First fruit

First fruit

The unsullied garden
         of language
purity of utterance
         a seeing and believing
we are
         after all compositions
coming into this world
         not fully formed
but shaped
         by the love around us
we are by definition
         yet to be defined
: first fruit of love
         brushed by the wind
and the rain
         mere air and blood
we are not
         Compact in its ignorance
the mind hums
         with thought and feeling
foundlings as we are
         clinging to the safety
of our innate certainties
         but we are the idiom
and speech
         of investigation
we are the origin
         of man and woman
of child
         who else could ever sing
of the rose or the face
         that launched a thousand ships
who else could ever die
         for the love of love
We are in our awakening
         fortuitous and yet sensitive
to the perfections of nature
         which remain unmatched

In the town of Liberia
         northern Costa Rica
all those years ago
         I heard the cock crow
as the day broke
         heard it call me
to my necessary
and in the main square
         the trees fruited
with the song of birds
         gently stirred
under a palpable sun
         that burnt my brow
that singed my soul—
         there is no final elegance
but words simple words
         have been a consolation

John Lyons


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