William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Water’

Acorns and Oaks

I ran before five yesterday morning in a driving wind and rain. The only person I met was a very large skunk, which was crossing the road in front of me when it stopped briefly at the sound of my footsteps, then scurried on. It ran along the edge of the opposite sidewalk for a distance of about a hundred feet before taking cover in some bushes. The rain was […]

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A Turn In the Dance

After a slow start, and a slow run up the hill, the body said, Alright, enough nonsense, let’s go. And so off we ran, pushing beyond the comfortable limit of breath, and then beyond again and again, finding exhilaration at each new level, never once needing to open the mouth. See? You thought you had forgotten. Forty-seven degrees. Stars and clouds. The cool, rainy weather continues. I’ve been wearing them […]

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Jiggity-Jig

When we set out in the cold this morning, the body said, Are we sure? We didn’t answer, of course. And when we finished our run, with our feet wet and warm, the body again said, Are we sure? We climbed the steps, let ourselves in. Took off our wet cap, dried our sandals, and propped them against the wall above the furnace vent. Coffee? we said. Gladly, was the […]

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Street Song

Shorts, a T-shirt, and another run through the dark in the rain. Fifty-two degrees, a joy to move and breathe. And then there’s the news: the neighbor’s overflowing gutter, a streetlight out, a car with a for-sale sign, the sound of distant geese. Wet arms, wet face, wet hair, wet feet. Nations come and nations go. Rally ’round the flag — a mother’s grief, her bloody sheets, her once-bright tablecloth. […]

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Ten Horses, No Sails

I haven’t raked the leaves from under the maples, or those that are piled deep beneath the big rhododendron by the front door. What’s living in, on, and under them plays a far more important role in the local ecology than any so-called neatness I might achieve. The walk is swept. The flowerbed is ready for spring. That’s enough tidiness. Behind the house, the irises are pushing, and an abundance […]

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Space

Running through space, and with each breath the same space running through me, then becoming space again. The body passing through space, feeling space yield without breaking or being divided, fluid like water. Space clinging to the skin and entering through the pores. Space in the blood. Space in the cells. Space the distance between stars. Uphill and down, to stop at the door. Quietly, now, not to disturb. Space […]

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Forty-Two Houses

Counting the one we live in, between here and the stop sign there are seven houses. I just ran to the stop sign and back three times. That makes forty-two houses. It’s foggy this morning and fairly chilly out, just above freezing. Nice and dark. No wind. Dawn just a thought, not yet a glow. Maybe a promise. We shall see. I refuse to take it for granted. Forty-two houses. […]

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Morning Tea

After sipping icy water spiced by moss-crowned leaves, the robin flies from the birdbath to the fence-top for a meeting with the squirrel. When they arrive, they find the sun already waiting at the spot. Welcome to my secret hideaway, says he. I’m surprised you found it. Then the clouds move, and the sun, the robin, and the squirrel disappear. And here we find the poet, not quite ready, in […]

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Things I Ask Myself

How slowly can I breathe? How deeply? How calm can I be? Somewhat calm? Quite calm? Infinitely calm? How far can I run? And for how long? How patient can I be? How helpful, how considerate, how understanding, how gentle? How little harm can I do? How little disturbance can I make in the world? How present can I be? How aware? How grateful? How devoid of ego? How much […]

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Unbearably Light

There’s still some snow at the North Falls trailhead, and on the path that leads to Upper North Falls, but it’s easy enough to walk on. On the Rim Trail, though, and in the canyon, the path is bare, save for scattered fir debris. The falls themselves are roaring and bright, each creating wind and turbulence according to its personality and size. Again, my bare feet drew notice and a […]

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