Bloodlands

Bloodlands

To speak of blood
     what is in it
what feeds it
     what raises it
its metaphysical weight
     the price of it
the thirst for it
     the lack of it
 
 bloodied beauty
      of the red rose
 of a red sun sinking
      below the horizon
whether the making
      of good or bad blood
the tangled bloodlines
      that bind us together
that set us apart
       the war and peace

John Lyons

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Turtles

Turtles

Turtles on the Pacific coast
          that emerge from the sea
that scurry across the wide flat beach
          that burrow into the soft sand
and there lay their eggs
          in the white moonlight

This is a fertile universe
          that so longs for life
that nothing is allowed to die
          not energy
not love
          nothing

John Lyons

 

Shooting the breeze

Figures_detail
Liquid figures, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Shooting the breeze

A body of thoughts and feelings
          fed by the blood of sunlight
a body that moves erratically
          along a predetermined path
a body that knows when to stop
          to admire a rose or to stroke a dog

a body given up to the intensities
          of work and the leisure of love
one that lives in defiance
          of the seasons and dreams only
of moonlight and a warm bed
          in which to lie  A body

stripped of all ambition
          other than to breathe
the wholesome country air
          and count the beats of its heart

John Lyons

In the dawning hours

In the dawning hours

Allow me to paraphrase
          what Olson writes—
love is so lively
          it cannot easily be contained
it jumps for joy
          it attracts attention to itself
it is consumed with its own
          importance and wants
to make its presence known
          everywhere and at all times
it has a constant constancy
          because this is a single-subject
universe with sole purpose
          the expression of energy

So at night
          I walk under the stars
and they follow me
          a greater wealth
than any diamonds
          and by day they are there
in the lily ponds
          and beneath the large
green pads where carp swim
          their bright scales
reflecting the light
          and in the waters
I see the ripple
          of my reflection
and beauty is vertical
          and horizontal
and its volume equal
          to the love it inspires

There are no unnecessary dreams
          no redundant species
no flower that does not
          warm the heart
Time is the possibility
          to know all this
and to taste love
          Neither the fish
nor the flowers
          are idle :
and notice
          that in our habitat
the sheets upon which we lie
          till daybreak
are crisp and clean
          and our poetry a space
in which to meet
          and make love

John Lyons

 

Nothing matters

Nothing matters

Nothing matters
more than love

and we are all aware
of how exponentially

it grows in the practice
in the exercise

of our feelings
in gestures

of reaching
and touching

and simply being
together in silence

It wakes with us
and we put it to bed

at night : and those
delicious moments

when time plays
truant are love’s

gift to love
Cherish it

it is your truth
it is the essence

of your beauty
let its flame

burn forever
and a day

John Lyons

Thanks for the memory

Thanks for the memory

Every unsuspecting fibre
          wracked with the pain
of silence and neglect
          a litter of leaves
on the path to the Tower
          tossing and turning
in the grime and dust
          Life is long

: so too
          the days and hours
of absence filled with
          hope’s sullen reprobates
and at night the grinding
          of foxes’ teeth
and the darkness that settles
          around the heart

John Lyons