We never forget

Autumn equinox    the sun heading south
cue copper and gold leaves falling gently
downhill into winter    Tell me where are
the snows of yesteryear     the woolly gloves
and scarves I wore as a child   Tell me where
or in what land is Flora
                          who once graced
the Promenade des Anglais    her broad-brimmed
hat shading her Slavic eyes from the sun
or the beautiful Héloise whose heart
pined for sweet Abélard    pray where is she?
Down by Freedom Tower,  Patsy and I
shed a crystal tear for Apollinaire
In the house that Jack built we forgive but
never forget
                    the living or the dead

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

Off to Provence

St Trophime Cloisters

           St Trophime Cloisters, Arles

In the house that Jack built we’re all taking
a break     travelling down to Arles to visit
Vincent and Melody and the ghost of
Gauguin    In the late dry summer we will
sample the bouillabaisse and drink the wine,
we’ll dance with strangers
                      and forget our names
On the banks of the Rhône we’ll strip off to
bathe  :  and in the wheat fields
                                 we will count crows
Grace to be alive to enjoy such glor-
ious sunshine and to live off the fat
of the land    Patsy says I should pack my
brushes    but I remind her why I am
not a painter even though I dabble
from time to time:
                      but no, I’m really not

John Lyons