Out of the cosmic soup

petri dish

Petri dish, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Out of the cosmic soup

Out of an ionized
           and undifferentiated soup
of matter and radiation :
           poetry
and the petrified hare
           diving beneath the hedgerow
the sparrow singing
           on your garden fence
the fox sunning itself
           on the shed roof
Romeo and Juliet
           and William Shakespeare
and Tooley Street
           and your hand in mine
and all things
           and all feelings
and all moments
           and Weinberg who wrote
of the first three minutes
           and this poem in particular
out of that selfsame
            articulate cosmic soup
out of the petri dish
           of my heart and mind

John Lyons

One winter’s night

One winter’s night

Two geese fly
           in a diagonal
across Ladbroke Grove
           heading south-west
to Wimbledon or beyond
           their elongated bodies
betraying the intensity
           of their purpose

Tonight
           there’s a half-moon
and as darkness descends
           not a cloud in the sky
and stars in abundance
            and with the temperature
dropping to freezing
            I think of the geese
and what comforts
           they will have
as they bed down
           for the night

John Lyons

In these cold waters

In these cold waters

Low mist lying across
           the Thames at Erith
a wide stretch known
           to Daniel Defoe

no warmth in these waters
           where bream and perch
and pike and roach
           and rudd and carp
and gudgeon live out
           their cold-blooded lives

Between October and January
           salmon may be seen
heading upriver
           to Hampton Court
and rainbow trout
           are known to spawn
in the Wandle
           at Croydon

A Siberian sturgeon
           that had lost its way
was once caught
           at Dartford provoking
rare excitement
           among devotees

John Lyons

Fire and brimstone

small world_2
Small World, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Fire and brimstone

A text in every texture
           but texts for nothing
the sinews of my soul
           laid boldly here in the lattice
formed by my many deeds
           and misdeeds
strokes that have
           gone astray
paths that led
           into dark ground
where bearings
           were soon lost

I see too the flickering flames
           of reds and yellows and orange
with streaks of black
           that burn in self-recrimination
a mind charred
           in the failing honesty
of its art and upon it all
           the criss-cross
of patterned purity
           with which I still hope
to redeem myself
           in my time
in my place
           in my life

John Lyons

Fabric 1

fabric_1
Fabric 1, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Fabric 1

A synthetic poem
           a tissue of words
that I find within me
           the reds of passion
in all their shifting shades
           woven upon a web
of blacks and whites
           and one colour dripping
into another
           here clear here opaque
a pigmented narrative
           latent with mystery
laid thickly or scraped
           to the bone
the interplay
           of light and dark
text upon textile
           a soul laid bare

John Lyons

Fabric 2

fabric_2
Fabric 2, oil on canvas

Fabric 2

A biopsy of my brain fabric
           reveals a few dark traces
scattered among
           the dull orange cells
there are too
           brief flashes
of inspiration as evidenced
           in the white synapses
yet underlying it all
           is the highly structured
chaos that seems
           only to resolve
in a deep love
           for you

John Lyons

 

A lone gull

A lone gull

A lone gull
           inland hovering
above my skylight
           with its wide wingspan
gliding as it scavenges
           the ground below
slowly majestically
           it turns and veers
to the right
           and then to the left
perfectly at ease
           I see its eyes
sharp and precise
           but does it see me ?
and if it did
           would it care ?

John Lyons