A bravura of the mind

A bravura of the mind

And yet
           what is mind ?
Say that we are
           textual beings
readers of all things
           say that words are
our common currency
           our feelings
put into breath
           our ideas
all notions
           of time and space
all relationships
           and especially
that shared passion
           we call love

John Lyons

Crescent moon

Crescent moon

How the moon hung
that night in the black sky

a thin slither of light
its body all but eclipsed

the stars were out
your stars and mine

they share the same bed
the same destiny too

John Lyons

Nastic movement


Nastic movement

Male and female
in the meadow

a swathe
of red anemones

petals that open
as the day dawns

that close
as night falls

delicate pinks
and whites

that both

and in turn

the womb-like bed
upon which future

are conceived

John Lyons

Nastische Bewegung

Mann und Frau
auf der Wiese

ein Schwall
roter Anemonen

Blütenblätter die sich
im Morgengrauen öffnen

so nah wie die Nacht

zarte rosa und weiß
die beide aussetzen

und schließen Sie der Reihe
nach das mutterschoßartige Bett ein

auf dem zukünftige Generationen
empfangen werden

The past of rich remembrance


The past of rich remembrance

The past of rich remembrance
the smell of it under blue skies

the taste and touch of it
endless hope stretching out

beyond days beyond years
lounging on summer lawns

or under the innocent shade of trees
there where in her eyes I once saw

there is such a thing as heaven
somewhere I so longed to be

John Lyons

Survival of the fittest

Survival of the fittest

Left to its own devices
           nature will always
reassert itself
           Every species
struggles in the face
           of adversity
longs to survive
           and that’s a fact

The foxes have grown fat
           living off the fat of the land
the urban foxes once
           skinny and mangy
now have bright coats
           and they strut
from back garden
           to back garden
as though they were
           the kings of the pile

John Lyons


Überleben der Stärksten

Auf sich allein gestellt
setzt sich die Natur
immer wieder durch
Jede Spezies kämpft
angesichts von Widrigkeiten
ums Überleben
und das ist eine Tatsache

Die Füchse sind fett geworden
und leben vom Fett des Landes
die Stadtfüchse einst dünn und räudig
haben jetzt helle Mäntel
und sie stolzieren
von Garten zu Garten
als wären sie
die Könige des Haufens


Wild flowers

Wild flowers

Oceans of them
           line the roads
through the woods
           border the edges
of the water-runlets
           grow all along the old fences
and are scattered in profusion
           over the fields

An eight-petalled blossom
           of gold-yellow clear and bright
with a brown tuft in the middle
           nearly as large as a silver half-dollar
is very common : yesterday
           on a long drive I noticed it
thickly lining the borders
           of the brooks everywhere

Then there is a beautiful weed
           covered with blue flowers
however white is the prevailing colour
           but there are all hues and beauties
especially on the frequent tracts
           of half-opened scrub-oak
and dwarf cedar hereabout
           —wild asters of all colours
Despite the frost-touch
           the hardy little chaps
maintain themselves
           in all their bloom

Walt Whitman

(Adapted by John Lyons from Specimen Days, first published in 1882.)


Draw up the balance

Draw up the balance

Make a list
of all the things
we all do
we must do
or die
make a list
of all the things
we can do
we can all do

it’s a big world
for so many
small minds

make a list
of all the positives
of all the negatives
draw up
the balance sheet
be grateful for
some things
militate for others

make a list of all
that makes you
make a list of all
that makes you
choose a partner
and compare notes

John Lyons