William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Sunflowers’

Nothing Like Anything

A couple of mornings ago I dug up the garden space. It’s been a very cool, wet April, one of about half a dozen of the coolest and wettest on record. The soil is in wonderful condition, a joyful fact confirmed by an abundance of fat, healthy worms. With luck, despite a continued chance of rain in the forecast, we’ll be able to plant a few things this week or […]

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For Your Own Sake

Men seek wisdom, sunflower sprouts spring from the warming soil. * Rich or poor, for your own sake, ask yourself what you would do if money weren’t a concern. * Love is the sound the shovel makes. * Birch clock: the dead branch, the singing bird. * Cedar clock: the low branch, the rope swing. * Old or young, ask yourself what you would do if time weren’t a concern. […]

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A Tiny Genesis

One thing to remember when you’re eating a seed, be it sunflower, flax, or chia, is that it holds the potential of perpetuating, even saving, its kind, as well as the species which are drawn by its beauty and which depend on it for sustenance. If you think of it only as flavorful, or as food for your health, you miss a vital dimension of living and eating. It is […]

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November

The mild rainy weather has given rise to a new generation of mold, creating a scented atmosphere as complex and alluring as a newly opened grave. November 15, 2021 . November The ear fills with sky-sounds, the eye with cloud-motion and leaf-fall. Distances are not what we think them at all, but blessings ripe and uncountable. The glad-spent remains of the summer garden are brought to the pile. Manure is […]

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Breakfast

Bread, seeds, nuts, raisins, honey. But what did I really have for breakfast? One by one, before taking a single bite, I thought of the origin and lives of each — walnut trees, fields of sunflowers and pumpkins, peanuts in the ground, a variety of grains swaying in the breeze, vineyard rows in autumn, bees busy in berry blossoms. And then I ate — slowly, marveling at how each of […]

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Life, Death, Fall

This morning I finished Edward O. Wilson’s Naturalist. After lunch I read in Emerson’s journal about the death of his little boy, Waldo. Two months ago, I ordered Library of America’s forthcoming two-volume edition, Molière: The Complete Richard Wilbur Translations. Today I removed the plants from the pots, barrels, and planters behind the house. I also cleared the gutters, which were full to the brim with birch leaves and fir […]

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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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Proverb

A very warm afternoon, outside and in. It seems logical, natural, inevitable, that, as I age, I am moving steadily, inexorably, towards silence. The season holds sway, but the conclusion is the same any time of year. Towards word silence; journal silence; poem silence; grave silence. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; silence to silence. Emerged from silence, proceeding unto silence; never having left silence, forever part of silence. Loving […]

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Breaking Through

In the matter of a few hours, a trace of rain, just enough to dampen the surface of the soil, was enough to bring forth another wave of sunflower sprouts. Breaking through, they look like they’re leaping into the unknown, almost as if they’re parachuting skyward, and my up is their down. Is there anything I can imagine that isn’t rooted in my life experience, my observation, my reading, my […]

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