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


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