Black Petals Issue #87 Spring, 2019

Granite Garden

Mars-News, Views and Commentary
God's Canyon-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Napper's Holler, Chapter 10-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler, Chapter 11-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler, Chapter 12-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
There's an App for That-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Sepia Photograph-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Chorus-Poem set by Christopher Hivner
Granite Garden-Poem set from Michael Keshigian
Cottonmouth-Poem set from Hillary Lyon

Granite Garden


Michael Keshigian


A place where bones

live outside the skin,

freckled, time-stained lumps of granite,

a tombstone garden of remembrance

in the middle of the city,

just outside the back bedroom window

of his apartment, when at night,

he awakens to warily gaze

upon the reshaped monoliths,

popping up from the ground;

varied in dimensions,

these moonlit humpbacks

reflect the blanched light,

igniting questions,

philosophical and religious musings

to keep him up at night.

During the daylight hours,

he can see how the earth

adopts these sculptures over the years,

pine needles nestled around

and between the formations,

weeds that take hold

in the cracks, choked by

the hairy-stemmed sumac and ivies

that demand space from the flowers;

visitors leave to console their anguish.

These stones secure secrets

beneath the glow;

granite sears a pledge of eternal silence,

no matter the multitude of years

and interrogatories brought to bear;

for this crop of gray is a garden,

sprouting memorial trinkets

upon which all will forever gaze

and eventually be gazed upon.





The Cove


Michael Keshigian


Lily pads and milfoil shelter bass

that spawn beneath the old wooden dock,

its rotted legs in muddy water.

Beyond, in the dense tangle of weeds

at the shoreline, a pair of loons twine nests

the way fishermen weave stories

about the one that got away.

Vagrant dragonflies complete the inlet

he gazes upon. Raised off the cove,

he lets the scene sink in

after returning to a replica of the shoreline

where he grew up,

allowing the bright sunlight

to boil his brain in memory,

while splaying pine needles

infiltrate his woven sweater

under cumulus mountain clouds,

bruised gray underneath,

that straddle the lake where ducks swim

in sentence line formation

to repeat the message posted on trees

and plaques on poles

that explain the ghost yet to be exorcised,

a secret the cove entombs.

A wandering visitor still missing,

whereabouts unbeknownst

to all that walk, the knowledge of it

buried in this kingdom of fins, wet, and weeds,

creating a doom that hovers

above this tranquil garden

where the lakeside residents

swear the midnight laments

are not borne of loons.




Michael Keshigian


From what watery depths or lack

has it surfaced

to distract a glint of his stare

upon the surface stillness

the moment he turned

toward the trembling shoreline trees,

its profile taking shape in darkness,

seeking what light that remained,

a float upward from the deep

as if weightless

to arrive from a distance

beneath the muddy silt

and explain that its journey was difficult

through the tide of dimensions

and isles of unknown,

which hid clues undiscovered,

spreading intense trepidation

and continuing conjecture

amid the wavering foliage

that camouflaged

the impending heavenly secret

puzzling him constantly, 

abandoned with thoughts

he feared to tread upon,

its appearance,

a signal to inform him

that the narrative he has woven

to console himself

will never be the conclusion to the story.


When There Are No Stars


Michael Keshigian


The nights frighten him after midnight

when the deepest darkness arrives

with its length, interminable dimension,

and unimaginable secrets,

a time, he imagines, that resembles death,

a sightlessness that instigates insomnia

and pesters his quest to escape,

for him, purgatory’s precursor.

Within these hours,

his heart beats empathically,

fear pounds against his ribs.

Will his hidden demons and lies

soon be judged?

Somewhere beneath moon’s shadow,

he considers that lovers huddle

under the shroud of a willow,

trembling with happiness and discovery,

thankful for the blackness

that surrounds them.

But for him, the beard of sleepless nights

and a mosquito beneath his palm

are the only things

pressed against his chest.

As a son of superstitions

flamed by dogma and insecurity,

he serves time for the right

to gaze at the blackness

and dwell upon the unanswerable questions

which, in turn, torture him

on these sightless nights

with their covert mission of confusion

and the mosquito’s momentary drone of distraction.


Michael Keshigian,, from New Hampshire, who wrote the BP #87 poems, “Granite Garden,” “The Cove,” “Unrevealed,” and “When There Are No Stars” (+ BP #84’s poems, “Prey,” “Tough Sell,” “Transit Station,” & “Transition”; BP #82’s 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. Keshigian’s thirteenth poetry collection, The Garden Of Summer will be released this Spring, 2019 by Flutter Press.

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