The grave of love

Yes I’ve seen the Victorian graveyards
whole families huddled in the cold ground
husbands wives sons and daughters entombed with
THE RESURRECTION   just lying there    dust
in the silence     
                the tall grass stiff with frost
squirrels foraging for acorns   and so
many headstones in disrepair    going
the way of the world     many inscriptions
illegible now      time no respect for
the dead it has dispatched     self-defeating
time that without us would without doubt die
In paradise we shall have all we want
when the whistle empties
                                  the grave of love

John Lyons


Carnal currency

Like the path in the snow we are making
a script of sorts     two sets of prints side by
side      strokes of the pen in the hard crisp ice
Foxes and sparrows
                             will follow and leave
their mark in the evanescent surface
that the sun will soon melt    and no one will
know that lovers passed this way    hand in hand
under the moon and stars   There is pleasure
when there is a passage     when the language
is lined with flesh   or simply put    when love
is voiced in voluptuous vowels and
the tongue never tires   You who are too beau-
tiful may    more than others    understand
the carnal currency
                          of which I speak

John Lyons

Life’s rude awakening

That’s life  Mountains etched against a blue sky
in a country where it rains on Sunday
and throughout the summer the grass is green
You might think that I have forgotten you
but for all these years
                              I have carried you
in my heart    and even with eyes open
I can picture you as you were and as
we were together     your lips     your perfect
hands    the lilt of your voice    and the deep sea-
swoon of your eyes as we drifted into
the future and went our separate ways
All so far away and gentle now    love’s
sweet sorrow
                 Life’s rude awakening could
have spared us the pain but no  That is life

John Lyons

A beautiful beam of light


Tell me Alice, what is the difference
between right away and a pearl? A pearl
is milk white and right away is at once:
this is a good explanation indeed
Happily very happily Alice
embroidered linens and Gertrude threaded
strands of silken words
                      through page after page
Neither woman felt interdiminished
For Guillaume Apollinaire crystal tears
were shed. Pin ware, fancy teeth, stout caesar.
Wet syllables in the rue de Fleurus
Picasso painted sobs for the deceased,
Alice pickled plums while Gertrude admired
a beautiful beam
                  of light in the room

John Lyons

Revised version

Solace – Molly Rosenberg




WB dominated my thoughts,
His ‘Bee loud glade‘
Buzzed through my mind,
Bringing such longing ,
To go far away to that
Special place.


WB still dominating my thoughts,
Another century indeed,
Now I have my own,
‘Bee loud glade’

No plane, no car, no sea to sail,
Just an open door to,
A special place,
Where the bees buzz,
In the lavender,
Landing on the Lilly pads,
In the cool greenness,
They sate their thirst.

We truly have had our
Wings clipped,
Our horizons
The world holds
Its breath,
Yet there is a
Solace and a
Quenching to be had,
If only we can find
Our own ‘Bee loud glade.

Molly Rosenberg

Molly’s beautiful lyric is inspired by W B Yeats’

Pablo Neruda – Sonnet 44


You’ll be aware that I do and don’t love you
since there are two modes to life,
the word is a wing of silence,
and there’s a cold side to fire.

I love you in beginning to love you
to reengage in what is infinite
and so as never to stop loving you:
that’s why I still don’t love you.

I do and don’t love you as though I held
in my hands the keys to happiness
and an uncertain fate of unhappiness.

My love has two lives with which to love you,
that’s why I do love you when I don’t
and why I do love you when I do too.

Pablo Neruda

From One Hundred Love Sonnets

Translation by John Lyons

In praise of petunias


The violet, white and pink flowers
of the petunia      a hardy plant from
     the tobacco species

The roots of its name derive
from the tupi-guarani
language of Brazil in which
     pety signifies tobacco

It reached Europe
in the mid-16th century
whence petun an old
     French word for tobacco

Its unassuming beauty
rises up through the light
into the air  :  its powerful
scent was believed
     to ward off evil spirits

Though petunia flowers are
symbols of anger and resentment
they are also a symbol of comfort
     and feeling good with someone

John Lyons


The Tower

                  St Leonard’s Tower, West Malling

The Tower

Hot sun

Tinging the grey rag-stone

With gold.

Standing proud against,

A blue, blue

Perfect sky.

The sound of thrushes

In the surrounding parched trees,

Two buzzards wheel overhead.

Ancient stones

Laid down long ago,

By men from history

Gundulph or Odo of Bayeaux,

The detail is lost,

In the realms of time.

Casting its shadow

Over the valley

Of long lost hop fields,

And orchards now depleted

Of their succulent fruit.

Molly Rosenberg

For other poems by Molly Rosenberg search “Molly”

Love that sets the path

Light that reaches back
to the origin of light
the original species
of light from which
all emanates

Has time ever stood still ?
Has movement ever ceased ?
The universe that expands
within our minds
within our hearts
all energy recycled
all growth turned
to advantage

So too love
in all its leisure
and our internal life
governed by purpose
and by attraction
by what we call desire
the passion that fires up
the humbled penitent soul
to action

Love that reaches back
into all our yesterdays
Love that sets the path
for all our days to come

John Lyons