Occasion

Occasion

The poem as a celebration
of the occasion
when minds meet
where words on the page
become the interface
between you and I

Whatever joy or sadness
I am feeling
my thoughts are laid out
in these lines
for my reader to follow
what catches my eye
what impinges
on my consciousness
here in my breath
captured for all time

John Lyons

Variation

Variation

Though I live
in the shadow
of your light
my flesh does not
grow dim

The days grind
down the hours
but in your life
roses and gladioli
and orchids abound

and autumn holds 
no mystery
as music sustains
your breath
each noted syllable
a joy

your song has many voices
your voice many songs
but all that issues
from your lips
is love

John Lyons

Melody

Melody

Though I live
in the shadow
of your light
my flesh does not
grow dim

The days grind
down the hours
but in your life
there are roses
gladioli and orchids

and winter holds
no mystery
and music sustains
your breath
each noted syllable
a joy

my song has many voices
my voice many songs
but all that issues
from my lips
is love

John Lyons

Piece of work

Piece of work

City shrouded
in early morning mist
stillness in the grey air
not a leaf or branch moving
the landscape through which
I’m travelling
inert

Train hurtling down the line
into the future
but life immobilised
alongside the track

Two things might change all this
work and love
both require energy
and belief : it’s
a real piece of work
God help me

John Lyons

Sunday afternoon

Sunday afternoon

Through woodland
trees fallen
others rising
most standing
in splendour

The sun on our backs
so we stroll
along dirt paths
bushes heavy
with ripe berries
red and orange
air filled with autumn
and leaves tumbling
a slow swirling cascade

Sunlight and the taunt
of time and the steps
never to be retraced
restless love
never still
moves forward
through the day
sweet repose
comes at night

John Lyons

Shakespeare

Shakespeare

The pen and ink of it
the physicality
Shakespeare wrote
with his fingers
leant on the desk
knew the blank page
and moments of frustration

Stumbled though he had eyes
lived through the mutability
of the imagination
smudged days of passion
and at the end
perceived the vanity
of immortality
died beset
by the wilderness wish

John Lyons

Pure and simple

Pure and simple

What life teaches
           if we are prepared to learn
is to be simple
           to tear away all
that is unnecessary
           and cut to the quick
to the marrow

Life pared to the bone
           unembellished life
in all its beauty
           first seen in the breath
of innocents celebrated
           in the breath of lovers
who value another
           above all else

The purity of the rose
           can never be defeated
lips locked in a kiss
           can never be outdone
not by poetry not by painting
           we are here to give praise
and when we remember
           to give thanks for the love
that is shared in our time
           and in our space

John Lyons

In a nutshell

In a nutshell

So the doctor said to me
it’s all in your head
it’s just your imagination
everything you see

everything you feel
everything you know
it’s all there inside you
you may count yourself

a king of infinite space
but I’ve no time
for your delusions
it’s all in you head

you carry your tight
little world around
with you day and night
rain or shine

every fear or fancy
locked inside
and language
words words words

is the only place
we ever meet
language and love
one and the same

John Lyons

Locomotion

Locomotion

How the rails hum
           as the train approaches the station
and so announce its arrival
           before it is even seen
the sound a harbinger
           that brings good news
and a sigh of relief
           from the travellers waiting

Poetry in all things
           in sound and in silence
the flat line of the sea
           two sailing boats far out
on the horizon
           white canvas floating
in liquid turquoise
           and the clamour of children
playing on the beach
           a song out of their voices
and near-naked bodies
           stretched out on the sand
soaking up the sun
           whence they came

John Lyons