a poetry e-zine










Poems By Michael Keshigian

He felt as if he were born
to the sawdust and nails
of writing, working daily
in hours of solitude
to construct an architecture
which at times
seemed like a pointless,
irrelevant task,
devoid of shelter for any dweller,
a paper house
easily toppled in a stray breeze.
On many afternoons
he abandoned the work,
meandered outdoors
to view the project from afar,
somewhat defeated yet relieved
once he soaked his head
in the light of the sun
which cleansed the metaphors
from his brain,
allowing a bit of respite
while the half house
toppled in a sigh of wind.
He could hear the creaks
of settling rubble,
fallen walls,
once separated by nouns and verbs,
now splintered by light
in puffs of dust,
a drone of ideas
carried off with a gust of cool air,
floating until an alternative blueprint
penciled in his head,
a new rhythm of nails
binding another abstract design
that forced him back to his desk.


A warm September evening
under a starlight tarp of black,
hidden by staggered rows of pine,
they shed their sandals and summer clothes
to the lisp of the wind
and sprint across a wet thatch of mulch
through damp shoreline sand,
following the moon's vanilla path
into the ice cream cold
that licks them all over at once,
their screams stunted,
skimming the chilled water's surface
like skipping stones
that finally sink
into the lake's silent depths.
Happily, they leech
into the watery darkness
consumed with the mysterious whispers
of nature about them,
enveloped by a strangeness
which strips their minds,
plunging them deeper
into the solitude of the country.
The lake's chilled whiskers
scratch their skin
while they wade clumsily,
a spectacle for the sleepy bass
far beneath the surface,
navigating the currents of human curiosity.
On the shore, a host of fireflies blink
a Morse code of amusement.


This is how it used to be
with him and his lover,
she taught him
a new song
every morning,
a different line
with her head
on the pillow,
climbing the stairway
of his spine
with a weightless melody
until it filled his brain
and he sang
as he rolled over
to lock his lips
around hers
so she might sugar his mouth
with more honey,
her tongue tipping sweet words
backwards in his throat.
The day was longing
after mornings like that,
sunlight a lonely companion,
though the song droned
like bees in the hive
all day in his head.


The other day, I bounced
between the blue talons that spear
marshmallow floats in the sky
and the lawn, full of green soldiers
marching in thick patches across
the yard, toward the intrusive dandelions,
that set up camp in random locales.
From mower to my knees
and back up again I aided the infantry
until I became enraptured by one frail
yellow weed that suddenly sent me
into a past when I sat alone on a stone
at the crest of a hill, where in its tiny valley
hovered the creeping carcass of poison ivy
that devoured our summertime baseballs,
around which bordered a flock of dandelions,
dandelions I so desperately desired
to pick for my mother.
I had never seen anyone with a bouquet
of dandelions, nor ever noticed any on a corsage
but that did little to dissuade me
from gathering a bunch
even with the itch menace looming.
She gave me life, I wanted to give her dandelions.
She bandaged my wounds, tended numerous
nose bleeds, I gave her dandelions.
She gave me medicine, meals, clothing,
a home and an education,
I gave her dandelions.
Here is a football, basketball, ice skates,
go play, I said, here are some pretty flowers
I found in the woods, never realizing
my debt impossible to ever fulfill.
That gift I will give her now,
though when she took that wilting
fistful of weeds from my grasp,
I was as convinced as any six year old boy,
that she owed me.

Michael Keshigian is a performing musician and college educator in Boston . His most recent publication credits include: Ghoti, Bellowing Ark, Ibbetson Street, Boston Literary Magazine (w/interview and featured poetry) and Pegasus Review, among many other online and written periodicals. He has five published chapbooks, two Pushcart nominations and a Best Of The Net Nomination.

Copyright 2008  Chantarelle's Notebook