We are aftermath

We are aftermath

We are aftermath
           recycled residue
afterburn of creation
           our bodies built
from cluster upon cluster
           of wayward particles
and we are eternal return
           how many aeons
to shape a rose
           the petals of thought
the palpitating heart
           the desire to kiss to hold
and to caress
           to love

what emerged from the dross
           the debris of creation
in a structured universe
           in which no amount
of matter or energy
           is ever wasted
part of that immense
           single unending event
words formed
           from clusters of sound
and so to the surge
           of the poetic line
the mindful word
           travelling across space
or across the page
           deluge of the imagination
and how life unleashed
           feeds upon life
the unconscious cannibalism
           of carbon
fanned by the flames
           of oxidation
and all the time
           I long to run my fingers
through her hair
           wake to her dawn
all dust to dust
           rose to rose

John Lyons

 

Hark to the sound of light

rose
Flowers, John Lyons (oil on wood)

Hark to the sound of light

The rose has its imprint
           petal softness of velvet
brushed against her lips
           threads of life entwined
gold and silver and amethyst
           honour in her silence
honour in her words
           honour in her breath
though the rose requires
           no tongue

Love
           literally made
in the stars
           and in the black nights
we gaze at our past
           the foundry in which
we were first formed
           before thought

That such intense heat
           could give rise to tears
whether of joy or pain
           to wisdom too
and sadly ignorance
           : does there always
have to be a thorn
           in the side ?

We say that paradise
           is a place of grace and love
and all that stems
           from light –
speech is in our nature
           and silence too
the rose imprinted
           needs no tongue

Look to your mirror
           song will heal your heart
happiness is there
           for the taking
syllables shaped
           in the sound of light
the mirror says
           love you too

John Lyons

Trooping my colours

painting
Trooping the colour, John Lyons (40 x 40 cm, oil on canvas)

Trooping my colours

Under a blue sky
           I lay out my colours
this is the shape of them
           their texture as revealed
by the light

There is a pattern
           a gathering within
a certain geometry
           but there is
spontaneity too
           and ragged edges

you could say this canvas
           has my fingers all over it
the brush marks are all mine
           the choice of colours too
and some might say it’s not art
           but who are they to judge
can art ever be truly defined
           can love ?

John Lyons

Ain’t that a fact

Ain’t that a fact

The idea of beauty
           shaped in the mind’s eye
because beauty is a shape
           so too is love
in all its dimensions
           proclivity to action
with a sense of purpose
           it achieves where
other emotions fail
           boundless too
though it shares
           the shape of infinity
the sometime symbol
           twisted
into gold or silver
           that never ends
worn around the neck
           set into equations
a quick calculation
           beyond value

the sultry idea of her
           of her watered eyes
of her hesitant hands
           of her puffed lips
as they play
           with words
the cat and mouse of her
           wilfully oblivious
to consequence
           no facts but in ideas
what the eyes apprehend :
           by their deeds
you shall know them
           ain’t that a fact !

John Lyons

Truth-seeking eyes

Truth-seeking eyes

The beauty of eyes
           mine looking into yours
yours looking into the mirror
           in which you see
not the growing lines on your brow
           not the skin aged
into a pale looseness
           but whatever you’ve
managed to conserve
           of your girlhood

It is a wonderful life from top to toe
           regardless of location
regardless of today’s blue sky
           regardless of the full-on sun
that brings you life
           even as it ends it

Your short-fingered hands
           sometimes struggle
to get to grips
           and your restless mind
lags behind your eyes
           You place roses
in a glass bowl
           and stand back to admire
their timeless beauty
           with the truth-seeking eyes
of the young girl
           you once were
you should donate them
           to posterity

John Lyons


Revised

Still life

Still life

What moves
           matter ?
Matter of fact
           a body of work
flesh and blood
           a Turner sunset
sets in the sunset
           the colour of light
the colour of love
           she who emerges
from her shell
           of beauty
who hangs
           in the night sky

love is a matter

           of fact
the haunting look
           on her face
a voice courting
           a troubled voice
betrayal
           in the genes

John Lyons

 

Thanks for the memories

Thanks for the memories

Mind
           how you go
the agility of thought
           darting here and there
following every hunch
           putting two and two together

The sly black cat
           with white underbelly
contemplates the bobbing magpie
           dressed in its orchestral best
if only I had wings
           there’s a thought
how do you feel about that
           wise guy ?

Mind mountains
           inescapable
the dizzying heights
           here where the light
fades to darkness
           where love keeps the soul alive
where beauty and truth
           go hand in hand

When I’m done
           plant me in the ground
and let me grow
           into a mighty oak
feed my acorns to the hogs
           explain to little children
how I vowed never to die
           unless to be born again
into the light
           of love

John Lyons