Self-portrait

my life
Self-portrait, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Self-portrait

And so my life evolves
            in momentary flames
of passion and of loss
            of belief and disbelief
the warm colours of love
            the frosty colours
of abandonment
            my image strung up
on the walls
            of a civilised cave

These are the true forms
            these the accurate renderings
of a somewhat chaotic existence
            captured the texture of my life
It is my breath that has filled
            this unfinished canvas
and I fully intend to paint
            myself out of every corner
that I have through my choices
            and my good
and bad decisions
            created

What does it represent
            what does it all mean
you might ask
            and I answer
everything
            every tiny detail
It is for the observer to unravel
            the intimate timeline
to arrive
            at the heart of the matter
the broken heart
            and to piece it all together

John Lyons

 

White wilderness

White wilderness

The tracery of bare trees
against the pale winter sky
and snowflakes falling gently
settling gently on the grass
and on the roads
turning life for a moment
into a white wilderness

To survive these cold months
on a wing and prayer
days of penitence
and dissolving bones
an image of the goddess
splintering the mind
the heart that she betrayed
remembering fitfully
the accuracy of her indifference

Those roots that lie
on the surface amid the ferns
the open nerves of our prehistory
The earth is a large town
though at times it appears
to be deserted and its empty trails
run back and forth to no purpose
There is no blame to be attached
to the failure to love but deceit
brings sadness and endless regret

John Lyons

Umbilical moon

Umbilical moon

Perfectly framed
            through my window
when I wake
            the moon high above the woodland
a warm creamy disk of reflected light
            a familiar point of reference
for dreams and for the exercise
            of the imagination

Under this mysterious moon
            I have sung and danced
and played and fallen in love
            It is an old friend
that never lets me down
            It speaks of processes
far beyond the human span
            of distances and intimacies
that reach deep
            into the rhythms of our blood
and into the endless tides
            of our life

John Lyons

Embers

embers
Embers, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Embers

I imagine flakes of time
            falling gently
through the universe
            the ash of moments
invisible to the naked eye
            but that the heart 
apprehends in the darkness
            that moves into the light
in the light that moves
            into the darkness

Three years of flowers
            that first flourished
then faded and then died
            The images abandoned
in the mirror along with
            the laughter and the love
What it meant
            to be together
what it means
            to be apart

John Lyons


Revised from an earlier post

More empty words

More empty words

A mind set in stone
            or cast in bronze
a monument
            to living breath
a form first caught
            in a sketch
in pencil
            or pen and ink

Shapes that engage
            the heart
and the memory
            of days
when we walked
            through these galleries
or when I held
            her warm hand in mine
and we were in love
            or so I thought

How solemnly the river flows
            tirelessly
past the Tower
            on these grey days
on these dark nights
            no stars to be seen

An empty sky

            an empty ocean
an empty heart full
            of empty words

John Lyons


Revised from a version posted earlier today

Time and space

Time and space

It’s childish
            to think of time and space
as empty abstracts
            all things in the universe
have their coordinates
            and around a rose
a bee revolves
            and a lover
around his love
            and the seasons
through the year
            circles and cycles
the life and death
            of life

The sowed seeds of creation
            the endless song
wood strung and plucked
            and strings of words
that rattle the vocal chords
            and two lives led
in harmony
            two souls dancing
to the same tune
            the patterns built
into our day to day
            the circumference drawn
around the home
            the perimeters we pace
the bricks and mortar
            of our love
safe as houses
            sound asleep

John Lyons

 

Heart and mind

Heart and mind

The mind turns
            to the body
says to the heart
            move on
forgive and forget
            the pettiness
of perfidy
            is not worth a penny

The mind turns
            to the body
says remembrance
            is only of things past
love if it exists
            needs no remembering
and if it doesn’t
            ’s not worth the trouble

The mind has a soul
            of its own
it is the heart
            of our other half
the heart and the mind
            have separate eyes
but a bird cannot hear
            its own song

Love shapes sound
            it flowers in the air
we are all instruments
            are played and resonate
Death steals away
            the voice unless love
restores it
            Bury the past
with no tears
            close the circle
once and for all
            and good riddance

John Lyons