neither do the apricot or fig. I have mildew, but thus far it affects only the cerebrum, so I’m not worried. Such fogs we’ve been having — dense, dripping fogs, street-blackening fogs, window-streaming fogs, leaf-shimmering fogs, […]

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Idle

Another hour spent outside watering in the smoke, which is much thicker this morning than yesterday. The air, though, is noticeably cooler. The windy time has passed; I saw several spiders calmly working on their webs. I also heard the squawking of a scrub jay, and a brief exchange between nuthatches. A squirrel caught my eye; like an ordinary pedestrian, it was making its way along the sidewalk across the […]

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Life and Renaissance

I met G.H.W. this morning while tending our garden. He stopped, per his daily habit, to rest on our retaining wall where it’s shaded by the juniper, cedar, and lilac. He’s eighty-four years old, walks several miles each morning, and collects cans for the ten-cent deposit. He doesn’t need the money. But the walk does him good, and he likes to talk to people along the way. Some think he’s […]

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Empty Shells

We don’t plant our sunflowers, they plant themselves. Each year they’re different. This year almost all have multiple heads, a few with dark centers, most with light. Many have lateral growth, each branch ending with its own head or heads, some blooming all the way to the ground. And there’s one very rugged plant with only one head. The plant is about five feet tall, but now that its seeds […]

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