All that the heart desires

All that the heart desires

Confess it : we’re in love
           with the simplicities that underlie
life’s complexities
           with the space a house makes
for us to occupy

and there’s a simplicity
           to every beauty to every rose
to every truth that we apprehend :
           power ambition wealth
do not speak to the heart
           and there’s only so much
a palate can enjoy

Material pleasures are short-lived
           and love outlasts them all
love —that warm dimension
           that unfolds within our lives
which we furnish
           with abiding affections

it’s there within that space
           that the true home is made
where the concern is for the good
           of others not just of the self

Human virtues against the grain
           of our possessions : soon enough
time will bury the Rolex

But loyalty fidelity honesty trust
           who wouldn’t give a kingdom for them
we’re here to defy the thorns
           the slings and arrows
to celebrate life’s beauty
           from the simplicity of our souls

John Lyons

Arctic breeze

Arctic breeze

Cold air
           down from the arctic
chills the body
           not the heart
I shiver as I wait
           for the night bus
my hands trembling
           for the first time
this year
           I need wool
to keep me warm
           and I need you

The wind direction
           will soon change
perhaps in a day or two
           and I will no longer need
the woollens and the scarf
           but I’ll still need you
you can count on that
           as I’m counting on you

John Lyons

Starlight

Starlight

All art
all music
all poetry
imagined
the mind
that moves
the hand
that hovers
over the
strings
or over
the line
to be or
not to be
creative
hesitation

do not
despise
the day
of small things
of small
mercies

so we stroll
hand in hand
by the river
at low tide
lean over
and peer
at the wall
of washed
stones
known
to our mutual
friend

we are here
to take delight
in the mysteries
of starlight

 

John Lyons

No agenda

No agenda

Yesterday four dark horses
           grazing in their paddocks
the rich green grass
           under a brilliant blue sky
and all around trees
           in autumn meltdown
but the scene one of peace
           of indifference to the passage
of time and the coming
           and going of seasons
or the coming and going
           of their mounts : horses
living off the fat of the land
           with no agenda

John Lyons

Pure gold

Pure gold

How this autumn light
           guilds all things with gold
golden leaves about to fall
           the purity of two white swans
that lift the tiny lake
           out of banality
with their majestic glide
           the simplicities of nature
that soothe
           the aching heart

those who wish for perfection
           need only look around
it’s there on all sides
           and in all things
everything perfectly
           as it is and should be
and the words with which
           to celebrate
all that we see
           and all that we feel

John Lyons

 

2 peaches

Two_peaches
Two peaches, by John Lyons

2 peaches

Two ill-painted peaches
            and long gone but one hopes
that they were sweet
           that they were enjoyed
as a fruit of the moment
           not meant for eternity
a tasty time capsule
           subject to oxidation
and to inevitable
           decline

the succulent flesh
           concealed beneath
a soft furry skin
           and the hard stone
awaiting within for
           burial under the earth
and a bold opportunity
           to rise again

John Lyons

Holding station

Holding station

On a cold crisp morning
           world in sharp relief
silhouette of firs
           against the skyline
a sky plied by jets
           playfully releasing
thin white trails
           of condensation as they go

And play’s the thing
           the absence of aggression
allowing life to flow
           through the veins
giving rein
           to the innocence
that is there
           in our nature

Light brings life
           brings colour
here in this holding station
           where hopes and dreams
are given time
           in which to breathe

John Lyons

 

Autumn meditation

Autumn meditation

That mid-October
           autumn glow
a stillness
           in which the clarity
of birdsong is appreciated
           the larders are full
and nature prepared
           to buckle down
for the winter
           no one or no thing
wants to be caught
           out of position
when the storms set in
           what eggs were needed
have been laid
           and soon nests will be abandoned

but the baton has been passed
           to another generation
These days
           there is little talk of peace
little appetite for compromise
           for brotherhood
or protection of the weak
           and the poor
the fit will survive
           but too much of the discourse
is mean-mouthed
           every man jack
I see how the light falls
           how it illuminates one side
casts a shadow over the other
           how the hand moves the mind
how the mind moves the hand
           to words

John Lyons