Design

Design

The world
a single seed bed

a single grave
nothing is lost

nobody escapes
all is cycle

love and grief
all is process

all is time
within time

carbon never dies
deciduous

coniferous life
beauty lies

in the combination
of detail

and in the complex
simplicities

of atomic truth

John Lyons

Without rhyme nor reason

Without rhyme nor reason

How one thing
         leads to another
a sequence
         a chain of events
bound by conjunction
         the loose links
that hold it all together
         the turbulence
of the spoken word
         from me to you
or you to me
         so that a bridge
is a relationship
         it delivers a message
a path of conveyance
         an enabler and a solution
the removal of an obstacle
         a static craft that ferries
the living crowd
         I had not thought
that the earth contained
         so many. . .

and poetry
         the impalpable substance
ideas and sentiments
         for generations to come
others will watch
         the run of the floodtide
but Walt’s text is there
         for all time
a bridge between
         now and then
others will see Ellis Island
         or the Staten Island ferry
creeping into Gotham City
         at night under a winter sky
flakes falling
         into the depths below
as you cross
         from shore to shore
the current rushing
         loose and swollen
by recent rains
         the white snow
and the white gulls
         their bodies oscillating
in the bitter wind
         one word after another
life love sight sound
         time for all time
and in the distance
         the march of money
that rises skywards
         that conquers the air
the swells
         in the swollen vaults
that lies sleepless in its bed
         gone the white sails
of schooners and sloops
         money into steel and glass
and the East River
         in its ebb-tide
falling back to the sea
         I too am with you
and know how it is
         the view of and on
and from and beyond
         the bridge

John Lyons

Brooklyn hurrah

Brooklyn hurrah

How many dawns ?
         How many bridges ?
I had not thought
         the earth contained. . .
From his window
         each morning
apparitional
         the waters that lead
out to Liberty’s torch
         and the thrust
of the bridge
         into space

Scuttled out of the subway
         at Jay Street
in Downtown Brooklyn
         heat leaked from the sun
bought water
         with a ten dollar bill
brisk stride
         infernal heat

harp and altar
         of womanhood
fused fury of the night
         condensed
in petty eternities
         in the sleepless
curveship
         of love

each day a discovery
         a caravel
a caravan
         the gleaming mail of the river
discoveries are our exile
         the ageless hue of her eyes
and my bewilderment

the deepest fathoms lie
         in her flesh
a delirium of jewels
         the strands of our parting lives
woven as cordage
         across the bridge
the lanes of death and birth
         eddying breath
man’s parable enchained
         to the sepulchre

O for a needle
         by which to steer
the dark amplitude
         that time explores
free from the toil of heaven
         from the slash and burn
of discovery
         O for a shore
beyond desire
         beyond beyond

John Lyons

Concatenations

Concatenations

The catenary curves
         that bind us together
the cables or chains
         firmly fixed
at both ends
         but which
hang loose :
         not a parabola
but more akin
         to the graph of
a hyperbolic cosine
         a relationship
that permits
         freedom of movement
that can bear
         considerable weight
yet never loses
         its strength

Concatenations
         of the heart
day after day
         tomorrow
and tomorrow
         and tomorrow
creeps on
         this petty pace

John Lyons

Howdy neighbour

Howdy neighbour

This is the last picture show
         the sense that nothing
will ever be the same
         because nothing
ever is the same
         Walking down Main Street
at high noon
         a saloon brawl between
two hoodlums is celebrated
         with a public shootout
violence has become
         an entertainment
death simply a denouement
         Heat and dust in the nostrils
Here we discover
         that we are history
the implements of our childhood
         there on exhibition
This is a town where
         clockwork really works
ritual delivered
         with a broad smile
You woudn’t need to be mad
         to live there
but it would help
         Heard about the place
in Dallas Forth Worth
         on the grapevine

John Lyons

Bridge

Bridge

Love that is sleepless
         that spans the space
between one body
         and another
harp and altar
         ambitions and lives
held in suspension
         a crossing of paths
a folding in of destinies
         time’s exploration
of human frailty
         and the gift of true
communication
         back and forth
to and fro
         the sun-cusped days
and the winter nights
         two sides to a single
location : desire
         is always on
a distant shore
         the sweat streaming
down their foreheads
         on they walked
stray angels
         loosed into
Lower Manhattan
         There is a time
and a place
         for everything :
their bodies cut shapes
         from the shadows
wind merges into wave
         night into day
poetry and love and creation
         as ever unfinished

John Lyons

Dancing in Copacabana

Dancing in Copacabana

Dance of ethereal light
on the sheer waters

the shimmering sequins
of her dress

her high black heels
and energy stirring

within her limbs
Iambic Copacabana samba

Feet measured in breaths
poetry that walks the talk

Dance has no beginning
It has no end : is one in itself

We live in a universe of dance
from the sun in waves

Movement scaled over time
and a heart that dances

steps out into the darkness
across the face of the earth

The sea rhythms pounding
on the shore : pulse of eternity

Where is love ? Where are
hope and charity if not here?

Speak of beauty that is 
deeper than skin 

of the sensuous sway of her body
of the elegance and grace of her feet

of the undying dance that may
one day unfold upon the Elysian fields

John Lyons