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

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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

Prehistoric

Prehistoric

From the vivid juices
of soft berries
from dark earth minerals
ochres and umbers
the desire to communicate
through paintings
on the walls of caves
desire for the good
of another for the good
of community
all aches
soothed by love
and talk
is a form of love

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