The lesson

The lesson

What winter teaches :
repose – a harbouring
of resources    
                       Nature’s
rest and recuperation
falling leaves
and temperatures
snow and ice –
a passing phase
Invincible sunlight
spring resurrection

John Lyons

Another day

Another day

Another day—
beauty unblemished
admire it in silence
words two-a-penny
           redundant

The veil of frost lifts
trickle of water 
seeping into the earth
petals soon dry
           in the sun

Love strikes a chord
it resonates
down the years :
her kiss will be
remembered
           for all time

John Lyons

Planet waves

Planet waves

Think of this
           there might be flowers
on the table in a glass vase
           white lilies or red roses
or bright-faced sunflowers
           whatever the case
these blooms are no accident
           nor are they here by accident

either you bought them yourself
           or they were a gift from a friend
or from someone who loves you
           like me : the flowers are a part
of the planet as are these words
           as is our love

John Lyons

 

Theory of relativity

Theory of relativity

There was a time I remember
           when I was very young
or if I forget I am reminded
           when I see young children
playing in the school yard
           and there was a time
when I was still young
           and most of my mistakes
were still ahead of me
           those were innocent days
perhaps lived in the bliss
           of ignorance

I now like to think
           that most of my mistakes
are behind me
           but you can never be too sure
so I keep a watchful eye
           just in case—

and none of this is to say
           that some things
have not gone right
           of course they have
and that includes you
           and so far so good
I’m just hoping I don’t
           make another hash

John Lyons

Those winter days

Those winter days

The coldness and in the cold
           the silence beneath grey skies
the coal fire burning in the hearth
           at night out into the back garden
with the scuttle to fetch coal
           white snow lying thick on the fuel

the biting winds and the chilblains
           everything done at speed to keep warm
but never a complaint always anxious
           to enjoy the day no matter the weather
arms outstretched warming myself
           by the open fire fascinated by the flames
wondering what the future held for me
           and now I know more or less

John Lyons

A way of life

A way of life

A poet is never idle
           he lives among people
and among things
           and his mind never ceases
to admire nor to enquire
           he cleans he tidies
he prepares food
           he eats and drinks

and even though he rests
           his mind is never still
he is determined
           to give beauty its due
and to praise whatever
           truth he perceives
and he knows that peace
           and love are intimately
bonded in the wisdom
           of the human heart

John Lyons

Vocation

Vocation

It’s a long story
           this fondness for words
for thoughts and feelings
           and I imagine a coastline
the contours of which
           I have been travelling
all my life hoping
           to unravel some secrets

but the eye always anxious
           for new perceptions
the ear always longing
           for new music
and the heart always
           looking for love

John Lyons

 

Simplicities of the sky

Simplicities of the sky

From what our bodies are built
           products of energy and time
things just as a king is a thing
           so too the commodities
that once passed through these docks
           things shifting things
in crates and boxes
           brain and brawn as lifting gear
their energies fired up for the day
           loading and unloading under a blazing sun
and the slow burn of all life
           and Tooley Street ablaze
with pushers of paper
           and thoughts and ideas
ten fingers to take the strain
           thoughts to hands
and hands to thoughts
           knowledge and sensation
and every breath captured
           new patterns of words
new-voiced visions
           and people not property
make a city and all made
           in time and in love

John Lyons

Revisitation

Revisitation

What will set the tone

of this day : the bright sun
reflected on the golden leaves
or the fallen leaves that the wind
has scattered across the lawn ?

What will set the tone

of this day if you are there
and not here where I
would want you to be
and your voice is only heard
remotely from afar ?

What should set the tone

of this day if I should shiver
as I type these words
and wonder what the coming
hours will bring if not you back

A park in winter
trees I have known all my life
tennis courts where I once played
the mansion house restored
the stables converted
into a public house
but little else changed

Here I spent a summer’s day
sat on a bench and asked myself
what it was all about :
young families came and went
and a dog chased after a ball
its owner had thrown

and now I have returned
and impossible to count
the leaves on the ground
or to guess the age of the trees
or the number of birds singing
as I go on my necessary way

John Lyons

Words

Words

what would we do
without them

words for everything
written and spoken

fanning out across
the face of the earth

a parallel universe
of words expanding

exponentially
there seems to be

no end to them
A whole culture

built upon them
a whole faith too

tell us o wise one
of the beauty and truth

of words

John Lyons