Everything happens

Through a thin veil of frost I can see that
the world is alive     the silent world is
still breathing   in the absence of birdsong
in the absence of foxes shifting their
warm russet shadows
                        through the back garden
December often means ice and crisp air
engaging and bracing at the same time
Ev’rything happens when nothing happens
because the mind is never still     it prowls
it jumps from one wall to the other it
ascends trees in order to be close to
the sky or to dream from a vantage point
to feed on mem’ries of love  of warm skin
the light in her eyes
                          brighter than the sun

John Lyons

Advertisement

Resting bones

Tell me Alice what is a loving tongue
when there are tears? A loving tongue is when
tenderness restores
                             meaning to language
Yes I believe that’s so     A pliable
succession of pleasing surrenders makes
for a pocketful of ingenious
joy     even a silence     and a special
anticipation         And Apollinaire
gazing into the Seine’s fleeting waters
saw only the outpouring of his heart
A moment’s sincere silence for Guillaume
In the house that Jack built we remember
all the poets who have gone before us
We give thanks and honour
                              their resting bones

John Lyons

A beautiful beam of light

Stein-Gertrude

Tell me Alice, what is the difference
between right away and a pearl? A pearl
is milk white and right away is at once:
this is a good explanation indeed
Happily very happily Alice
embroidered linens and Gertrude threaded
strands of silken words
                      through page after page
Neither woman felt interdiminished
For Guillaume Apollinaire crystal tears
were shed. Pin ware, fancy teeth, stout caesar.
Wet syllables in the rue de Fleurus
Picasso painted sobs for the deceased,
Alice pickled plums while Gertrude admired
a beautiful beam
                  of light in the room

John Lyons


Revised version

Solace – Molly Rosenberg

glade

SOLACE

1971

WB dominated my thoughts,
His ‘Bee loud glade‘
Buzzed through my mind,
Bringing such longing ,
To go far away to that
Special place.

2022

WB still dominating my thoughts,
Another century indeed,
Now I have my own,
‘Bee loud glade’

No plane, no car, no sea to sail,
Just an open door to,
A special place,
Where the bees buzz,
In the lavender,
Landing on the Lilly pads,
In the cool greenness,
They sate their thirst.

We truly have had our
Wings clipped,
Our horizons
Narrowed.
The world holds
Its breath,
Yet there is a
Solace and a
Quenching to be had,
If only we can find
Our own ‘Bee loud glade.

Molly Rosenberg


Molly’s beautiful lyric is inspired by W B Yeats’ https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43281/the-lake-isle-of-innisfree

Pablo Neruda – Sonnet 44


Neruda

You’ll be aware that I do and don’t love you
since there are two modes to life,
the word is a wing of silence,
and there’s a cold side to fire.

I love you in beginning to love you
to reengage in what is infinite
and so as never to stop loving you:
that’s why I still don’t love you.

I do and don’t love you as though I held
in my hands the keys to happiness
and an uncertain fate of unhappiness.

My love has two lives with which to love you,
that’s why I do love you when I don’t
and why I do love you when I do too.

Pablo Neruda

From One Hundred Love Sonnets

Translation by John Lyons

In praise of petunias

petunia

The violet, white and pink flowers
of the petunia      a hardy plant from
     the tobacco species

The roots of its name derive
from the tupi-guarani
language of Brazil in which
     pety signifies tobacco

It reached Europe
in the mid-16th century
whence petun an old
     French word for tobacco

Its unassuming beauty
rises up through the light
into the air  :  its powerful
scent was believed
     to ward off evil spirits

Though petunia flowers are
symbols of anger and resentment
they are also a symbol of comfort
     and feeling good with someone

John Lyons

 

The Tower

St_Leonard's_Tower,_West_Malling
                  St Leonard’s Tower, West Malling

The Tower

Hot sun

Tinging the grey rag-stone

With gold.

Standing proud against,

A blue, blue

Perfect sky.

The sound of thrushes

In the surrounding parched trees,

Two buzzards wheel overhead.

Ancient stones

Laid down long ago,

By men from history

Gundulph or Odo of Bayeaux,

The detail is lost,

In the realms of time.

Casting its shadow

Over the valley

Of long lost hop fields,

And orchards now depleted

Of their succulent fruit.

Molly Rosenberg


For other poems by Molly Rosenberg search “Molly”

Love that sets the path

Light that reaches back
to the origin of light
the original species
of light from which
all emanates

Has time ever stood still ?
Has movement ever ceased ?
The universe that expands
within our minds
within our hearts
all energy recycled
all growth turned
to advantage

So too love
in all its leisure
and our internal life
governed by purpose
and by attraction
by what we call desire
the passion that fires up
the humbled penitent soul
to action

Love that reaches back
into all our yesterdays
Love that sets the path
for all our days to come

John Lyons

Two pigeons

I’m sitting in the sun
        leisurely
watching two pigeons perform
        synchronised flying : their wings
almost touching : their wings
        never touching

Such perfect control at every
        sudden twist and turn : as
though they had trained
        for days for months : or
ever since birth : impossible
        to know their age : or whether
before they completely
        found their wings they were
ever clumsy : bumping into
        each other in awkward flight

I’m sitting in the garden
        sun beating on my face
wondering why the rest of us
        make such hard work
of moving around
        each other

John Lyons