A fork in the road

A fork in the road

The stars are our footlights
           in this world of performance
in which gongs rattle
           bells ring out
and there is much sitting
           and standing and walking
and being still until
           stillness is all

Time is dimension and box
           the roses in the vase
on the table
           along with the silver service
awaiting the guests
           for the ceremony to begin
We have made a home
           out of habit and language

The mind says be minimum
           the tongue says be quiet
as we advance naked
           into the light and passion
is an empty promise
           a counterfeit doubloon
pressed into the palm
           and so the river runs
through the city shapes
           where we circulate

I have a bundle of tunes
           under my arms
a veritable sheaf of poems
           but will I survive 
the hostilities of the curtain
           and will love in the end
shape up or suffer
           as the poet says
surfeit of dust
           and surcease of the bone

Words then
           two-a-penny
the tired old drays
           that plod the streets
their hooves stumbling
           at every fissure
and night after night
           the serenade that mounts
monotone into the darkness
           in which trembling hands fumble
as they attempt to unbutton
           the truth that lies beneath the lies

John Lyons

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