Love song

Love song

Let us help ourselves to each other
         now as the day delves into night
I want your kiss wet and ragged
         lean into the curve of my body
into the arc of my arms
         summer is but a memory
Here in the dark ages amid the raw
         raging savagery of politics
let me run the steel
         of my restless fingers through
the tangled tussock of your world
         let us lie ears cocked to recall
within the deep thunderous silence
         the sibilant sound of bees
and revive the taste of honey
         on our thirsting lips
let us distance ourselves
         from this blighted fiction
they insist on calling history
         love knows no weariness
see how the birds feed in the fields
         and when they are done
rise up in a single black blanket
          so eclipsing the dying light

From untravelled spaces
         come the floating stars
of the imagination
         that will light our way
and with each new nativity
         an act of love invoked
no days only moments
         of sweet franchise

Hold me deep deep within you
         and let the magnetic murmurs merge
as our bodies clamp and bind
         and our fortunes fuse
longingly lovingly
         north to south
a waking constellation alone
         of unrequited paradise
a supple core of tooth and nail
         and blood and blessed bone

John Lyons

Musings of the third order

Musings of the third order

Through the grey rain
         comes light
that gently lifts the sky
         the sun mirrored on wet leaves
that rock back and forth
         in the soft breeze
fingering its way forward
         I hear the howl
as it finds its way
         around the taller structures

If nothing lasts forever
         then hope never dies
eternity and infinity
         are after all
words of condemnation
         no Dante to rescue Beatrice
no Virgil to lead us
         through the Elysian fields

Age is upon me
         but I shrug my shoulders
turn a blind eye
         to failing sight
Life is not a matter
         of combustion
it is the exercise
         of the imagination
to take each day
         by the throat
and to be in it
         while there is
still a breath
         and a beating heart
Weather is simply
         a wakeup call
nothing lasts forever
         unless you so desire
and nothing outlasts
         love

John Lyons

Rainfall

Rainfall

Life as a poet
         a turn of phrase
rain falling
         through the night
seeping deep
         into the soil
the waterlogged lawn
         and the damp
dawn air
         the forces of nature
gathering steam
         underground
for when spring
         will make its assault
upon the earth
         a face renewed
and midwinter
         monotony
overthrown
         It is the beauty
within the process
         the dull green leaves
from within which
         the petals spread
but they are
         the powerhouse
the driving fuse
         the makers of hay
while the sun shines
         even as the birds
bide their time
         and foxes sleep
and love is passed
         from lip to lip

John Lyons

Drifters

Drifters

We are drifters
           in a drifting crowd
and I have watched you
           watch the stars
and marvel at the depth
           of space around us

Inner and outer space
           the tender silence
that envelops us
           : what will we make
from this darkness
           if not love
and trust
           and fidelity
the enduring need
           for each other

Say that all things
           are grown from seed
including the apple
           of my eye
Say that without love
           life is no big deal
a mystery unworthy
           of our consciousness
Say that love is
           the one thing
that humbles
           and exalts

A rose
           by any other name
but not so love
           The ebb and flow
of all things
           and the constancy
of love : the word
           has no equal
and without it
           wearisome dust

John Lyons

Maresfield Gardens

Maresfield Gardens

These translucent leaves
           that Freud once knew
no longer have any use
            for this late autumnal light
except to illuminate
           their frail falling beauty
but what a wonderful show it is
           these yellows and coppers
and wafer thin golds
           drifting gently down

Though I go unnoticed
           through the throng
one day I will be a stranger
           to nothing
and that’s the way it should be
           a poet silent
except in my verses
           a believer in words
knowing that if the words fail
           all else will fail too
along with the gifts
           of water and air and light

In an unswept garden
           the litter of leaves
drifting and turning
           in the light wind
and in the centre
           a rose bush
several in fact
           but only one
with a single surviving yellow rose
           and so far from Texas

John Lyons

Lovedust

Lovedust

Molecules of dust
         tiny floating particles
specs of nanodust organized
         and clustered
in ever greater complexes
         sidereal dust driven
on boundless waves of energy
         through an apparent
cosmic emptiness
         stardust that next appears
in the full-throated song of the robin
         and the nightingale
in all that flowers in woodlands
         and in our gardens
the dust of stars
         transformed into words
on the page
         and in our ear
that is present
         in every gesture
in every rhythm
         the entire universe
an expression of itself
         call it purpose
call it direction
         call it lovedust

John Lyons

Pandemonium

Pandemonium

A fierce wind
         caught in the mirror
a frenzy of branches
         lashing out
on this wild night
         a moon almost full
almost avuncular
         in that black sky

I imagine the stars
         going out one by one
and wonder
         who could possibly
be turning them off
          Desire is of the body
and of the mind
         a soothing narrative
except when in conflict
         one against the other

She brought daffodils
         a bouquet of sunlight
and yet in the darkness
         the only light I could see
was there in her eyes
         Someone on the street
was laughing to himself
         such a lonely sound
it seemed to me

The final words
         Charles I muttered
under his breath
         I have no head
for history
         On a night I dreamt
I could not sleep
         I dreamt I slept

John Lyons

Birth

Birth

Think of the white orchid
         a new flower about to burst
out of the green bud
         as though its petals were wings
to unfold and take flight
         in the imagination
to add one fresh tiny detail
         to the plant and to the room
where it stands
         a newborn thing of beauty
an announcement
         and how our lives
are full of lives
         everywhere teeming
with fresh new life
         and so much life
within life
         within life

John Lyons

Remembering my father

Remembering my father

All these years
         that you have been gone
your roses have continued to grow
         I do not need to close my eyes
to see you clearly
         your own blue eyes
that retained a shade of sadness
         even when you smiled
that fleeting smile of yours
         from which an ever so slight
hint of pain was never absent
         as though it somehow
pained you to smile
         I remember your creative hands
with which you worked the clay
         and which over the years
became discoloured
         the patches caused by the leakage
of red blood cells into the skin
         I remember the compulsion
with which you constantly
         had to clear your throat
and I remember your silence
         your great love of silence
the silence of which
         you could never get enough
I remember you sitting there
         in your never-ending silence

John Lyons


 

New day

New day

Out of the earth
         new leaf
new life
         new love
fresh hope
         that springs
from the light
         reflected in the light
of her eyes
         petal by petal
the day builds
         the rose and
the daffodil
         unadorned beauty
of the skyblue day
         and everywhere
the pulse of creation
         beats as it builds
a world upon world
         cell by cell
word by word
         fingers impelled
to caress the flesh
         two hearts that lie
beneath the shade
         of oak and ash
that sip from
         a foaming glass
that bathe
         by the cool sea
that now and again
         dip into time as though
it were a choice
         but never a drudge
time expressed
         in growth
in abundance
         soft-fruited time
so dear to the palate
         everlasting time

John Lyons