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

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. . . .


 

Recomposing Tancredi

tancredi_composizione
Composizione, Tancredi (1955)

Recomposing Tancredi

Geometry of chaos
           oil and tempera on canvas
also universe / dated 1955
           as was Tancredi’s eye
when he captured the rich spectrum
           of spectral cosmic light
Loud yellows and blues and blacks
           fiery reds and soothing titanium white
: all shapes are here all moods 
           and texts and textures
nothing dead nothing silent
           nothing inert

a composition to evolve
           through and beyond time
here is love rhythm dance music
           so that the eye never rests
as it feeds on this feast
           of reckless colour
admires the abandon
           behind every gushing stroke

Look and ye shall find all things
           deep below the surface
the building blocks
           of drifting dreams of flesh and blood
unfettered town and country imagination
           and necessary quantum explosion
of boundless units of energy :
           here lies my life love alive
and kicking
           her lips eyes hair breasts
her resplendent joie de vivre
           so entrancingly rendered

John Lyons


Painting observed on 10 February 2017 during a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice

Less is more

Less is more

The mind
           the years
the memories
           stirred

out of dust
           thought
at the speed
           of light

as the synapse
           snaps
electrifying
           love

where
           have I been
all my life
           time shared

times shared
           though we
cannot agree on
           the coordinates

what of the moon
           what of Venus
all my days
           all my nights

John Lyons

Occasional

Occasional

You never know
           when a poem might happen
it doesn’t take much
           the sun may suddenly appear
through the dull grey of the day
           and lift your spirits
above the parapet
           ready to take the risk
of being shot down
           it may be a text
from the woman you love
           which reads simply

I LOVE YOU

out of the blue
           just as you were going
about your daily
           minding your own
and you think to yourself
           someday I’m going
to get that girl
           to put it in writing
it’s that simple
           blood simple

John Lyons

Untitled Willem De Kooning

De Kooning.jpg
Untitled, Willem de Kooning (1958)

Untitled Willem de Kooning

Do you see what I see
           notes for a landscape
a shore and a beach
           and a river and a sky
a path to enlightenment
           a horizon viewed
from a cliff top
           waves perceptible
in the brushstrokes
           mimicking the tensions
in the earth’s crust
           and in all our relationships
abstract cartography
           of the soul

it took a human body
           to paint this
to select the colours
           and to control the brush
it took human energy
           to express this to execute this
rather than accept
           the docility of a pacified
environment in which nature
           sits tamely on a canvas

I came here scriptless
           Willem and I searched high
and low for love
           I am an accident of birth
whatever is concealed
           in this composition
will be revealed in due course
           at its heart is the illumination
of sunlight and a brightness
           that never fades
the joy we associate
           with the loving application
of human vitality
           everywhere apparent
the long sinews
           of genitive muscle

it could be a walk
           on a Sunday afternoon
or a three-penny opera
           in which we all appear
and notice a perfectly positioned
           pinmark in each of the corners
no abstract could ever be
           so inexhaustibly
calculated which is why
           I am not a painter

John Lyons


Painting observed on 10 February 2017 during a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Click here for an appraisal of this work.