Gustav Klimt – The Kiss



The Kiss, Gustav Klimt (1908)

Gustav Klimt – The Kiss

You might think
           something of value
would be retained
           that the special character
of a relationship
           would be worth
           that certain times
and certain spaces
           would be reserved
for what was after all
           a love of sorts
a love that lent
           a lasting form
to our lives
           or so I thought

In my mind
           Klimt’s Kiss
in the Belvedere
           still shimmers
oils with added
           gold and silver leaf
in my mind
           and in my heart

John Lyons



Philippe Soupault, two poems

Philippe Soupault, two poems



I can’t sleep Georgia
I shoot arrows in the night Georgia
I’m waiting for Georgia
I think Georgia
Fire is like snow Georgia
The night is my neighbour Georgia
I hear every sound without exception Georgia
I see the smoke rising and seeping away Georgia
I creep along in the shadows Georgia
I run here’s the street the suburbs Georgia
Here’s a city that’s the same
and that’s new to me Georgia
I rush along here comes the wind Georgia
and the cold silence and fear Georgia
I’m leaving Georgia
I’m running away Georgia
the clouds are low they’ll tumble down Georgia
I’m opening my arms Georgia
I can’t close my eyes Georgia
I call Georgia
I shout Georgia
I call Georgia
I call out to you Georgia
Will you come Georgia
soon Georgia
Georgia Georgia Georgia
I can’t sleep Georgia
I’m waiting for you


Epitaph for Francis Picabia

did you want us to bury you with your four dogs
a newspaper
and your hat
You asked us to write on your grave
Have a nice trip
They’re going to take you for a fool up there too

Translations by John Lyons

Philippe Soupault (1897-1990) was a French writer and poet, novelist, critic, and political activist. Active in Dadaism, he later founded the Surrealist movement with André Breton. He was also the translator of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience into French.

Digression on love

Digression on love

The memories
I am bound
to dismantle
of times too good
to be true

of scallops
from Borough Market
in the fluted shells
that the pilgrims wore

Memories of walls
and rivers and boats
and cathedrals
and many a meal
so joyfully shared

At what fence
our love faltered
I’ll never know
like so much
I suppose

I’ll never know

John Lyons

Revised from earlier today

Few words are best

Few words are best

Few words are best
           too much talk of love
does no favours
           put on thy muzzle
and let actions speak
           let rivers flow
as time drips
           from sand and candles
let four winds blow
           put an end to speculation
and just do
           what must be done

John Lyons



Beauty of the marshmallow
           the edible flower
a delicacy to the eye
           and to the palate
rich nourishment
           where it flourishes

So much to admire
           and to enjoy
the winter sky
           sown with fields
of wild stars
on dark nights
           rewarding us
with a sense
           of perspective

light comfort
           red mallows
in August
           in the poet’s garden
and the bloom of language
           of late love

John Lyons

Love’s lamp

Love’s lamp

Words of love
           love of words
one or the other
           or both
on a chill January night
           longing for warmth
warm words
           or a companionable body
to share a space until dawn
           Love that puts words
into our mouths
           or a satiated silence
emotions played out
           against a tender timeline
a mutuality of dreams
           held to
with steadfast conviction
           betrayal not on the cards
These dark nights
           when the frost bites
let love’s lamp
           shine bright

John Lyons