dawnSaturday seems to me to be the day for philosophical thought. Although outwardly awake, I wake slowly in my deeper mind, turning things over, meditating, wondering about the past and what the coming day will hold.

This morning, for example, I had the image in my mind of all the days of my life lined up outside my door, as though they had come for an interview, as though they expected to be questioned, and perhaps be asked to justified themselves, to justify actions taken or not taken, words said or not said, the sins of commission and omission. Imagine this long line of every day of my life stretching down the street and around the corner all the way back to the place where I was born, to the small maternity clinic located in a patch or remnant of ancient woodland. Imagine all the characters I have played in those years, all the different styles of clothes I wore and all the hopes and dreams and ambitions that I carried with me.

The poem below is a stab at understanding that image, although I am aware that more energy needs to be applied if I am to get to the heart of any matter. As a poet, I have good days and bad days, the words flow or they struggle, depending on so many factors. But I am alive, and irrespective of anything else, that is something to be celebrated, any breath being better than none.


There is a sense
      in which we are all orphans
wanderers on the face of the earth
      looking for origins
looking for purpose
      striving for achievement
and hoping for love
      The years are lined up
at my door
      a procession of dates
times and encounters
      and in my mind
the echo of words
      that have never left me
Sometimes it seems
      that dust and ashes
is all that there is
      beauty is such a rare thing
but then comes the dawn light
      and breath by breath
I am revived
      charmed by bird song
delighted by the rose
      that has yet to fall
enticed by the kisses
      yet to be given
the hand yet to be held
      Today I will walk in the woods
I will hear the deathless voice
      of all the world
and shake off
      the pangs of dust
I will surrender
      the lease I hold
on time and disgrace
      and I will wallow
in the instant :
      step after step
I will draw closer
      to that ultimate nativity
and look beyond
      my mortal eyes
Now the fields lie bare
      the trees stripped
to their silhouettes
      panic among the creatures
that must bide
      the winter months
in warm reclusion
      The brittle bones of love
will carry me through
      I will dispute
the sombre sunsets
      and at night
I will usher in the stars
      number them as pearls
in my own private firmament
      whatever blessing there are
they are there
      to be counted

John Lyons


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