William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Towhees’

Letters

Late each evening, the male towhee comes out from the rhododendron for one last look at the world and a little something to eat before bed. He is done singing for the day, and still mindful of the nest. Under the lilac, he finds something that intrigues him in the moss, and starts scratching like a chicken. The motion propels him forward several inches, then he hops back and pecks […]

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Canvas 902 — Irises and Dreams

Canvas 902 — May 16, 2017

  Irises and Dreams The tomato plants are growing like weeds in the rain. This morning I walked in a dense, heavy mist. The robins were out. Some starlings. A towhee. Silence emanated from coy-hidden crows. Crow silence. Black-ink silence. The atmosphere, it seemed, was deep into the process of paper-making. A calligrapher’s dream. A mark here, a mark there, and thus a new language is born, and is off […]

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Towhee-to-we-to-be

I would gladly wear the colors of the male towhee that sings and dwells with his lovely mate in the birch-and-ivy environs of our fir-sheltered backyard. And it may well be that in another life, I already have, or will, and that this other life has a beautiful name of its own — Now. April 28, 2020 [ 732 ]

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Just Enough to Wash Away

Yesterday’s birds: towhees, chickadees, robins, starlings, scrub-jays, downy woodpeckers, flickers, doves, geese, hummingbirds, crows — and, late in the evening, with my throat feeling a bit dry, two timely swallows. Yesterday’s planting: twenty-one dahlias — twelve in the main garden, three in the “test plot,” and three under the kitchen window where our daughter’s little boys used to dig for treasure. Yesterday’s walk: barefoot in the grass in front of […]

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In the Forest Heard

Almost two miles into our walk near Goose Lake, where the path winds around an open field, we saw two coyotes trotting along on the bare ground, their reddish-brown coats gleaming with health in the morning sun. Headed in the direction we were, they paused and looked our way. Then we all rounded the bend, and they set off without urgency on another course, as if they might have been […]

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Delirium Detail

A full pint basket of beautiful ripe fruit — I picked the last of our blueberries yesterday. In the evening, the first flight of geese. The gentle summer continues. By the front step, on the big rhododendron, next spring’s flower buds have already formed. Before lunch, I ate one slice of a fresh, sour, Gravenstein apple. I could feel the juice on its way down, spreading a tart panic. It […]

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The Circle Is Small

The Circle Is Small — July 18, 2013

Do I see what I think I see and hear what I think I hear, or are these towhees my thoughts, suddenly taking form and substance? The friendly birds arrive from nowhere while I’m watering the geraniums. Just a few feet away, the male hops from the moss into the birdbath and starts splashing; the female sings from the birch above. And what of the geraniums themselves, and the moss, […]

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Still and Again

The towhees around our house are quite friendly. Not only do they not avoid me, some seem downright eager for conversation. Within just a few feet, they stop and look at me, then hop about in the ferns and moss and rhododendrons without wariness or alarm. Late in the afternoon two days ago, while I was watering the hostas not far from the birdbath, a male with beautiful markings alternated […]

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