Mindfulness

Mindfulness

The blackness of the night
         is slowly lifting
and a world is reappearing
         before my eyes
a world I sometimes live in
         when I’m not buried
within the confines
         of my mind

The world is often
         such a cold hostile place
while my mind
         is safe and cosy
and full of the things I like
         pleasant thoughts
and the imprint
         of the people I love

Sometimes of course
         it’s quite the reverse
and I’m more than happy
         to escape
from the clutches
         of total recall
free from the memory
         of all my sins of omission
and commission
         then I’m relieved
to get out
         into the endlessly
distracting world
         and leave the aches
and pains of my past
         behind

John Lyons

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Before too long

Before too long

Where is the sun
         I ask
on a day like today
         when I needed it most
sensitive as I am
         to the passing years
to the many selves
         of myself
threaded one after another
         through the thin twine
of my history

A cool grey sky
         is not what I need
to lift my spirits
         to enable me
to put the past
         behind me
I have known roses
         and fallen petals
I have crossed deserts
         under a frenzy of stars
I have held my breath
         in my hand
as the frost nipped
         at my exposed flesh

Love :
         that too I have known
that too I have won
         that too I have lost
Love of the serpent
         that laid in wait for me
under a pile
         of autumn leaves :
the nails were thorns
         and they tore
into my heart

Where is the sun today
         I have a number
of separate selves
         that I need to reconcile
a little warmth
         would go a long way
a little love and a little
         less conversation

The hollowness
         of numbers
I’ve been counting
         the zeroes for years
a close shave
         under time’s blade

John Lyons

Fall

Fall

In the night
         the thermometer
has fallen
         the wind too
and fallen petals
         now litter the base
of the porcelain vase

Later rain will fall
         and the wind will rise
and autumn will shake
         more rusty leaves
from the tired trees

It’s an endless cycle
         and next year’s beauty
will be just as uplifting
         but we are in the Fall
and all but
         
the tender human heart
is falling
         falling

John Lyons

Words words words

Words words words

However much we may resent
         and dislike it
life is all about measurement
         about span and length
and breadth
         / including breath /
the distance from A to B
         and from now until then
cradle to the grave
         a lifetime of chronometry
and kilometers
         the old faithfuls of time and space
in the midst of what passes
         for eternity
which is simply the abolition
         of these parameters

And yet the rose
         and yet the promise
The small doses
         of pleasure that life deals
and the words
         that hold it all together
just about
         perhaps nothing more
than a lasting illusion
         a walk in the park
under a Sunday autumn sun
         flowers still in bloom
family life at play
         on the lawns
lovers on the benches
         locked in a kiss

Poetry too
         is about time and space
and what you make of it
         and what you don’t
a silence filled with
         words words words

John Lyons

Newfoundland

 

Newfoundland

In a dry-stone hut 
with corbelled roof
I lay down one day 
to dream of paradise

though all about me
the storm raged
it did not disturb 
my slumber
and in my mind 
I saw a new land
far across the sea

Love is form / he said
shape
choice
construction
what is seen 
and consumed
in time and place
a new found land where 
mackerel and haddock 
and cod and striped bass 
and bluefin tuna
may be caught 
/ in abundance

Love is composition / she said
explanation by means
of differences seen
and how it happens
and there’s an art to it

A marriage of convenience
disagreeing 
to agree

John Lyons

 

 

As I grow older

As I grow older

As I grow older
         I live in fear
of repeating myself
         my ideas
my words
         and my errors
my mistakes :
         time and again
I have taken
         the same path
time and again
         been blind
to the obvious

the rose may live
         as an archetype
but we cannot :
         a rose has nothing
to learn whereas
         we have it all
to work out
         a rose grows
in the light
         we stumble
in the darkness
         and some
and are better learners
         and some never learn
and as I write these words
         I fear yet again that I am
repeating myself
         as I grow older

John Lyons

Daybreak

Daybreak

All in ciphers
         our stars and our destinies
the night havens
         in which we lie cocooned
before the day tolls
         once again

Grey frosty start
         but soon to be blue
the day will rise
         and we with it
wrapped in our hopes
         and in all our ambitions
eager to pursue
         the secular light
returning as evening falls
         to love’s sweet precinct
to sight and sound and soft
         welcoming flesh

Time is a translation
         a version of ourselves
never accurate
         because never complete
: time lives in the memory
         and in love it dies

John Lyons