William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Trees’

Time

It takes time to learn carpentry; algebra; to build bridges; plant a vineyard; fly to the moon. But to live simply and joyfully, to be kind, to breathe deeply, love, and be free, time is not needed at all. Peace is not a matter of identity, struggle, or effort; ask any tree or ever-changing cloud. You are here; the date, the hour, need not be recorded; the world need not […]

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A Happening

The morning began with a robin leading the way, From birch, to maple, to fig, invisible to me, singing, My favorite tree! My favorite tree! My favorite tree! Or so it seemed as I ran in the calm and misty dark, So it seemed, so it seemed, so it seemed, Each of us a playful happening, Like every leaf and star. . [ 1450 ]

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Without Arms

A slow run in the cold starry hour before dawn — up the hill, past the old couple’s crocuses still closed for the night, looking like color specialty shops where love models scarves and little boys wonder about their mother’s soft moles — to the corner, and then an eastward turn, ’neath streetlights that die as they burn — proud and solemn, trees without arms — without arms, without arms, […]

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Is This What It Is?

What miracle will this body reveal today? What lesson? What truth? I’m ready. I’m listening. This breath is the proof. There’s a path in the canyon. It winds through the mist. Is it this? Waterfalls and ravens. Stones and downed trees. Is it that? Or is it the place where my ancestors once walked? Is it their well and their garden? Is it their dark crusty bread? The song of […]

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The Earth Says Hello

There were high winds and heavy rain throughout the night. Now that it’s light, I see several more fir branches are down. Most are about six to eight feet in length; the longest, with its thick end leaning against the fig tree, is about twelve feet, and two inches in diameter. And so nature’s cleanup of last year’s ice storm continues. Later I’ll go out and have a look at […]

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Make It Old

Steady rain — three inches and counting. There are rows of tents in the park downtown, where, decades ago, families gathered and children played. Sometime during the night, I awoke from a dream in which I and some unknown but familiar others were approached and threatened by a vague form of hostility. As the danger grew nearer, we watched and waited near a glistening cedar. Suddenly the danger was gone, […]

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Not Only Trees

Trees are not only trees: they pretend to be trees. They know I am used to seeing and thinking of them as trees, and are kind enough to act accordingly. At the same time, like me, they are what they are by virtue of a process that disperses and combines everything in the universe to arrive at something familiar, yet always original and new. And so now, in effect, it […]

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Word for Word

Fifty-seven degrees. A steady rain. Imagine reading such details in an arid, treeless future and thinking they could not possibly be true. We went to the falls. Upon entering the forest, we — Falls? What falls? Forest? Impossible. A hoax — a hoax! a hoax! a hoax! a hoax! Stone, papyrus, books, electronic files — and these, our very own bones. September 27, 2021 . [ 1242 ]

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From Wing to Wonder

The dragonflies are out again. Yesterday two landed on stakes in the dahlia bed to sun themselves. Each, after resting for several seconds, would lift off, hover briefly, then land again. They did this three or four times, until one finally decided to change stakes, flying up near my face before landing. The dragonflies were small and of a reddish color. As easy as it would be to find out, […]

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