William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Wilderness’

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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Among the Living

Early morning. Cloudy. Quiet. Owl acoustics. Most birds don’t mind singing in the wind. But owls prefer a hushed auditorium. Dimmed chandeliers. Hills sloping downward, soft carpet leading to the stage. A voice captures the audience. Hear it once, and you will wait forever to hear it again. Owl heartbeat. Owl meditation. Owl silence. Hear it a second time, and a third, eternity in between. It comes from the south. […]

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Inside and Out

It’s our very good fortune that every window of this house looks out on lush green growth: the maples, pine, and cedar; the birches and firs; the garden, vine, apricot, and blueberry; the juniper and the dense, tall arborvitae; the fig, the lilacs, the rhododendrons; the ferns, moss, grass, and volunteer oak and hazelnut seedlings; and in the distance, the trees of the neighborhood. Each view changes from hour to […]

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Wilderness Notes

While trees ravaged by the ice storm can be seen in every direction, there are a great many that have come through unscathed. The young cedar in our little wilderness is one, as is the juniper, which will soon break into bloom. The pine, the branches of which were so weighted with ice that they hung by its side, has resumed its airy, elegant form, with only one small broken […]

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Crude Approximations

The little mimosa by the cedar has six leaves, a rich orange, leaning towards red. The tiny birch less than two feet away also has six — the top three are green, the fourth is yellow-green, and the two near the ground are yellow. The color references are crude approximations. Set in the wilderness as they are, among grasses, ground covers, mushrooms, and a scattering of needles, cones, and other […]

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Child With a Lantern in a Dream

Yesterday afternoon, the deep wet grass in front of the house was so green it made the sun smile — a wonderful thing, considering what the sun sometimes has to look down upon, even if it is not a person, and is, as many adults believe, just a star. October 18, 2020 . Child With a Lantern in a Dream Now you can see, Mr. Sun, that there is nothing […]

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Mushrooms and Mildew

Mushrooms and mildew — so much mildew, it’s possible the mushrooms have mildew. The alyssum and dahlias in the front flowerbed are white with mildew. Even the lilac has mildew. But the peppers don’t. Neither do the apricot or fig. I have mildew, but thus far it affects only the cerebrum, so I’m not worried. Such fogs we’ve been having — dense, dripping fogs, street-blackening fogs, window-streaming fogs, leaf-shimmering fogs, […]

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The Art of Letting Go

Is it possible the mystery seedling in our vast little wilderness has yet to decide what kind of tree it is? That’s something I haven’t thought of before. Even if it began its life as a silk tree, maybe its desire to change is so strong that, given time, and possibly even encouragement, it will become something else. Who knows what it might have thought about or dreamed about during […]

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Mimosa

It was early in the morning on the last day of July — yesterday, in fact — that I noticed the scent of dried and drying grasses in the air, of ripening and spent seed — that distinct valley smell, leavened by dew and blent with the dust of harvested fields. That same day, a few hours later, we decided that the unidentified seedling in our cedar-and-juniper wilderness might well […]

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