Morning musing

Morning musing

If she were simply a dream
           I would not remember her
when I wake and she is gone
           I would not long for a kiss
that she could never give

The earth fired
           with a crimson sunrise
this cold morning
           a dusting of frost
on the trees and grass
           that will soon
melt into the air
           as all thing do
no moment
           no thing fixed for all time

Life is sparrow-song
           heard
and soon forgotten
           until it returns
a world of perhaps
           maybe / who knows ?

John Lyons

Nightfall

Nightfall

As winter evening fell
           Venus bright in the sky
above Doughty street
           where Dickens once lived
the view he would have seen
           from the upper floor
sharp lines of the opposite roofs
           behind which
the tops of trees / amputees
           pruned back to stumps

So time has shaped
           and shapes us
energy into light
           into growth
into days
           time and time again
beside the flowing waters
           flecks and wafers of time
hair bleached by the sun
           our bodies etched
with history
           bones turned to stone

John Lyons

A piece of work

A piece of work

Sun that reaches
           down into the roots
light into flesh
           a girl’s arms
her hair her lips
           her body built
cell by cell
           from energies
accumulated
           in the leaves
of plants : from grains of life
           that feed this forest
of substantial souls
            Our honesty lies
in our adherence
           to the aboriginal scripts
that underpin the whole
           of our existence

that we should be conscious
           of our consciousness
knowingness of the self
           structures and codes
of language and behaviour
           the greatest discoveries
yet to come
           a poetry of time and place
of elegy and loss
           and memory
for we are who we remember
           ourselves to be
our inner beauty
           is of the moment
and love for one another
           our most precious movement

John Lyons

In the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

tommaso-mocenigo
Tomb of Tommaso Mocenigo

In the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

Behold upon the sarcophagus
           the recumbent figure 
of one Tommaso Mocenigo
           so faithful and tender a portrait
wrought without painfulness
           of the doge as he lay
in ducal robe and bonnet
           deep in his death
how peaceful his head lies
           aslant upon his pillow
hands simply crossed
           as they fell

observe the emaciated face
           the features large
in their natural chiselling
           but so lordly pure
that even in his warm breath
           they must have looked
as cold as marble stone
            at once so deeply worn
by thought and now in death

upon his temples the veins
           branched and upraised
the skin in sharp folds puckered 
           and the brow high-arched
and surprisingly unkempt
           the unseeing eye-ball
so magnificently large
           and curvature of the lips
lightly veiled
           by the moustache at the side
and in a final flourish a short 
           sharp-pointed double-beard

how noble and how still he rests
           stern angle of cheek and brow
so subtly softened beneath the pale light
           of the cool and white sepulchral dust

John Lyons

Dream

Dream

On the day that the rain stops
           the wind will cease to abrade
the river surface
           and the waters will run
smoothly down to the sea
           the sun will rise in the East
and the morning will be
           warm and blue and by noon
the roses will have spread
           their luscious petals
and the buzz of bees
           will confirm their status
as exemplary workers
           in the field

                                 By the time
the sun sets in the West
           not a shot will have been fired
nor a word spoken in anger
           swifts and swallows will feast
on the evening aphids
           and summer lovers will settle
snugly into their beds
           and dream of life everlasting

John Lyons

What words

What words

What words will do service
to my thoughts and feelings

my life stripped to the bone
I carry with me what I need

dreams yes always even as
time slips away and fewer

stars illuminate my inner sky
I cling to love and hope

As I hover above the trough
of reality : all my days

I have sought to master the gentle
disciplines of tenderness

seen within her eyes an Eldorado
that I could grasp with both hands

Love is one step after another
and there is no turning back

it is a face soft against my face
it is a word shared time and again

it is the ultimate undying truth
fastidious in its warm fidelity

John Lyons

Now and then

Now and then

Even now as the days grow longer
snow has fallen across the land

Yesterday I counted empty birds’ nests
in the trees high above the railway line

Today they are lined with pure white snow
no place in which to lay an egg or raise a family

But soon the icy beds will melt away
and spring will usher in the mating game

then crows and magpies and pigeons
and more will begin to strut their stuff

and the air will be alive with love : then
the whole of nature will change its tune

roses in their beds will bloom and in a frenzy
the humble bee will make all the honey it can

John Lyons

Creation

Creation

Without us
what significance
the world

the pebbles that sing
on the shore

the rise and fall
of the tides

what commerce
between the stars

what loves lost
or won

self-expression
of the universe

riddled with questions
we are the answer

to our own puzzles
our doubts and uncertainties

discourse of the heart
of creation

our egos bound for glory
in the humility of dust

John Lyons

New Year

Here’s a new poem by our occasional collaborator, Molly Rosenberg

New Year

Dull empty faces
Lips that are chapped
From cold not love.

Windows reflect
The unwanted
The unsellable, used up
And discarded.

Tired eyes, out-partied
Pale skinned,
Dried out and brittle.

Time to pause, restore.
Cool, clear waters
Wash away the fatigue.

The mirror reflects
A glimpse of hope
A rebirth,
A bubbling fountain
Of unexplained
Joy and laughter.

Molly Rosenberg