Saturday, May 16, 2015

Chaplet #1 - Beyond by Michael Keshigian

by Michael Keshigian

The basic theme of the poetry centers around the darker aspects of what we perceive and/or interpret, regarding the end of life . 


Publication, print and electronic, where some poems from Beyond have appeared.  These Include:

Artword Quarterly
Black Poppy Review
Dead Snakes Poetry
Drown In My Own Fears
Exercise Bowler
Illya’s Honey
Poppy Road Review
Red Owl



Cemetery Haze
Calling Hours
In Line At The Terminal
Stanza For Sal


He felt himself in the gaze
of a more powerful one,
a force that hovered
somewhere above
the forest of shaded white pines
that pricked the brightening sky.
He sensed judgment
from the elusive stars,
now hidden from view
and discerned scrutiny 
from the morning moon
after it was swallowed whole
by the sun which dispersed
observations in focalized rays,
regarding his life
upon the backside of blue,
yet he continued to float
until the path diverged
in opposite directions
well within his approaching view
and suddenly he hung suspended,
like a catatonic cloud,
awaiting a gust.


Staring from the moon
in a dream
I saw people of Earth
meander aimlessly

from minute cavities,
following burrows
to dutiful destination
and back again.

Some moved faster
others carried more
and few were prostrate to fantasy.
Yet above each hill

hovered ghosts of intentions
not resting, but preparing
markers with singular openings
where well meaning will be placed.


On a tree
by a narrow street
upon an bending bough
I perch in a dream
over people in a field
hovering about
an empty hole
obstructed by a box
with contents
of what use to be me.
Some are sobbing,
most are somber
and few hide
a reluctant obligatory glint.
All see the hyphen
between random dates
engraved upon granite,
transform my toil
to a trophy abbreviation
for living.


Granite slabs
litter the enclosed landscape
which silently screams syllables
of those buried
beneath the sedentary soil
of eternal repose
Through the cavities
gorged by insatiable insects,
imperceptible vapors
of deteriorating brain waves
escape the porous tomb
to fog the horizon
with evaporating memories.


An air bubble burst,
the final hiccup
on the threshold
of the doorstep to oblivion.
Lungs conclusive expanse
captures stray molecules of oxygen
that contain
the ultimate sigh of consciousness
before deflation.
With the final exhale
streams a lifetime
of living and memories,
feelings, emotions and thoughts
extinguished a the gurgle
the brain reluctantly realizes as terminal
engulfed by
the ensuing permanence of death,
that enigmatic shadow
severing connections to life.
Idle corpse of lifelessness
is pitied by selfless souls
morbidly considering
their own demise
and ultimate moment of transition
when life is no more.


Those seers of winter’s calamity
that balance upon
the barren, brittle fingers
of snow suited birch trees
make each bleak, barbed twig
more intense
with the season’s significance,
glimmering black
against the white backdrop
they endure the tendency
of Fall’s reduction
toward the enigma of desolation,
and linger self-assured
amid the blanch landscape
and accompanying chill,
prevailing, without explanation,
in doldrums of death and decay
rather than fly off
as their winged brethren
are inclined to do,
jousting daily
with the naked limbs,
their piercing caw
and lugubrious stare,
mocking the lingering snow
that rattles off petrified leaves.


Bouquets and blooms,
ornate displays that garnished the hall;
hair thickened with gel, slicked back with a sheen,
eye shadow and rouge in an attempt to enliven his face,
manicured nails and a pinned stripe suit
that likened him to a mobster
in a 1930’s Chicago scene.
Everyone approached and said he looked handsome,
he who only shaved weekly,
occasionally groomed his hair
and bit his fingernails to bleed.
He hardly left home or visited places,
disliked gossip and was scarcely noticed,
barely talked even with something to offer,
who, blanch as the moon was pale,
but much less traveled, wore out the carpet
from his bedroom to the recliner
in front of the television,
the only voice ever acknowledged,
though the background noise
included complaints of his laziness
and a desire for little save for TV Westerns
that induced him to snuggle beneath the blanket
and snore a path to oblivion.
On this day, he held the attention of all,
a posture he would find disquieting,
master of a ceremony, for another,
he would never attend, the day’s most honored
till the shiny, walnut, wooden cover,
creased with white linen, closed.


I stood in line at the terminal
feeling displaced,
surrounded by aged and ailing
anxiously awaiting transport
to the unfathomable region.
I bore no illness
yet stood at the threshold
able and aware,
no crutch or brace,
in a tantrum refusing entrance.
The crowd excitedly anticipated release
from those shackles and restrictions
that inhibited their lives
through disease or some impairment,
propelled a forward surge
and launched me airborne
through the gates
into a floating frenzy of darkness and void
till luck landed me
upon a soft, enveloping mattress,
profusely sweating,
paralyzed by the thought
of that final midnight flight.


On a quiet night
I saw a dying star
streak to its demise
behind a moonlit hill
bordering the horizon.

A wolf immediately began to howl
a lugubrious taps
and the stars stopped twinkling
for a moment of darkness
in honor of the fallen comrade.


The dog’s grave smells of incense
and decaying leaves, a musky overtone  
above its eternal resting place
highlighted by a single ray
designated by the sun
as a condition of acknowledgement
which I see through the window beside my desk.
Yet with every sighting
of the chocolate layered soil,
drying slowly for three days
in a singular warmth,
where the ferns bend forward
in prayer and the dog’s carefree
spirit still plays in the shadows,
the halls of my mind unwind another image,
a portrait of him slowly opening his eyes
from a deep sleep, momentarily ceasing
the erratic snore that accompanied
the contorted countenance
signaling his eventual surrender
to the black celled forces beneath his skin.
Blessed are the animals, for they ignorantly depart.
Blown into darkness, he hovered
with the knowledge of extinction
upon a precipice illuminated
by the sun’s singular yet dimming direction.
Blessed are the abandoned, they shall be guided.

copyright 2015, Michael Keshigian


Michael Keshigian’s ninth poetry book, Dark Edges was released in September, 2014 by Flutter Press. Other published books and chapbooks: Eagle’s Perch, Wildflowers, Jazz Face, Warm Summer Memories, Silent Poems, Seeking Solace, Dwindling Knight, Translucent View. Published in numerous national and international journals, he is a 5- time Pushcart Prize and 2-time Best Of The Net nominee. His poetry cycle, Lunar Images, set for Clarinet, Piano, Narrator, was premiered at Del Mar College in Texas. Subsequent performances occurred in Boston (Berklee College) and Moleto, Italy. (

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