The voice within the voice
           that nags and complains
the voice of thwarted ambition
           and of dashed dreams
the disconcerted voice
           tired of birdsong
weary of the dawn chorus
by the laughter of children
           the controlled voice
within the controlling voice
           the voice that hijacks conversations
that throws words against a brick wall
           the voice that knees in the groin
the loveless voice of excessive
           self-regard that teeters on the brink
of dispassionate pantomime

And as a counterpoint
           a voice of belched words
loosed to the eddies of the air
           a voice devoid of guile
or pretence or subtexts
           a voice that clings perilously
to the sharp edge of the truth
           a voice suited to wide savannahs
to gently flowing rivers
           a voice attuned to the subtlety
of roses and to the dignity
           of tables laid for supper guests
a common or garden voice
           that hums to the chatter of bees
that gathers honey
           from the least likely pots
that at times gives in
           but never gives up
a voice that revels
           in all life’s energies
a voice that sings
           of wheat ripening in the fields
of apples that swell on the branch
           of the intimacy of distant stars
and of suburban highways that guide us
           ineluctably along love’s lanes

John Lyons


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