Atop Mount Washington, 

on the roof of New Hampshire,

chilled winds sing 

crystalline solo,

stationÕs antennae pierce 

passing marshmallows,

cooking in the blue fireplace 

as renegade leaves 

leap off the precipice, 

into eternity,

while a single hawk soars 

above green 

challenging the edge.

I spin quickly

to view the world 

in a glance.





All day,   

every day,

through the night 

while you sleep,

dust floats upon airy parchment

to silently describe the moment

and soon 

another page is complete.

Early, when itÕs quiet,

the faint sound 

you think you hear

is a streak of sunlight 

that sings 

the chilly dawn breeze 

into a story.  

Even snowfall covers 

a page of barren countryside 

with white ink, 

transforming blank to verse,

rain erases most mistakes.

On a bright day 

you may catch hand shadows 

swirling fair weather fonts 

into words 

in front of the sun, 

creating a gust 

that inspires leaves and twigs 

to choreograph the landscape.

When the inkwell runs dry,

the rattling pen resounds 

a thunderous clap

and the dark hand pulls 

upon the spigot moon.





All day

IÕve listened to the song

of a single cardinal


ripple stillness

just outside my office window.  

An opera in red tux


his throat is a spring

stretching an aria

through the cluttered house


of sound, awakening memories

of events since past.

The timbre enlivens my heart.


I can almost touch

what once was

as it floats between


song and wind. An inflection 

so crisp, that IÕm convinced

the cardinal sings for more


than to merely texture

the commotion. His tune

incites another gift.


He performs daily,

tireless and without hoarseness,

to make sad hearts flutter.





Life loomed large in childhood,

an acre, easily a mile,

the apple tree, 

a spectacle of gigantic dimensions,

germinating fruit the size of melons

amid grass and wildflowers 

higher than a house

and alive with as much mystery 

as the imagination allowed,

infested with long legged creatures

and flying predators,

confronted by a brave soldier, 

possessing stout heartiness,

armed with broken branch sword,

trash lid shield and brown bagged helmet gear

precisely slit for covert surveillance

against an enemy constantly plotting 

to overthrow the king, to rule the kingdom,

were it not for the worthy defender

daily engaging danger to insure security

and safe passage for those nesting 

within the domain,

though the threat diminished with passing years

as did the proportions 

to a mediocre backyard, 

displaying a frail fruit tree

in grass no taller than ankle height

with no visible reminders of intense conflicts.

The enemy had disappeared,

deployed, no doubt, to younger battlefields,

accompanied by the imagination 

now desperately clinging to creative output

to preserve a degree of youthful enthusiasm

for an aging warrior.





The tenants left him a bar of soap,

two rolls of toilet paper,

shredded paper towels,

and a ripped sponge mop with bucket.

He tried to rub the white wall clean,

discovered it impossible, 

realized they tried as well.

He decided to paint it over.


Hair choked the bathroom sink,

long hairs, male and female,

they both wore ponytails,

short of acid, nothing else would work.

The hardwood floor 

wore rubber scuffs and high heel turns,

no doubt they danced and laughed,

but only broom swept it clean.


He began to know who they were,

seldom did he speak to them,

the check always arrived in the mail.

They breezed through, a great wind,

leaving behind a trail of dirt,

a thank you of sorts,

the residual continuity of broken leases

and painstaking interviews.


He seized their soap, 

a green veined, marbled bar, 

curved like a woman,

took a bath

after he cleaned the tub,

and dried with no towel,

in the air

with the walls and floors.


© Michael Keshigian


Bio:  Michael KeshigianÕs fourteenth poetry collection, What To Do With Intangibles was released January 2020 by Cyberwit.net. He has been widely published in numerous national and international journals, recently including Boston Literary Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, Muddy River Review, Edison Literary Review and has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (michaelkeshigian.com)