Toward the close of day

Toward the close of day

Toward the close of day
           an incomparable sunset
shooting in molten sapphire and gold
           shaft after shaft
through the ranks
           of the long-leaved corn

Another day—
           the rich dark green
of the tulip-trees
           and the oaks
the gray of the swamp-willows
           the dull hues of the sycamores
and black-walnuts
           the emerald of the cedars
after rain— and the light yellow
           of the beeches

Walt Whitman
(adapted by John Lyons)

Paris France

Paris France

France is a single street
that moves up and down the country

sometimes its centre is Paris
Sometimes it’s Nice or Lyon

But always it’s always a single street
which has no beginning

and no end
And it’s full of French earth

washed by many fine rivers
that flow down from

tall mountains and hills
into the valleys into the sea

John Lyons

Where the river ends

Where the river ends

We who stand
on the edge of space
wave to each other
in the distance
We carry orchids
to bridge the gap
we burn candles
in tribute
to life’s ephemera

We fall

deeper and deeper
into love
until there’s no escape

While on the river
white swans
preen the feathers 
of their reflection
on the still waters

We know where the river

will end and we know
that we will end there
too

John Lyons

Words from the fragrant portal

Words from the fragrant portal

So the demarcations
of day and night
of here and now
or there
or there
of now and again
the rise and fall
of empires
as it always was
and will be


and love parading

through the streets
of Vienna
strolling hand in hand
under the dark
moonless sky
love in which the body
is taken to its limits
overreaches itself
pours into another
so that it is neither
he nor she

words against the silence

breath against extinction
life and death
universe without limit
time a mere drop
in the ocean

John Lyons

Making sense

Making sense

By a process
of elimination
defining who I am
by describing
what I am not

an admirer of the sea
and of the mountains
the hills and the valleys
shorelines I have
walked along

those I have known
those who have
disowned me
colours
at the tips
of my fingers
words
on the tip
of my tongue

chords
from the vocal cords
and yet an inner silence
untroubled by meaning
riffs of affection
curled in a ball
of love

John Lyons

The idea of order

The idea of order

Whose spirit is this
that rises every day
that shapes meaning
out of nothing
that defies the seasons
and the passage of time
to sing of roses
and nightingales
to gild the moment
with deep love

a voice driven
by gestures
of the mind
ennobled
by the ebb
and flow of tides
by moon-phases
a voice that willfully
scatters words
where petals
are wont to lie

John Lyons


Die Idee der Ordnung

Wessen Geist ist das
das steigt jeden Tag
das formt die Bedeutung
aus dem Nichts
das trotzt den Jahreszeiten
und der Lauf der Zeit
von Rosen und Nachtigallen
singen

den Moment vergolden
mit tiefer Liebe ?

eine Stimme getrieben
durch Gesten
aus dem Gedächtnis
geadelt
von der Ebbe
und Fluss der Gezeiten
durch Mondphasen
eine Stimme, die absichtlich
streut Wörter
wo Blütenblätter
sind gewohnt
sich hinzulegen