William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Water’

Destruction and Joy

Finished early this morning: The Diversity of Life, by Edward O. Wilson. The leaves are changing in the canyon. Yesterday morning, all through our three-and-a-half-mile walk from North Falls to Winter Falls, to Twin Falls, and then back to North Falls and on to Upper North Falls, the canopy was dripping from the previous night’s rain. In fact, it was raining, but the rain itself was being absorbed well above […]

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Variable Gravity

Two and a half miles near, but not in view of, the river. A silence that is scent, the scent silent in silent assent. The ascent of this idea or thought: variable gravity. Let us suppose that on this earth, instead of gravity being a steady, predictable thing, it varies from person to person and day to day; let us know, through experience, that we cannot always count on having […]

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The Patience of Ferns

Four miles of dusty trails, with side trips down to what is now a very low-running stream. No clouds, no fog, no mist, no smoke. Far off, on the other side of the canyon, the great echoing voice of a raven. The talk now is of rain, and the patience of ferns. Bare feet. Thirty-nine degrees. Even in drought, we outlive our own death. September 16, 2021 . [ 1229 […]

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In So Many Words

Another nuthatch visit. This time, while I was filling the birdbath, one came down from the birch tree and landed on the edge, within two feet of where I was standing. Was the drink it took meant to satisfy it, or me? Both — and the water itself. There is no such thing as a foreign language in this musical world. September 9, 2021 . [ 1224 ]

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Smoke in the Canyon

How proud we are of the useless nonsense recorded in our brains — jingles, slogans, brands, styles, and trivia of every kind — none of which truly enriches our lives or helps us survive. That these things have replaced a dependable catalog of natural wonders, such as bird song, the habits of insects, and the subtle changes in our environment and signs in the weather, is a sad commentary on […]

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Whatever It Is

Jimsonweed, a single plant with one open flower. The ferry, closed, because of low water. Whatever it is — does it really need to be said? Does it need to be thought? Does it need to be done? August 16, 2021 . [ 1202 ]

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Jesus Bugs

Here, below the falls, on the surface of the clear quiet pools, A ballet unfolds: scooters, skaters, skippers, striders, skimmers, Skeeters, Jesus bugs, making light of your reflection. Someday you may be crucified, for all they know. After all, men still do such things. Women, too. Or, you may simply sink, like a stone. Into the primitive. The wise. The beautiful. Alone. August 7, 2021 . [ 1191 ]

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How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way? High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters […]

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Cross My Heart

One hundred thirteen degrees. Yesterday afternoon, in the grass behind the house, we set a little sprinkler for the birds. It made a shallow lake in the shade. And out they came from the bushes, and down from the trees, children of the leaves. The tomatoes and peppers did not mind the heat. We protected the cucumbers with a sheet. We will again today. At four this morning it was […]

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Gratitude

Early morning. The little birds come close, just to say yes to the man with the hose. Their eyes meet. He nods and smiles. Ferns, moss, rhododendron. Lilac, cedar, dandelion. They drink from the leaves as more trickles down. Blessed are the boughs. Sweet is the ground. So the song goes. All together now. June 22, 2021 . [ 1142 ]

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