A question of words

A question of words

Of course the universe
           is anything but silent
and yet nature
           has contrived
on this earth at least
           to create spaces and moments
of absolute peace and quiet
           places of solitude
in which the mind may graze
           on its own feelings
and be thankful for the lack
           of intrusion or interference

And the question always arises
           why words why the voice
why the web of language
           that seems to hold our world
together and without which
           we might cease to exist
such as we are : verbal creatures
           who build lives around clusters
of utterances some superficial
           other binding to the core
in which we tell our truth
           and shame the devil we know
and make vows upon which our very lives
           our very loves depend

John Lyons

 

Bagatelle  3

Bagatelle 3 

The restless mind
           never satisfied
thoughts turning
           this way and that
ruminations
           on the mysteries of life
on the vagaries of death
           the music of the spheres
filling the head
           with cryptic melodies
and the glare
           of those awkward stars
that create such
           interference
and so the befuddled mind
           seeks solace
finds it only in moments
           when it’s lost in love

John Lyons

Bagatelle 2

Bagatelle 2

Voice of the day
           voice of the night
voice of love
           speak to me
as the wind drops
           and birds take
to the air
           as the waters abate
and the full moon rises
           through fields of stars
voice of all things
           speak to me

John Lyons

 

Bagatelle

Bagatelle

Build the day
           out of tenderness
a kind word
           a generous gesture
all add to the sum
           of joy in the world

How words flourish
           take root in the heart
can be brighter
           than any rose
and bring comfort
           under dark stars

John Lyons

From lip to lip

From lip to lip

Slow decay
           of time
and of blood
           Racing clouds
that fade below
           the horizon
foam of stars
           that fills
our winter
           nightscape
Words
           that others
have used
           I use again
Dead voices
           that refuse
to lie still :
           and love
that passes
           from lip
to living lip
           now and again

John Lyons

Yeats in decline

Yeats in decline

The beauty of things
           necessary as the rose
or the eyes of a child
           sufficient in their being
in need of no explanation
           Every thought every thing
fit for use in the poem
           that endows every aspect
with the intensity of life
           What is seen and felt
and is expressed
           in transcendent
confidential language
           Inspiration is breath
that animates
           that brings to life
An old man with a stick
           beats at the door
and we recognise his face
           and value his gesture

John Lyons

Truth beauty and love

Truth beauty and love

Some things never change
           same old stars same old moon
same old roses that bloom
           in the same old summer days
and the swallows come and go
           and the dragonflies too
hovering low over still waters
           and in the air there is the scent
of fresh mown grass and it is
           as though not a day has passed
not a month not a year since
           I was young and romped
on that lawn and climbed
           those trees and my dreams
were in a bag I could swing
           around my head and it’s
the same old world
           and the same old words
and one day I learned about
           the truth and another I learned
about love and yet another
           about beauty and how the soul
must grow to embrace them all
           and live in them until the very end

Gentle rain

Gentle rain

Gentle rain
           a comfort of sorts
you’re not alone
           when it rains
a company of sorts
           Do not be dismissive
there are those
           who have nothing more
than the rain
           at their windows
the wind at their doors
           and nothing else

John Lyons

In time in space

In time in space

Let it be known
           that wherever we go
we are walking
           among stars
seen and unseen
           and that there are
no limits to the space
           around us

and that every silence
           is cosmic
and that every declaration
           of love rings out
through the universe
           and that one day
on some distant planet
           who knows how far away
our tender words may be heard
           and that the moment
when our bodies first met
           the shudder may be felt
in the four corners
           of infinity

John Lyons

Silent land

Silent land

Silent land
           under harsh frost
grass brittle underfoot
           all surfaces slip
and slide
           the cruel east wind
raucous in our ears
           our voices hoarse
as we struggle
           to converse before
falling back
           into silence

Winter can be
           a bare place
intemperate unforgiving
           the dark night skies
no consolation
           pricked
with the dead light
           from distant stars
All this without love
           would be true misery

John Lyons