The unkempt garden

spears
The unkempt garden, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

The unkempt garden

After the long dry spell
          the grass is threadbare
covered in tall coarse weeds
          and towering dandelions
: a couple of chairs
          that were overturned
in the fierce storm
          have yet to be righted

The word that comes to mind
          is neglect or abandonment
although it’s not as though
          nobody cares
just that nature appears to be
          one step ahead of the neighbour
who has assumed responsibility
          for the garden

Frankly he’s getting on in years
          so I don’t blame him
in fact I blame no one
          that’s just the way it is
plant life is so rampant
          under these climate conditions
it poses a real problem but I trust
          it will all work out in the end

John Lyons

September seeds

September seeds

September seeds
          borne on wings
dispersed far and wide
          on the wind
or in the gut of birds
          life encapsulated
waiting to germinate
          to spring forth
into new shade
          and fresh fruit

out from the soil
          driven by the sun
to spread its light
          to carry its standard
to the far corners
          of the mineral earth

John Lyons

After midnight

After midnight

After midnight
          after hours of love
Charlie Parker
          playing in my head
rain at the window
          lying in complete darkness
half-listening to her breath
          as she sleeps
I feel that perhaps
          one day the world
could be a peaceful place
          for poetry

John Lyons

Love’s yellow roses

Love’s yellow roses

And so it goes
          as time slips
through our fingers
          that nothing lasts forever

One by one
          the petals tumbled
from the yellow roses
          Monday mourns them
Tuesday buries them
          poetry remembers them

John Lyons

Unanimously Monday

Unanimously Monday

Unanimously Monday
          we go our own ways
to better or worse
          fare thee well good stars
our pockets filled
          with the past
that we carry
          from place to place

here the rains fell
          and the river rose
and flowed swiftly
          relentlessly
trapped by the force
          of gravity out
into the all enveloping
          ocean

Sunday dialogues turn
          to Monday monologues
the old hours gone
          the way of peaches
and cream
          and trifles all

But the memories remain
          of the steps taken
of hand-held love
          and kisses blown
on the wind
          our dust held tightly
in the grip of time
          past caring

One by one
          the petals tumbled
from the yellow roses
          Monday mourns them

John Lyons

 

Ficaria verna

lesser celandine

Ficaria verna

Poisonous lesser
      celandine or pilewort
flower of language
      that shrinks
from the cold and rain
      that rises and sets
with the sun
      enjoys neither courage
nor choice being subject
      to sheer necessity
ages through
      one rough day
after another withered
      hairless and hueless
kept alive by the poet’s
      inly-muttered voice

John Lyons

 

Time for a poem

Time for a poem

What you notice
          as you go through your day
is the gentle tug of time
          how it urges you
to accomplish something
          to achieve
to make a difference
          to be someone

Time stands there
          looking over your shoulder
a would-be second conscience
          advising you to ignore
the rose and the butterfly
          with their carefree beauty
to look no longer into the pond
          where the fish idle so pleasantly
but to be about your business
          and the task in hand

John Lyons

 

The Duchess of Malfi

The Duchess of Malfi

Through the window
          I see the bushes heavy
with bright red berries
          such bounty at which
the birds will peck away
          until the fruit is stripped
the pond frozen over
          and winter is upon us

This is nature’s theatre
          and so the cycle repeats
playing endlessly
          from plenty to poverty
and how the mighty fall
          and how without love
our lives are a kind
          of nothing

John Lyons

Liquidities

Figures 2

Interim, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Liquidities

Life and its liquidities
          the ebb and flow
the figures that come and go
          and how one thing
leads to another
          and the dry wit of words
amid the steel stone and glass
          structures that cement
our minds to the ground
          so that life becomes abstract
and all the while
          as the climate heats
the earth cools
          and pockets of distress
spread like wildfire
          and time turns to December
frost thick in the fields
          and the night sky
a fretwork of stars
          and a moon that beams
misfortune upon those detached
          from the pulse of love

John Lyons