Some day I’ll wish upon a star

Some day I’ll wish upon a star

How to separate the rose
             from the star
their intricate simplicities
             intimately bound
the enigmas that lie
             couched within the petals
plans for an entire universe
             and the poet drawing together
vast constellations of words
             so that each thing may have a voice
so that every thread of creation
              may be heard and all things
touched by love
             and the memory of touch
every gesture logged
             in the convoluted mind

And yesterday as I left St Thomas’s
             in a dark hall off the main corridor
an intern played the grand piano
             the tentative chords
of Over the Rainbow
             sonorous in the gloom
and out on the street
             by Westminster Bridge
the silent rain fell
             among the roses

John Lyons

Don’t you ?

Don’t you ?

You do remember
             where the warmth
of your soul
             comes from
don’t you ?

and all the tulips
             and the roses
and the daffodils
             and the honey
that you spread
             on your toast

and the squawking gulls
             high above the quiet street
and the butterflies
             in your stomach
when we are about
             to make love

you do remember
             the dry wind
and the specks of dust
             that float in the air
that enter your eye
             and that you flush
with tears

you do remember
             that art and life
and death are all one
             and that time requires
its own space in order
             to develop

and that every breath
             you take is a bonus
you do remember
             don’t you ?

John Lyons

Roses

Roses

In fact it’s never about the roses
           nor about the lush red petals
nor the coarse green leaves
           nor the stems armed with savage thorns
it’s all about us and our gestures
           our thoughts and emotions
the everlasting love we wish to signal
           more about the giving
than the receiving and about
           the feelings we hope will survive
beyond the dust of these blooms
           that are doomed to die

John Lyons

Miniature

Miniature

a surge of gentleness
carries me through the day

the memory of lips
of hours uncoiled together

a voiceless world
of cultivated pearls

and the mystery
of what lies under lace

of hand upon hand
and the joy that endures

a moon drowned
in her eyes

John Lyons

On the margins of thought

On the margins of thought

Woken in the early hours
             by the sound of rain
on the windowpane
             my mind not quite alert
wanders from thought
             to thought : the variations
in atmospheric pressure
             the highs and the lows
the dance of time
             on the sheer glass
the push and pull
             of passion and the lust
that leads love into immortality
             a tongue not known
for its discretion
             the strain against
the moon-driven tide
             images of the world
sifted through secular light
             and all the subtle
architectures of love
             at my disposal
one sky at a time
             my thankfulness
for her naked
             tenderness

John Lyons

The line

The line

« ô rage ! ô désespoir ! ô vieillesse ennemie ! »

The power of the line
           in all art
whether music
           or painting
or sculpture
           or poetry
the line that slows
           as it thickens and ages
or
   speeds
as it
      thins
the line is how things
           shape up in time
and some lines
           are invisible
to the naked eye
           or beyond the imagination

John Lyons

Love

Love

Even in its deepest silence
           love is explicit
it shapes a moment
           a day
                      a life

a rose that shapes
           the space around it
defining
           the morning dew
on the fresh petals
           imagine

John Lyons

Our fate

Our fate

There is no bitterness in the stars
             nor is time the enemy
it’s what we make of it—
             and not how we pass it
but how we live it

last night the patter of rain
             on the window unexpected
and barely noticed
             but today the air is fresh
the garden a lush green

and there’s an all-pervasive
             sense of renewal
the natural world has stirred
             and something wonderful
is about to happen

it doesn’t take much to change a life
             no shower of meteors needed
no earth-shifting cataclysm :
             our fate lies in the corpuscles
red and white that course
             through our veins
breath drives love
             conquers all

John Lyons

Summer days

Summer days

Last night a full moon
              futile in the dark sky
casting a funnel of dead light
             across the face of the earth
there is more beauty in a honeycomb
             or in a rose culled from the garden

chains of words
             and words that evolve
words spoken on water
             or uttered on dry land
and the moon is pointless
             my lungs sifting the cold morning air
your breath mingling with mine
             our bodies taking what pleasure
there is to be taken
             from the moment

beneath our feet in autumn
             a carpet of dry leaves
but now the ground is strewn
             with cherry blossom
which twists and turns
             in the whirling wind

before being laid to rest
             chains of words
and the fire that made us
             will unmake our bones
will silence our tongues
             and make dust of our dreams
misbegotten moon
             the rose has more sense

John Lyons

Maxim

Maxim

Poetry
is
boxing
with
words

it
should
always
pack
a
punch

never
turn
a
blind
eye

never
let
its
guard
down

keep
shuffling
on
the tip
of
the
toes

finish
off
with
a right
and
a
left

John Lyons