Soon forgotten

Soon forgotten

No reason to be sad
           take it like a man
on the chin
           betrayals
are two-a-penny
           and almost always
a blessing in disguise
           and history will soon
forget her
           whoever she was

John Lyons

 

In the still fading day

In the still fading day

In the still fading day
           rain is falling
falling still
           into the earth
into the intricate roots
           of the mighty oak and elm
I’ve known since I was a child
           their bare black boughs
thrusting eagerly today
           into dull grey air

Down by the river
           through a dense thicket
I see a kingfisher
           resting on a branch
unaware of my presence
           and by the water’s edge
two voles playing catch
           if catch can
living the life of endless
           innocent time

In the still fading day
           rain is falling
falling still
           and a love lurks
in that corner of my heart
           that longs to understand
what cannot be understood
           and I splash cadmiums
random reds yellows and blue
           on a drum-taut canvas
and the rain is falling still
           still falling rain

John Lyons

Sunday in Montparnasse

Sunday in Montparnasse

A gentle Sunday stroll along
the Boulevard Montparnasse

stopping for coffee in La Coupole
before cutting across into

the Jardin du Luxembourg
where we sat for a while and

watched the families passing by
the sound of children’s laughter

and of the gravel under their feet
Life was so simple that day

and love too— or so it seemed
when the sun shone on us

John Lyons

The delight in human being

JP_imitation
Reproduction, John Lyons (oil on canvas)*

The delight in human being

To live in love’s timeless space
           that thrives
in the sweet innocence of the day
           that feasts on
the blessed miracle of air
           that delights
in the touching tasting hearing saying
           of human flesh
that carries its impenitent uprooted soul
           with humble pride
through the long descending hours
           until with breathful thrusts
it may penetrate the undying ecstasies
           of the night

John Lyons


*The 40 cm x 40 cm canvas is my largest to date

In the keen pure silence

In the keen pure silence

In the keen pure silence
           I trudge home
as the evening slumps into night
           pieces of the city
still lodged in my mind
           another day
and then another
           and nothing changes

I look up at the sky
           that womb of darkness
out of which time
           and light were born
one time two times
           so many times over
the stars of life and of death
           that blossom into extinction
although their light lingers on
           beyond the grave
just as nothing ever goes
           into never 
just as love only ever has been
           only ever will be

John Lyons

 

A primrose a mayflower

A primrose a mayflower

A primrose a mayflower
           a new time and place
a happening of the heart
           in my altered circumstance
Now that the temperature
           has dropped what I long for
is the whisper of a new world
           and an open hand to beckon me
an open mind to embrace me
           no longer to be merely a maybe
Time has me by the neck
           I want it to cease and desist
to put the black cat
           back in the bag for now

John Lyons

Pity poor flesh

Pity poor flesh

Pity poor flesh
           pity poor stars and stones
pity poor world
           of war and enmity
pity the lion and the forest
           and the schools of children
doomed to a fading life
           pity poor love and lip
that struggles to express
           the heart’s true desires
seeking solace in the size
           of a shoe and bag
and a dress cut to ribbons
           Pity poor flesh
in its daily dalliance
           with kingdom-come death
and made-to-measure
           madness

John Lyons

 

The deep eyes of silence

The deep eyes of silence

The deep eyes of silence
of lips untouched
undelivered the last kiss
the mouth dry and the mind

searching for a subject
and so stripped of invention
life lurches into insanity
two sides to every bridge

But the truth was not born
in Brooklyn that summer’s day
when angels and devils crossed
paths at will : and true wars

are never won Yes there was love
more than you could imagine
and sadly perhaps truly
much more than we deserved

John Lyons

Moonful thoughts

Moonful thoughts

Last night with the full moon
           I felt a tide rise within me
a surge of my old self
           I’ll revert to my singularity
and be true and steadfast
           in the pursuit of my pursuits
eyes peeled for the hawk
           that hovers above
the ploughed fields
           my gaze drawn
to the beauty of roses
           in full bloom

Kind words I’ll trade
           with whoever offers kindness
but I’ll be on my guard
           against those shallow souls
with mean pinched faces
           who’ve sought 
to dupe and betray me with their
           whimpering fantasies
: nothing false and possible
           is love
which is ours to give
           and to keep
as the seasons flick
           ever lifewards

From humble heights
           true love grows
to become in and of itself
           a proud universe
of rapturous speech and gesture
           within which lovers
kneel and bless themselves
           and give praise

Yes
           back to my old self
to the left hand
           in sync with the right
balance and equanimity
           nothing possible and false
is limitless
           love

A creamy disk of light
           against the pitch black sky
and the tug of blood
           rushing through my veins
urging me to own and to disown
           with discernment
I too have lived the learning curve
           have timewise stumbled
here and there into bitter failure
           : but no more

Cycles of pain and joy
           I trust shall soon cede
to the once and for all
          and love in my life 
shall become 
         an enduring ecstasy

John Lyons


Revised version

Birthday in Berlin

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Birthday in Berlin

One night last December
           we sauntered up
to the Brandenburg Gate
           as they were hanging
Christmas lights
           on the linden trees

An icy wind
           was blowing in
from Siberia
           flakes of snow curled
in the streetlamps
           and feathered
the pavement
           I remember
how dark it was
           all that history
all that repression
           and now the release
the freedom
           couples strolling
arm in arm or hand in hand
           pausing to take pictures
or simply to admire
           the majestic scene

We strolled into the Hotel Adlon
           for champagne
raised our glasses
           took a sip of pleasure
together : it was
           a happy birthday

John Lyons