Idle thought

Idle thought

The sometimes sadness of rain
         on a day made of loneliness
and absence and subdued birdsong
         the tall poplars draped in shadows
barely stirred by a sluggish breeze
         We carry our meanings in our head
and impose them on all around us
         a world filtered through the heart
or through the mind at the very least
         Nature makes no such demands
Last night a fox on the street
         a shade moving through
the thoroughfares of a secure
         parallel world in which I have yet
to establish my existence if ever
         the innumerate illiterate
world of the rose and the raven

That a poem has a beginning
         a middle and an end
is its greatest limitation
         but that is the fate
of all human creation
         locked as it is into the ruthless
narrative of time

The liquidity of language
         these words poured out
onto the page or into
         any other vessel
a bravura of observation
         but is a bee any less appreciative
of the unwritten beauty of flowers
         and isn’t its honey a greater accolade
than any other imaginable text ?

John Lyons


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