Love’s conumdrum

fortune

      Dregs, John Lyons

Beauty lurks
in all things
ready to beguile
to entrance
to win a heart
to provoke a sigh
beauty that
so truly lies
to the eye
of the beholder

Here my fortunes
in love or life
all too easy
to be read
in the coffee cup
to me remained
a mystery
to others
an open book

John Lyons

Helpless love

grapevine
           Grapevine, John Lyons

What shall I do
with this absurdity
this universe in which
silence and stillness
simply do not exist

I think of whispered words
the tightened bow of her beauty
the ships on the shores of Troy
the blazing battlements
and a heart under siege

The rod and fly that I handled
so poorly as a boy when I fished
the streams around Thomastown
days long forgotten dearly remembered
What shall I do with this absurdity

the mule that I rode or the horse
or the donkey or a day at the fair
riding the carrousel with scarcely
a dream in my heart just an old tune
: or adrift in the water

under sail off the Brittany coast
under a fierce summer sun
and something stirred within me
and I held her soft face in my gaze
and fell forever into helpless love

John Lyons

Let nothing but love

Let the day live, let the day be
       through you, let the day
gently dictate the course
       of your breath the course
of your fate of your shadow
       of your movements
your decisions, of your thoughts
       and your feelings, let the day be
through the minutes,
       through the hours
without worry, without fuss
       let the day live in all its splendour
in all its glory, let it be your life
       and be roses, be bees and butterflies
and magpies marauding
       and red foxes prowling
and squirrels squirreling
       and willows sighing
sweet memories tugging
       at the strings of your heart

let the north wind
and the south wind

       and the east wind infuse your soul
with resolution, let the day live
       in every nook and every cranny
of your being, let nothing whatsoever
       darken your days, neither the sun nor
the moon nor the stars
       Let the day live, let the day be
and let nothing but love
       stand in your way

John Lyons

Hand of blood and bone

bone

                                  Bone moon


Hand of blood and bone
         picks roses primroses
things of perfection
         things of time

Simple passing
         back and forth
of banter
         of bonded bodies
that separate
         that slip
in and out
         of sleep

On moon nights
         the silence
of starlight
         at daybreak
doves cooing
        and later thrush
and sparrow
         and eventual
magpies robins
         crows

Last night
         the interminable
chatter of foxes
         shooting the breeze
survival a way of life
         for them

Effortless love
         that slips in and out
of silence
         words couched
in tireless
         gestures

Her lips closed
         she sleeps on
while he observes
         the coruscations
of time
         experience comes
at a price always
         worth paying

John Lyons

Love’s faded flowers

trash

         Trash, John Lyons (40 x 40 cm, mixed media on canvas)

Trash
       garbage
the faded flowers
       of friendship
heaped in a pile
       of sweepings
of yesterday’s news
       to which everyone
turns a blind eye
       as though
it never happened
       forgotten smiles
kisses consigned
       to ancient history
who lives by the sword
       dies by the word

John Lyons

Love – an artifice of eternity

debris
                       Débris, John Lyons (40 x 40, mixed media on canvas)

The fact is that we grow into our age
a generation among generations

perhaps the flesh tires but the soul never
the spirit that drives us forward

the pursuit not of intellect but of love
whatever lights a fire under our emotions

From conception to birth to our passing
the cycle is relentless and justly so –

no rose or magpie aspires to immortality
though wild salmon run the rapids

to perpetuate their nameless lineage
The day is there for us to behold

the moments for us to savour the delights
of breath and feel the pulse of life

coursing through our veins : a gentle kiss
is all it takes to lift us up to heaven

John Lyons

Pale rags of cloud

Pale rags of cloud
       sweep across
the pale morning sky
       pearl grey day
yet to be infused
       with light

A single magpie
       waits for others
to join it in its play
       in the background
the desultory song
       of thrush and robin

my mind a haze
       of broken dreams
a spidery web
       of disconnected
thoughts and feelings

In all these years
       the ragged elms
have barely changed
       those that witnessed
my birth : from winter frosts
       to summer storms
they’ve weathered it all

Time stretches out
       its ragged horizon
: roses and daffodils
       and autumn leaves
the measure of me
       love another — times
I met a fair wind
       and a warm heart

John Lyons

When calm and quiet

When calm and quiet
I step into the past
Childhood is as
Another room
Open the door
Cross the threshold
On gentle tiptoes

Watch the characters
Interact as through
A curtain as light
As a butterfly wing

They make you laugh
Sometimes cry
Always longing for
A glance
A gentle touch
A nod of acknowledgement

A brief respite from
What is today
What has to be
Faced, dealt with
Fixed
Renewed, refreshed
To go on.

Molly Rosenberg

How gently she moves

How gently she moves
       through my mind
an image without words
       a fleeting presence
and how the quiet returns
       in moments of respite

Who among us
       has never loved in vain
has never fought
       for a cause that was
doomed to failure or turned
       an eager hand
for it to come
       to naught

But there is no pain
       in the imagining
or when we shake down
       the dust of distant days
Our dreams our hopes
       wind in circles that recur

old tunes rattled out
       on an ageing gramophone
the long-legged flies
       that scuttled across
the shallow pond’s
       smooth summer surface

our lives a convoluted
       race against time
and all the while obsessed
       with truth and beauty
a lonely face that flashed
       before my eyes
a whisper barely heard
       before it dies

John Lyons

Love’s complaint

Upon Troy’s battlements

I will not say
       that the cards dealt
were marked
       or that such were
the merciless stars
       that shone upon
those dark nights
       when I struggled
to find my path
       my soul

in the stillness
       in the morning silence
broken only
       by voice of thrush
and sparrow and
       cooing dove
I stand by my choices
       and the consequences
thereof
       and look to the future
my body yet to collapse
       into wrack and ruin
my desire to love
       and be loved intact

Today I hold
       my hand to the fire
hell has no mysteries
       it is heaven that eludes
or provokes with promises
       of rude passion to tempt
our tender flesh
       into submission
or beguiles us with
       crude images of beauties
that stalk the flaming
       battlements of Troy

John Lyons