Friday, January 23, 2015

Michael Keshigian- Three Poems

There are creatures in the sea
known as balloon fish
of which I know very little,
although they sound
like rather amusing entities,
self inflating ornaments,
ideal for your birthday gathering,
wiggling in the four corners of the room
each in its own ample aquarium,
expanding proportions
every time one of your guests
approaches the sea salted transparency,
staring with fascination and delight
after you have blown out
the candles on your cake.
I would likely have to dive for them, though,
in the tropical Galapagos waters
or similar equatorial climes,
searching the shallow coral reefs
or mangrove areas
to delicately capture a few by surprise
lest they swim away in a huff,
angry at my intentions,
although I’d promise to return them
to their warm water flats
once you’ve unwrapped your gifts
and sipped the glass of wine
into which the evening tumbles.

As soon as he boarded the train,
as soon as it departed
from the grand central terminal,
he began to doubt the city’s existence
and his interaction within,
attempting desperately to remember
minute details of noisy streets
filled with enigmatic crowds,
crowds that eventually swarmed
midnight music cafes
and underground poetry slams
for release and relaxation.
It was the end of the working day,
offices were closing as he stared
from the train’s sooty window,
watching skyscraper lights dim
while the mountainous concrete contour
shrank slowly against the horizon,
spotting the darkening sky
with artificial constellations.
A lovely young woman,
sitting next to him,
leaned over and into his arm,
joined his gaze at the speckled skyline.
“There it is,” he mumbled,
pointing as if she could see,
“the rooftop I called home,
those crimson shingles on the right.”
He sighed.  His destination, re-employment,
and new abode are yet to exist. 
People unknown are slowly preparing,
anticipating his arrival
to another set of streets and crowds
that will blend and blur this current memory
upon his next departure.

At least once a year,
on a clear, crisp Spring morning,
he hikes with a colorful backpack,
most of the 6,200 feet
of a Mt. Washington trail,
dodging boulders and brush
to find a clearing
where he can spend most of the day
counting clouds that parade the blue dome
northward, whisking the peak.
With any luck and to carry on comfortably,
he might locate a rather sturdy white pine
climb a muscular limb
and build a nest
upon adjoining branches
with the gear he packed,
just in case,
then lay back and stare upward
with pencil and pad in hand
to connote quantity and types,
odd formations and densities.
Most friends might think him foolish
and he somewhat agrees,
being half crazy with the abundance
and wonder of it all,
delicious moments of quiet
interrupted only by whispers
amid the leaves
or the occasional crow’s caw
which awakens him
from the hypnotic state clouds invoke
as he realizes the dilemma
within his purpose,
a complete and utter fascination
with timelessness.

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