Impossible question

Impossible question

 Was it all for this
       that the fairest river
blent its murmurs
       to my cradle songs
that alder and oak
       and sycamore shades
sent forth a voice
       that flowed ceaselessly
along my dreams
       made music
and composed my thoughts
       giving me thus
amid the fret
       of human dwellings
a frank foretaste
       of calm
and of the love
       that was to come ?

John Lyons

Cosmology

Cosmology

Stars in the crucible
       of endless space
the forge of our souls
       our image and likeness
the realities
       of which we dream
fashioned from distant
       yet homely energies
earth time
       space time
all so disparate
       and yet so cohesive

Tenderness
       from the fiery furnace
the capacity to love
       latent in every atom
that reaches out
       for another
living communities
       of the palpitating heart
held warmly
       in the mind

John Lyons

 

Mexican night

Mexican night

That distant night in Mexico
           the main square in Mérida
where I sat alone
           on a bench
in the intense heat
           and at my feet
a carpet of tiny spiders
           the bustle and the silence
the clack clack clack of a classroom
           full of young women
learning to type
           in the silence 

And the day before

           down by the bus station
a thousand or more birds
           on the wires
all waiting to depart
           just as I was
the memory still warm
           waiting to depart

John Lyons

Vincent in Arles

sun_shot
Sun, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Vincent in Arles

Under the scorching sun
           in Arles Vincent painted
fields of ripe wheat
           before the harvest

Wheat he discovered
           is the very same colour
as the sunlight
            whence it comes
confirming
           that the sun is
a deep-hued
           cadmium yellow

John Lyons

Sweet consolation

Sweet consolation

Beneath my feet
           the fallen leaves
once green
           now gold
now crimsom
           burnt sienna
edges curled and dry
           and crumbling into dust
as the year fades
           We were lovers
bone by bone
           slept through a dream
of unblemished time
           scourged
by the whirling strands
           of her hair
and new anatomies
           that the night brought
to the body bare
           Youth burned
in the mind
           no birth no death
no tangled time
           no sun
candescent
           love alone

John Lyons

Before the fall

Before the fall

And so to soft September
           warm days and cool nights
slow wintering of the soul
           and time the custodian
of our fractured memories
           of our kisses

Here were mountains
           here was sea
a sandy beach lapped
           by white-laced waves
here we loved our life away
           to the chatter of parrots
high up in the palms
           life feeding upon life
the frigate birds
           back and forth
scouring the ocean 
           for food

And all that fades
           as footsteps fade
across Brooklyn Bridge
           one place to another
from time to time
           and love a survivor
or so we hope
           stubbornly

John Lyons