From my lips to your ear

From my lips to your ear

What do I know of poetry
           other than it is words
for effect or words
           for special effect
Shakespeare knew
           that we are locked
in mortal combat
           with the sun
and his sonnets
           are sun-shaped
held up as mirrors
           to deter its ageing action
verbal markers against
           the depredations of time

Keats’ ode that enhances
           the beauty of the bird
so that a poem can fly
           across the ages
undimmed :
           poetry beyond seasons
beyond the woman sitting
           on a bench in a park
with a cloud on her
           shoulder and art
breeds art
           ever since the caves
of Altamira when no storm
           deflected the act of creation

John Lyons



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