Of briar and hawthorn


Of briar and hawthorn
       of lily of the valley
and swathes of bluebell
       early morning walks
through field and woodland
       back in the day
when I counted
       the days

March winds
       and April showers
and now May is upon us
       with every promise
that was meant
       to be kept

The high sun tans my face
       I wake early eager to breathe
the blossom-laden air
      eager to take to the hills
or down to the stream
       where kingfishers appear
when least

Days when the full moon
       illuminates our nights
as birds sleep their peace
       and love is our thing
and we never tire nor feel
       a shred of discontent
as the hours
       pass us by

John Lyons


The canvas fights back


                 The correction, John Lyons (70 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

It’s not quite a marriage
       but certainly a relationship
and sometimes the canvas
       has attitude and fights back
and there’s a tussle
       as to who knows best
it’s all about the shapes
       and colours applied

Don’t forget it says
       I have to live with
whatever you throw
       in my face whereas
you can just walk out
       abandon me
to my own devices
       pick up somewhere else

Of course there are
       always corrections
minor or major adjustments
       that need to be made
a rescue mission of sorts
       in a bid to save face
there’s an art to it
       and sometimes it succeeds
and sometimes it fails
       just like love so get over it

John Lyons



          Mayflower, John Lyons (oil on wood)

Virginal flower
       for the month of May
the pilgrim flower
       that sails through
our days our lives
       the simplicity and purity
the blue of innocence
       the incandescent candour
of petals that will
       like us all
one day

eternal cycle rising
       out of the earth
only to return
       to its place of birth
mineral resurrection
       driven by the powers
of creation
       beauty in the eye
and in the heart
       undying love

John Lyons

Perplexed landshape


                      Landshape, John Lyons (70 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

There are elements here
that may or may not
pertain to a landscape

The canvas itself is struggling
to know where it’s headed
though some of the shapes
are clearly defined

The sky’s a basin inverted
over time and distance
and there are doors and paths
behind which the unknown
skulks carefully secluded

Of course the composition’s
not finished — may well
never be finished
it all depends on finding
a happy resolution

John Lyons

Revised from yesterday’s version

Amid April’s sweet showers


It’s April
       and the trees are in leaf
and the chaffinches
       are feeling broody

In the woodland
       they’re building
their distinctive nests
       I notice the coming and going
of the handsome male
       with his blue-grey cap
pink cheeks and breast
       and his reddish-brown mantle

Though wary of the female
       he is positively on fire
and they will soon mate
       There will be eggs
to incubate and
       mouths to feed
until the young fledge
       and so it goes

John Lyons

Landscape with shapes

landscape with shapes

                         Landscape with shapes, John Lyons (70 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

This is the size of it
a glowing landscape with shapes
a visual puzzle that defies
the eye’s expectations

Truly the colours have been
distorted by the digital lens
and yet there is peace
and there is silence

you feel that life could lay down
another layer or take a different
approach or simply return
to the drawing board

What lies beneath the surface
and how could anyone call it art
a canvas so full of nowhereness
a composition aching to coalesce

John Lyons

Pale brow still hands

Pale brow
still hands
thin bloodless lips
she is an image fading
a memory lost
on the bitter edge
of a dream

Were I to peer
into her heart
I wonder now
what I would see
what of all the love
what of all the dust
we laid down

Where there was pulse
where there was breath
where our voices
once blended softly
there is silence and loss
endless separate
soulless silence

John Lyons

To the sweet blueness


To the sweet blueness
of a cloudless summer sky
in which red tulips
raise their chalices
in a cheery toast
to avid lips

as a stray spider
wanders aimlessly
across the dry surface
of my almost completed
canvas – strange world
to it it must seem

as a visitor scratches
his head wondering
why on earth he entered
the outdated world
of modern art

John Lyons

Seventy years and counting

Seventy years
       man and boy
I’ve known hawthorn
       in flower and thistle
and seen cherry blossom
       strewn across the lawn
I’ve known the solitude of crowds
       and the companionship of roses

My fingers have bled
       when I grasped the thorns
I’ve known and lost love
       and won love again
only to lose it once more
       but each day I dream
of a dancing girl
       who will come to me
when the shadows gather
       and night falls

in the blind darkness
       she will creep into my life
a warm heart embroidered
       on her sleeve and she will
spin and twirl in my arms
       until the early hours

At dawn the dandelions

       will rise in the fields
in the eaves
       white doves will coo
and the joy in my heart
       will be unconfined

John Lyons

Air is the medium


                               Air dance, John Lyons (50 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

Measured movements
the body shifting

in time and space
think of the gravity

think of the rhythm
think of the journey

the steps taken
the ground covered

in leaps and bounds
choreographed air

dance of sunshine
under moon and stars

John Lyons