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

Two steps forward

Two steps forward

Yesterday at sunset
           a sky tinged
with red and violet
           that seemed to be
drifting away from me
           into outer space
taking with it
           my thoughts

Today I am still beset
           by troublesome memories
so difficult to dislodge
           but I know that soon
the winter winds
           will rise
and blow them
           all away

John Lyons

Breakfast in Chartres

Chartres cathedral
Chartres cathedral

Breakfast in Chartres

In Chartres she rose early
           threw on some clothes
and walked to the baker’s
           at the end of the street
bought a baguette
           and croissants
heard the tiny birds
           singing in the bushes
as she returned
           heard the cathedral bells
toll eight o’clock
           sat in the front garden
while I boiled the eggs
           and laughed at me
when I brought them out to her
           in my boots
and shorts and said
           it was the best bread
she had ever had and
           the freshest croissants
so pleased with herself
           for having broken
the spell of early hour 
          inertia

John Lyons

A scripted universe

Universe
The Big Bang

A scripted universe

A scripted universe
           of energy and matter
and words
           a cosmic narrative
driven by processes
           that began with a single event
that is still unfolding
           underpinned by a language
that speaks to us
           from the very origins of time
a language that we have translated
           into our own necessary tongues
but a unique story
           of indivisible creation
a language that gives us
           the rose in all its beauty
that gives us love
           in all its tenderness
and an articulate constantly
           innovating expansive existence
that brings both change
           and permanence
because all art outlives life
           as love does too

John Lyons

For all the words I might have said

Random
Random figures, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

For all the words I might have said

I need more sky
           I need it blue and wide
and unencumbered
           by towering steel and glass
I need clear skies at night
           so that I can track the stars
in which my destiny
           is written

I need more sky
           into which I can propel
my dreams and figure out
           a way to turn back the head
of the woman I love
           and I need more birds
to populate my skies
           and remind me
of the lightness of being
           and the ease of movement
from one place to another
           the exhilaration of flight

I need more sky
           and less dusty roads
that merely carry me away
           from the one I love
less long dry roads
           that snake out
into the wilderness
           never to return

I need all the welcoming sky
           I can get and under that sky
I need her to tell me
           that I’m forgiven
for all the things I never did
           for all the words I might have said
for all the times I might have slipped and fell
           and for all the times

John Lyons