Say

Say

Say that the hair
         is auburn
that the eyes are clear
         bright and vivacious
more precious
         than any precious stone
Say that the voice
         is light and airy
that life
         is for living
that there’s no time
         like the present
no bird
         like the bird in hand

Say that as you sow
         so shall you reap
that it’s an ill wind
         that blows no good
and believe it down
         to your boots
Say that sufficient
         unto the day
are the evils thereof
         the slings
and flighty arrows
         and all the lucky breaks

View time
         as your benefactor
and now
         as your space

Go seize it
         and savour
and say
         what you like

John Lyons

A simple question

A simple question

What if all truths
         were clearly known
were widely shared
         widely appreciated
what if lies and deceit
         and self-interest
were so transparent
         that nobody would
dare to lie and cheat
         nor promote themselves
at the expense of others
         what if beauty and goodness
were truly synonyms
         and evil the only ugliness
and universally abhorred
         what world would that be
and where can it be found ?

John Lyons


 

St James’s Park

St James’s Park

A swan with six cygnets in tow
takes to the water in St James’s Park :

from Duck Island it leads its charges
to the southern shore of the lake

There they waddle onto dry land
and begin to preen their feathers

the young aimlessly rolling in the dirt
their breasts covered in leaf debris

On the northern shore a black swan
lurks solitary and yet unconcerned

Here where camels, crocodiles
and even an elephant once roamed

and illicit couples came to canoodle
a picture post-card tranquillity reigns

and all this beauty just a stone’s throw
from the palace—and who on earth would

ever think of throwing the first stone ?

John Lyons

Time and time again

Time and time again

All that we have
         is time
time at our disposal
         disposable time
the days of the lily
         of the sparrow in the field
are ours to observe
         as the river runs
as the sea swells
         all is processed
within time
         and timeless
is beyond the memory
         of our imaginations

When I was a child
         time passed as a child
the legacy of those days
         far behind me
I may count the steps
         from here to eternity
but never reach there

I need space in which
         to savour the time
that is left
         to linger
in the moment
         of her kiss
to quell
         the savage latencies
of time if only
         for a time

John Lyons

Roses

Roses

Time is a river that runs through the rose
so where one rose falls another rose rises

just as another rose rose where another rose fell
and so time and the river and the rose on it goes 

roses are red my love violets so blue
where one sweet red rose fell another rose grew

roses are red my love this you should know
wherever red roses fall others will grow

John Lyons

Our self-made magic

Our self-made magic

Old poets’ idle prattle
         words that would wound
the wayward wind
          Lives hollowed
by the wearing
         of cheap trinkets
all celebrate
         in sanctimonious ceremony
the abject anecdote
         and view
with sour-eyed disdain
         the truth of beauty

So saying
         disentangle the nets of being
cut down the webs
         of intrigue and deceit
shun scarcity and want
         release the ensnared foot
and invoke the majesty
         of the magic we make
Throw out the baseless fabrics
         of fame and fortune
the trumpery
         upon whose nature
nurture can never stick :
         from spider learn
the fragility of life’s ladders
         and scorn the cankers
that lie
         within the body politic

John Lyons