Starlight

Starlight

Welcome back the stars
         of the cold clear winter sky
the full canopy of old friends
         whose absence was noted
in the summer months
         As the summer birds
move south

         so the stars return
to their stations
         and so too we gaze
at these points of flickering
         frozen light
staked out
         in the deep darkness
for that is the binary code
         of our existence
our dark night of 
darkness and light

         to have and to have not
to be or not to be
         to contemplate the space
within our hearts
         and the space without

Life is displacement
         movement with or without
purpose in the course of time
         a narrative cheapened
by the tinted pieties
         of blind ambition
ennobled only
          by the pursuit of love

John Lyons

 

Early rising 2

Early rising 2

I rise in the early hours
         it’s dark and cold
I make a coffee
         and sit at my desk
and wait for ideas
         for a little poetry
to take the sting
         out of existence

Through the window
         I see a hawk
hovering in the distance
         circling
in ever wider arcs
         out no doubt
for an early morning kill

         and I turn back
to the comforts
         of my mind

I remember your kisses
         and I miss them
just as I miss the warmth
         of your breath on my face
when I wake by your side
         when you wake by my side
but you’re not there
         at the moment
and the day is dark and cold
          and fresh ideas
are in short supply
         alas 

John Lyons

As if a ring. . .

As if a ring. . .

As if a ring
         could open a heart
or win a hand
         no matter the size
of the diamond
         the number of gems

Love is the precious stone
         the many facets of which
light glows within
         love that girdles the couple
love that creates
         a homely pavilion
of eternal dwelling
         living breathing
molecular love
         so atomically bonded
that it can never
         be sundered
love that can cut its way
         through all eternity

As if a ring. . . !

John Lyons

Super moon

Super moon

Be thankful for
         the bright disk of light
that hangs in the dark sky
         that puts us firmly in our place
gives us a clear perspective
         as to our own unimportance
in the scheme of things
         that punctures our vanity
as it demonstrates
         how little depends on us
how the processes at play
         are far bigger
than we could ever imagine
         from which we learn
the economies of scale
          even as we embrace
the broad comforts
         of time and space

John Lyons

The tower

The tower

Steel and glass
tiers of windows
tears of windows
souls longing
for a cooler hell
lives outstretched
on empty promises

Here is a failed pattern
in which despair
incubates
This was the once
promised land
but the birthrights
have all been sold
and civic duty
has been watered
down to extinction

You cannot hope
to commodify the kiss
and expect love
to flourish :
from great heights
still the dust settles
the sheaf of dust
that is upon our tongues

Time assailing me
on all sides
past present
and to come
Salvation 
may be found
in the word
but maybe not

John Lyons

(Corrected from an earlier post)

Silence

Silence

After all the noise
         the fret of the world
with all its tantrums
         and constant demands
silence
         pure silence
not a sound
         not a word
not a murmur
         silence
pure and simple
         24 carat

John Lyons

Today

Today

Today is a fine day for living
         today I will catch my breath
and be thankful :
         like nothing are the joys
of life and of love
         one and the same

I have been through
         enough ages to know
when to count my blessings
         I have held new-born life
in my hands
         I have picked budding roses
trimmed their stems
         and placed them
in a glass vase and watched
         as the petals unfolded
In the reflex of a human face
         I have seen tenderness
along with memory
         and eyes kindled with love

Today is a fine day to remember
         the days that have gone before
but also to plunge headlong
         into the present
When all else fades
         or grows tired
when the flesh fails
         and the hand trembles
as it reaches out
         to caress a face
I know that time
         is a great leveller
it strips away all irrelevance
         despises the narrowing
lust for gold and glory
         Today is a fine day to admit 
that love is the first 
         and the last intelligence

John Lyons

Poem

Poem

All morning I have waited
         for words to come
for a little poetry
         to warm my heart
all morning I have sat
         looking out
at the grey autumn rain
         falling so slowly
but with such
         merciless persistence

I thought of you
         and the rising river
fed by this rain
         I thought of how love
is a mitigation
         in all circumstances

: and now
         as the day advances
I notice that light
         has lifted the grey sky
even though the rain
         has not abated
the light has raised
         the leaden canopy
and allowed the day
         to smile for a while

John Lyons

The human problem

The human problem

This morning
         in the early hours
I was again awoken
         by the chatter of foxes
under the hedge
         at the end of the garden

Yesterday evening
         I had noticed a clear sky
and a bright half-moon
         and wondered whether
another conference
         was on the cards
I’m getting good
         at predicting
these meetings

But this morning
         the tone was different
voices were being raised
         one fox talking over another
I could sense
         a loss of tempers
and some jostling
         a baring of teeth
and then I knew
         that they were all
agonising once again 
         over the human problem

John Lyons

The hours

The hours

Time is the human medium
         it’s what we live in
what we love in
         what we die in
it is the oxygen
         of our existence
In time the world
         of infinite tomorrows
it is light and it is darkness
         it is the sparrow
beneath the hedge
         it is the falling leaves
that litter the earth below
         the fruit we have consumed
the very future’s future
         it is the phantom of succession
it is here and it is now
          and through this deep ocean
fish swim unnoticed :
         no tree can count its leaves
no sea its population
         : who knows what silence
predated out star
         who knows what came
before before
         ours is the mystery
of aliveness
         ours are the hours

John Lyons