For Sophia on your wedding day

For Sophia on your wedding day

You arrived in a blast of winter ice
And snow flurries
The church clock chimed midnight
Shortly after your first cry
Tuesday’s child is full of grace
I whispered and so you were.

You stared at me as if to say
I know you
I have heard your voice
I have lain beneath your
Beating heart
I have felt your
Love even before I
Became me.

Now you are mine and
I am yours for ever
You grow into
This impossibly beautiful
Creature and I know
That one day your loving
Trusting gaze will light
On another.

We are at that place today
And as I watch you shimmer
And sparkle among the
Flowers and candles
Within this sacred place
I will say a silent thank you
For all that has been and
Is yet to come.

Molly Rosenberg

29 April 2017

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Time for words

The poem below is based on a reading of the works of the Saint Lucian poet, Derek Walcott (1930-2017), winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Time for words

What is time
             in the context of universe
and what is verse
             the unified voice of poetry
but an opportunity
             to live love explicitly
under the star-speckled sky

how the river wearies
             slows
grows sluggish
             deposits silt on its bed
is swallowed within
             the immense depths
of the rapacious sea

Always time and the river
             and clusters of lovers
clinging to each other
             in the darkness
and in the light

and in the forest
             the heavy seas of foliage
tossing in the storm winds
             the air thick with pollen
and occasional blossom
              and sweeping skirts of rain
penetrating the soil
             as day bleeds into night

the petty pace that creeps
             and the poetry of it all
and the words that bind
             our lives together
so that we sail through time
             on a raft of significant sense
abrupt angels riding
             the turbulence of our dreams

and here and there in our wake
             the signatures of love 
and intermittent accounts of accurate distress
             when we find ourselves walled in
by the architectures of isolation

Time
             the slow drip drip of words
the slow exhalation of breath
             time that is our birth and our death

John Lyons


Thursday

Thursday

Not much happens on a Thursday
           and as today is Thursday
I’m not expecting too much to happen
           same old grey sky same old sun
struggling to make its presence felt

I look at this way :
           perhaps Thursday is the day
that the stars change gear
           in preparation for Friday
when everything seems to happen

On Fridays we all seem to enter
           a new phase in which our bodies
and our minds are driven
           by a rogue moon that just wants
to party all weekend long

There are deeper questions
           regarding infinity and mortality
the definition of truth and beauty
           and the importance of love in our lives
but today is Thursday
           and to be quite honest
I haven’t the heart to go deep

John Lyons

Cold snap

Cold snap

So today it’s another cold snap
              Just when I thought I could
put away the woollens and settle
             into my summer wardrobe
I notice that the grey clouds
             are moving down from the north
and through another window
             I can see that the bushes are all
shivering and it’s strangely silent
             in the garden as though the birds
are having a lie-in on account
             of the low temperatures

I do love it when the sun is out
             and I do miss it when
it’s nowhere to be seen
             Of course we’re related
and there’s not a tissue in my body
             that has not been created
by the transformation
             of energies from the sun :
to say we’re practically family
             would be no exaggeration at all

John Lyons

Petal petulance

Petal petulance

Pink and lilac tulips
             in a tall glass vase
an unerring beauty
             that will fade and droop
as the days pass
             as the hours expire

to think that in the heavens
             there are no wise stars
that in this universe
             so full of eyes
the world will relapse
             that love and tenderness
may be depleted
             by tides of naked sorrow
compassion for others
             withered in the cruel reign
of blind greed and contempt
             life cheapened and tainted
by the dark dissolving
             human heart

Roses red and white
             that draw blood on the thorn
fragrant flames of sunshine
             snipped from the bed of life

John Lyons

Plus ça change

O'Hara_de Kooning.jpg
Frank O’Hara, by Elaine de Kooning (1962)

Plus ça change

Being lost for words
             and being speechless
is not the same
             nothing is ever the same
things are or they are not
             but they’re never the same
similes are absurd
             as no one thing
is like another
             Gertrude Stein taught us
that not even repetitions
             are the same
a rose is a rose is a rose
             is an equilateral triangle
of competing energies
             each rose qualifying
the other ones
             one after another

When Elaine de Kooning
             portrayed Frank O’Hara
standing in her studio
             first she painted
the structure of the face
             above the tall lean body
and when she had finished
             she wiped out the face
so that the portrait
              would more closely
resemble the subject
             the portrait and the subject
were not the same
             nothing is ever the same

John Lyons