Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Michael Keshigian


Two days ago
the sun caught me stealing light
to illuminate a poem,

demanded restitution,
then reported me to Mother Nature
who posted my likeness about the land.

Soon, the ocean, forest, birds, flowers, et. al.
filed suit for substantial abuse
and complacent philandering without permission.

I pleaded guilty;
admitted taking breath from wind
for deliverance,

marshmallows from the sky to sweeten song,
and rage from the ocean
to instill a sense of urgency.

Convicted and confined to a windowless room
no writing, visitation
or glimpses of stolen sights,

I was sentenced to imagine beauty
without embezzlement
and the wholesale exploitation of words.

Harvest Moon

Flame red,
a bouncing balloon,
every year
the harvest moon rolls
upon the hills
on the bottom of the sky
till dusk departs,
then it floats upward,
a gold coin in the deep dark pocket,
treading heaven gingerly,
a bassoon melody
amid the starry ostinato.
The Earth replies,
a subtle hum,
oaks and elms kneel in vigil,
moonlit cows, astonished,
stare as the glow swells.
It sings
until heaven is filled
with orange splendor,
plains of wheat respond
as flaxen fields melt.

Music Appreciation

He asked them to take the music outside,
listen as they held it toward the sky,
let the wind rattle its stems,
or place the sheet against an ear
to hear a tune
through the hollow of its shell.
He told them to jog
the parameters of the staves,
walk the winding road of its clef
and imagine living there.
Perhaps they could drop
a feather upon the music's resonance,
follow its float among the timbres,
or ski the slopes of musical peaks,
gliding unencumbered into its valleys,
then thank the composer
for varying the landscape
when they left the lodge.
But the class was determined
to stalk each phrase,
analyze chords for manipulation and cunning,
and seek the hidden form.
They handcuffed music to the music stand,
even flogged the melody
with a drum mallet,
until it whistled a meaning
never intended.

©2005 by Michael Keshigian

Michael Keshigian's poems have appeared in The Fairfield Review, Sierra Nevada College Review, Sahara, California Quarterly, Bellowing Ark, and Red River Review, among others. He has had three chapbooks published, and have been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. He is a college educator and performing musician in Boston.

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