Rock of ages

Rock of ages

Flint flickers 
                   from the cave 
an infinity concocted
         from inert stone 
the dead history
             of dry leaves 
swept up and cast 
                     onto a futile fire
What outlasts fear
                               hope 
                               all
is the loving heart

Time is a fix

       fixed in time 
               butterfly beauty
and the truth
               hand-held

Time when the eyes
                   were opened
time when with warm lips
         a kiss was taken

Prehistoric juices 
                   drawn from soft berries
dark earth minerals
             ochres and umbers
smeared on the walls 
                               desire 
for the common good
                     all ache 
soothed by love
                   all talk an art
every creation
               a form of love

Words for effect
                       verbal markers 
set against time’s depredations 
               beauty undimmed 
across the ages
                     schooled in love
each thought word and deed
         beyond season 
                             beyond reason

The hunting hand that held

           wild berries
           sun-dried and pounded 
to a charcoal powder
                 earth ochres
and the pigment blown
       over a hand pressed
                         to the cave wall
a negative print
                   Polychromes 
in the Great Hall
                         swathes 
of abstract markings
                   but nothing casual 
                         nothing unpremeditated 
                         nothing unplanned
executed to perfection
                         a steppe bison
perfectly proportioned 
                       its thunderous heart 
still beating
                       its fiery eyes 
peering down at us 
                       across the millennia 
horses    deer    a wild boar

Across the centuries
                     that are 
                             as dried leaves
in the wind
               Time tethered
for all time
                 art that is life’s signature
the personality that defines
                       our humanity
our collective singularity
         the beauty of truth 
and love
             life ennobled

From my lips to your ear
                   what do we know 
of poetry
             other than it is words
for effect 
             or words
                     for special effect
sonnet-shaped
                       odes to time
the flight of a nightingale
             across the ages
undimmed

John Lyons

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