A bravura of the mind

A bravura of the mind

Fret fear fate
           new texts in the world
as though time dragging its heels
           even though time does not exist
outside of our perception
           the archaic forms of poetry
from worlds long gone
           the shift in customs and belief
and so much forgotten
           or abandoned and yet
the struggle is the same
           how to deal with the day
how to fill our lives
           with being

and how to remain open
           to love in all its gestures
receptive also to truth
           the beauty of it
to know the value
           of our breath
a bravura both of the mind
           and of the heart

John Lyons



A lazy lyric

A lazy lyric

Upon her dress
she has a body

see here
how the sunlight

adores her
how the wind

adapts to her form
how it lifts her hair

in shallow waves
see how the gleam

in her eyes
is reflected

in the waters
of the fountain

she moves freely
through the world

and nothing
can contain her

she is the spirit
of timeless beauty

John Lyons

Your guess is as good

Your guess is as good

Generations of the imagination
           manifest in physical expression
or in the parallel world
           developed intimately in the mind
when time was less of a burden
           figures of speech or drawn
on the surface of rocks
           to provide a narrative
of human consciousness
           the eye the ear
the hand the mouth
           light in the darkness
sound in the silence
           choice and shape
all to create
           the necessary voice

A rose is a syllable
           its beauty caught
in the web of language
           but think of this :
who was it and where
           did a human being
first sit down and speculate
           on the meaning
of the surrounding world
           who was the first to dream
and to project
           and who was it that decided
that the passage of life
           was worth recording
who brought that necessary focus
           to bear on the fine detail
the nuances of emotion
           the dynamics of desire
and all relationships
           and how did the pain
of loneliness
           ever begin to plague the heart
and to what do we owe
           the gift of love ?

John Lyons


The language of creation

The language of creation

From the Big Bang
           the creation of mathematics
one thing after another
           yes and no
on and off
           fusion and fission
a universe seeded
           with galaxies
that live and die
           just like us
that consume energy
           as they light up the void
around them
           that give birth to beauty
the thoughtless rose
           the terrifying tiger
your name and mine
           and words words words
that Shakespeare fashioned
           into the dramas of us all
: the cosmos has a tongue
           and we speak its language
for better or worse
           here and now

John Lyons

Words alone

Words alone

Although I’m the writer
           I know that sometimes
the words says themselves
           and I have no control
they spill out of me
           with an energy
and a will of their own
           and I read them
subsequently to try
           to understand what
they’re getting at
           and sometimes I succeed
but mostly I fail
           it really is that hit and miss

Other times
           I’m a harvester
I plough through fields
           of words culling
here and there
           a word or phrase
that strikes my fancy
           and some of these words
have pedigree or form
           a rose a tiger a grain of salt
a labyrinth shaped
           by blocks of prose

I remember the blossom
           blowing across the lawns
of my youth
           the fruit that hung heavy
on the branch
           and clear summer nights
seeded with stars
           that never slept

John Lyons

The power of one word


The power of one word

I have a mental picture
           of the poet Frank O’Hara sitting
in his apartment
           on a glorious New York summer’s day
He’s wearing a crisp
           white shirt and new sneakers
and is nervously tapping his fingers
           on his desk in time
to a phrase from Rachmaninoff
           that has been running
through his head
           ever since he woke

Through an open window
           he can also hear the city making
its usual cacophonous dust
           he also has an eye on the clock
: the friend who is giving him
           the ride to the beach is late
and he has so been
           looking forward to the trip

Just then the doorbell rings
           and at once
he is overcome
           by the sudden surge of love
in his heart and struggles
           to get to his feet
fearing he might drown
           in the emotion

John Lyons


Love’s destinations

Love’s destinations

Let’s not talk
of method

or madness
let’s just be

you and I
boy and girl

who moved
along love’s

London to Paris

Berlin to Budapest
Venice to Vienna

let’s not talk
of beginnings

or of ends
but of ever

and a day
and of the special

breath that never
left us

that held us

body and soul
for all time

John Lyons