Mt. Washington Cougar
As far as mountains go, it's not very tall
though its winter personality is precariously erratic
and the most difficult to tame.
But during the summer and in my boots,
I climb and climb the various trails
until every foot of its six thousand plus
are behind me and nothing remains
but blue sky, bald summit observatory
and a green beard,
reaching outward all around.
On a clear day, in one complete turn,
I can see the ocean, the concrete peaks
of a city over one hundred miles away,
westward hills humped like camels
against the melting sky,
and northward, another country.
Yet the most striking vision of all
stepped out from a cloud of maples
and padded along the brink,
sure footed and unafraid,
a magnificent cat perusing her property.
Her wide gold face was interrupted
with a white muzzle, intense hazel eyes
and black lips that curled a subtle snarl,
her shoulders vibrated and her tail swayed
as if to sickle the wildflowers.
Moments later she was gone, leaving me alone
to contemplate her perfection,
a lean and muscular mystery
that belonged to the achievement
that was the mountain,
home to such creatures
whose distinction is nature's miracle,
randomly revealing themselves
from the waterfalls, forests,
and unencumbered caves of this idyllic green cage.
Flowers Along the Path
Fickle flowers with your collection of colors,
summer is the season you flourish,
a time when you demand
precise attention from sunlight
and a beverage from the clouds,
lest you wilt with a crusty edge
while the wind steals away
random petals, unlike brethren trees
with branches that bear
the weight of winter's calamity,
you hibernate, snuggled
beneath a frozen pod of sod
then dance enthusiastically in Spring
beneath lightening and rain
while others seek cover.
You would shrivel
should the clouds abstain.
What schemes do you concoct
in starlight as you ready
to fulfill the drone's sweet appetite,
secrets hidden well within your corona,
a watchful eye that guards
your fragile disposition.
To those of us that daily pass
your handsome trail,
our troubles buried deep within,
your smile provides a welcome distraction,
your scent an intoxication
that momentarily vanquished worry.
I've listened to the song
of a single cardinal
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 I'm convinced
that 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.
Michael Keshigian, from New Hampshire, had his twelfth poetry collection, Into the Light, released in April 2017, by Flutter Press. 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 a feature writer in over twenty publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (michaelkeshigian.com)