Black Petals Issue #82 Winter, 2018

Mars-News, Views and Commentary
A Nowhere Friend-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Broken Image-Fiction by Andrew Newall
Monster-Fiction by Paloma Palacios
Salvation_Fiction by Scott Dixon, Featured Author
Scream-Fiction by Anthony ('Tony') Lukas
Surviving Montezuma-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist, Chapters 13 & 14
The Foundling-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Girl Who Isn't Talked About-Fiction by James Gallagher
Beggar's Curse-Poem by Alexis Child
Marco-Three poems from Christopher Hivner
In Line at the Terminal-Four poems by Michael Keshigian
Ghost Poets-Four Poems by Jerry McGinley
Killer Clowns-Four Cryptid Poems by Richard Stevenson

In Line at the Terminal


Michael Keshigian


He stood in line at the terminal,

somewhat displaced,

surrounded by those

aged and ailing

anxiously awaiting transport

to some unknown region.

He exhibited no illness

and stood at the threshold

able and aware,

no crutch or brace,

in a tantrum refusing entrance.

The crowd behind him,

excitedly anticipating release

from the shackles and restrictions

that inhibited their lives

through disease

or another impairment,

propelled a forward surge

and launched him airborne

through the gates

into a floating frenzy

of darkness and void,

till luck landed him

upon a soft, enveloping mattress,

profusely sweating,

paralyzed by the thought

of his final midnight flight.


Midnight Molt


Michael Keshigian


He sat upon the veranda

straining to put pen to paper,

pursuing thoughts

that might relieve

the unexplained irritability

haunting him

through the cold, dark moments

following midnight.

Dim, iridescent moonbeams

created ominous silhouettes

from shadowed branches

upon the wall behind

that undulated menacingly

in the gentle breeze

like a cobra with fangs bared

that without notice,

precisely entangled his hair

and delicately penetrated

the smooth surface of skin,

reaching the recesses of his brain

to charm stubborn words

and nocturnal thoughts

from out of the lair

that incited him to inscribe

upon fresh molt

a venom which would devour

any unsuspecting prey.


Moments before Awakening


Michael Keshigian


From the bleak canister of a nightmare

the sun suddenly blazed,

and he leapt from the flames,

swept up by the wind,

cruising the fiery rays

that melted crimson layers of burning clouds,

catching a flock of cardinals,

bloodied and dripping red,

soaring then diving

like bombers on a mission,

globs of matted down,

splattering upon barren landscape,

their orange beaks

snipping gobbets of ash

from embers

that crowded the air,

gobbets that darkened his face,

slickened his hair with soot

and buried his feet

in the residual cinders,

his toes curdling

in the puddles of black rain

like the talons of a red tailed hawk

about to yank him out of this dream.


Primordial Night


Michael Keshigian


Startled by the intense breath of wind,

the windows rattled, as did

the supportive beams and joints,

creaks and moans that instigated angst.

The maples and oaks raised havoc,

swaying manically,

dropping bits of limbs and leaves,

evoking sounds of mayhem

that flustered his psyche

with ingredients to spawn past ghosts

that invaded and tormented his slumber.

Finally, with one eye open,

he noticed the three-quarter moon

winking upon the horizon

between menacing clouds,

casting an ashen light

which squatted upon his comforter,

its morbid gaze

straddling his stilled torso.

This night, he concluded,

folded beneath his blankets,

was filled with dread,

and he, all alone,

became aware and afraid,

held hostage by moonlight

that highlighted primitive sounds,

inciting shivers through tensed muscles

and shaking extremities,

as he lay with eyes open wide,

attempting to coax daylight from the dark.


Michael Keshigian,, from New Hampshire, who wrote the BP #82 poems, “In Line at the Terminal,” “Midnight Molt,” “Moments before Awakening,” and “Primordial Night” (+ BP #74’s poems, “Cemetery Haze,” “Eternal Exile,” and “Present Comfort”), had his twelfth poetry collection, Into the Light, released in April, 2017 by Flutter Press. His tenth poetry collection, Beyond, was released May, 2015 by Black Poppy. He has been published in numerous national and international journals including Oyez Review, Red River Review, Sierra Nevada College Review, Oklahoma Review, Chiron Review, and has appeared as feature writer in over a 20 publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations.

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