Every night

a different message.

Tell me tonight

about the translucent bones

of icicles on the gutter.

Their tale is a disclosure

of your stalking.

You enter as a burglar

on the heels of darkness

and leave no fingerprints,

yet cleverly steal away secrets

between the elusive shadows

you create,

some darker than others,

convoluted figures

rummaging in the most remote corners

of the room.

The sleepless await an explanation

but your peering eyes

slip away

when the clouds make you blink.

If you do take something,

no one is the wiser.

The sand in your light

eventually blinds into submission

the most suspicious

who, in the morning,

awake inspired

yet unaware of your intrusion,

until the icicles drip

in the rising sunlight.






His little hole in the Boston skyline,

one window lined with soot

facing Fenway Park.

In the room overhead,

there was a clarinet

that stalked Stravinsky’s Three Pieces

every evening.

During the day it was mostly quiet,

the crowd on the sidewalks

resembled the spiders in the room,

preying with thick overcoats

to catch the unsuspecting

in a web woven with smog

dimly illuminated with the little light

that penetrated the building alleys,

so dark, he could only shave

with a lamp in his face.

Every morning at 7:30 a.m.,

students clamored on the staircase,

rushing en route to classes

at the universities

and colleges around the corner,

the clarinet player would flush the toilet

then turn on the shower.

Once in a while, a bird

chirped or tweeted, like a bell chime,

so close to his door,

for a moment, he believed

he had a visitor.






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, cunning

and seek the hidden form.

They handcuffed the notes

to the music stand,

even flogged the melody

with a drum mallet,

until it whistled a meaning

never intended.





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.






Beneath the dock

from which he casts,

the water is shallow and clear,

the sodden earth

that bears the weight of liquid

is speckled with shoots

that will eventually surface

into a stage upon which

the basso bull frog

will perform his aria.

Occasionally, a cloud of dirt

smokes the clarity

of the transparent lake

and his searching

reveals the tail fin

of a scampering bass

near the shore to spawn.

He sits and watches

amid the Spring warmth

and delicate breezes

which incite the lake

to gently slap the dock.

He no longer dangles the bait

to tease the unsuspecting,

no longer allows temptation to linger,

that same lure

which spurred him to seek

refuge and the simple poem

this silent swimmer

strokes with her fin.

To read her verse

within the enclosure of this cove

is the remedy by which

he turns from the commotion

in his own life,

a commotion he has no desire

to impart.



© Michael Keshigian


Bio:  Michael Keshigian’s poetry collection, Eagle’s Perch, was recently released by Bellowing Ark Press.  Other published books: Wildflowers, Jazz Face, Warm Summer Memories, Silent Poems, Seeking Solace, Dwindling Knight, Translucent View. He is a 3-time Pushcart Prize and 2-time Best Of The Net nominee. His poetry cycle, Lunar Images, set for Clarinet, Piano, Narrator, premiered at Del Mar College in Texas. Subsequent performances occurred in Boston and Moleto, Italy. For more info, visit