Light falling

Light falling

Light falling upon the leaves
           the silence of photosynthesis
and yet it drives all life
           the chatter of birds
and in the distance a train
           traffic too :
poetry is a thing
           of time and place
a coming together
           of the separate senses
a rose under a blue sky
           a composition
of my several selves
           an interface
and an alphabet of love
           a recognition that life
is of the mind
           the mind of the body
how centrally
           the poem becomes the world
simple and sublime
           and beyond artifice

John Lyons

Weekend wisdom

Weekend wisdom

A short walk
           down the path
to the front door
           where to the left
a climbing rose
           has just been planted
and behind it
           a new trellis
pinned to the wall

The rose will prosper
           its roots will reach
deep into the earth
           the mineral truth
of its beauty
           will flourish
year on year
           and it will be
a thing of joy

The emblematic rose
           and the power
of object and images
           and the speech of truth
what Wallace called
           weekend wisdom
the time devoted
           to words and thoughts
and how we carry words
           within us
close to our hearts
           weekend thoughts and words
and the sad smell of lilacs
           displaced
by the rose’s aroma
           and how we give
each other our word
           and how its truth
lies at the very heart
           of language
and how betrayal
           of the word
is an arrogant dagger
           fatal to desire

John Lyons

Mosaic

Mosaic

I remember the cascade of light
refracted through the droplets of rain 

I remember the amber gleam of your eyes
gazing at me from time to time

I remember the love that I saw there
and how our bodies flowed together

effortlessly as we crossed bridges
and strolled along the endless canals

I remember thinking how all things end
but how love if it is true transcends all things

I remember thinking that the beauty
of the Venetian mosaics was like the beauty of life

a narrative painstakingly assembled piece by piece
years in the making never to be undone

John Lyons

Face

Face

How love alters the human face
           the radiant smile
and the alertness of the eyes
           love hungers for love
and is never satisfied
           until love is returned
notice how the whole of the body
           is involved in the expression of love
it may be in the posture
           the stance of the hips
or the angle at which the head is held
           it may be in the hands that gesture
unconsciously to underline the love
           it may be in the lips
pursed and as though poised
           to give a kiss at a moment’s notice
because it is ever eager to express itself
           in the simplest most tender ways
the outward signs of inner feelings
           but it’s the face above all
that alters when love is present
           the face is often an invitation
and always an announcement
           when love is present

John Lyons

Simple

Simple

As I walk home
a string of ducks
flying overhead
heading south

sunshine
for the first time
in many days

the air feels clean
and fresh
a hint of spring

a reminder
just how good
it is to be alive

John Lyons

All that is essential

kollwitz_drawing
Portrait, by Käthe Kollwitz (1934)

 

All that is essential

If there is a love in your life
           but it is not essential
cut it out
           if there is music
and if it flows through you
           as a recurring fugue flows
but it is not essential
           cut it out
if there is dance
           but the steps grow weary
and the legs long to rest
           then it is not essential
so cut it out

the universe has stars
            that gleam in the blackness
diamond stars fated for all time
            and under those stars
there is a lesson to be learnt
            that art is enduring
and capable of outlasting
           a burning star
that is doomed to extinction
           that music will endure forever
beyond the silence
           of the most distant stars :
if above all things
           there is a love in your life
but it’s not essential
            and it’s not what counts
in your day to day
            however much it pains you
cut it out
           and find another

John Lyons


To read Muriel Rukeyser’s poem dedicated to Kollwitz, click here.


 

Another thought on Tancredi

Another thought on Tancredi

It’s burlesque
           a light show
everything you want to see
           before your very eyes
but hidden behind the flourish
           of coloured fans
painting is about nudity
           revelation
the laying bare
           of physical perception
its beauty lies in its truth
           how the light unravels
as the knots of the spectrum
           are untied and the gown
of discretion slips
           to the floor

painters pore
           over their canvases
drooling fingertips delighting
           in the rough textures
and smooth lines—
           it turns them on :
beneath the pigments
            the breasts buttocks thighs
and a desire to penetrate
           to have knowledge
of the flesh and blood
           Tancredi’s composition
is an enticing tease
           that no retina can resist

John Lyons


For the picture. . . Or scroll down to 21 February. . . .