Fallen roses

A clear day
        and no memories
the treeline in the distance
        dappled with sunshine
Today I will walk and ride
        and sit and dream
by the riverside
        where our life flowed
so sweetly

All those years
        that meant so much
the many bridges
        we crossed
the many sunsets
        we shared
the laughter
        and the love
the many petals
        of fallen roses

John Lyons

I cannot speak your thoughts

I cannot speak your thoughts
        no more than I can read
the mind of the stars
        That fear possessed you
I know this :
        that your courage failed
at the point of decision
        and so you withdrew

I know that in that moment
        whole cities faded out of sight
and certain ardent words were lost
        as you hid your heart from me

We are of the world but
        we cannot fix it unless
we’re prepared to defend
        love’s innocence and carry
our convictions to the grave
        and never betray our kiss

John Lyons

Chess – Rosario Castellanos

rosario_castellanos_books

As we were friends and occasionally loved each other,
perhaps to add a further interest
to the many that already bound us,
we decided to play mind games.

We set up a board between us:
equal in pieces, in values,
and possible moves.

We learned the rules, swore to respect them,
and the match began.

We’ve been seated here for ever,
ferociously pondering
how to land the final blow that will irrevocably
annihilate, once and for all, the other.

Rosario Castellanos

(translation by John Lyons)

Under the full moon

Under the full moon
        down by the Thames
I said to her— Be the voice
        of my night
of my day
        of my love

Let us share the sunrise
        the silent hour at dusk
and together
        let us scan the sky
for shooting stars
        Let us travel
down to the shore
        to hear the sea-sound
to be lulled by
        its timeless serenade

John Lyons

How the wind shifts

This is how the wind shifts
        from one moment to another
the result of the tussle
        between high and low pressure

and as the wind shifts
        so too the day and all
the illusions and disillusions
        it brings as part of its baggage

and our thoughts go spinning
        and our feelings reeling
as warm and cold fronts clash
        under the barometric weight

human eagerness driven by
        clear blue skies can so easily
collapse into lethargy and
        irrational gloom :

it takes a spark to ignite
        our passions and set the stage
for love and romance to unfold
        and fill our lives with joy

A trip to Hastings

St Clement's Church

The earth and the sky
        and in between
the white cliffs
        and the rolling sea
from sunrise
        to sunset—our lives

In old wooden huts
        down by the shore
old men and women
        silently mend the nets
the air heavy with brine
        and the stench of sea debris
broken shells and damp
        seaweed underfoot

We were there
        for a few short hours
one summer’s day
        and when we walked
among the backstreets
        we came across a row
of Tudor buildings
        and we felt as though
it was our discovery

And in those days
        it felt too as though life
belonged to us
        that it was our world
and that we would
        always be in love
with it and with
        each other

John Lyons

The silence of things

The silence of things
        that have no voice
no means of expression
        above and beyond
their physical shape
        and characteristics
things so often
        in the backdrop
that we barely notice
        stones in the road
that only occasionally
        cause us to trip

And yet they are
        presence and context
where what we talk of
        takes place or unfolds

Our fascination
        with the moon
and the stars and the sea
        with lakes and rivers
all of which are in
        perpetual motion
and have deep purpose
        and speak volumes to us
on their own terms
        in their own language
devoid of syllables
        but full of sense

And we speculate constantly
        about never-ending things
the chain of life and death
        systolic and diastolic and all
that happens in between

Love should be among
        those never-ending things
and sometimes it is
        but all too often
there comes a sharp speech
        a withering conversation
and the voices dry up
        and love no longer is

John Lyons

Never-ending things

The silence of things
        that have no voice
no means of expression
        above and beyond
their physical shape
        and characteristics
things so often
        in the backdrop
that we barely notice

And yet they are
        presence and context
where what we talk of
        takes place or unfolds

Our fascination
        with the stars
and the sea
        with lakes and rivers
all of which have motion
        and deep purpose
and speak to us
        on their own terms
in their own language
        devoid of syllables
but full of meaning

And we speculate
        constantly about
never-ending things
        the chain of life and death
and all that happens
        in between

Love should be
        a never-ending thing
and sometimes it is
        but all too often
there comes a speech
        and the conversation
dries up and
        it no longer is

John Lyons

ee cummings testament

in thy beauty is the dilemma of flutes

The wOrds saD and beauty, the
woRds thORN and desIRe;that si-
lence that is anathemA to musicke, you-
r loVer torn betwEEn a rock and a
hard place;body of love laid snug
to rest;inTemPerate riSe and faLL
of quickSilver.Stay A while and I
will take your baroMetriC press-
ure;a feBrile finGer strays upon y-
our impulse.O lord, lead us into temp-
tation,bEforE it is tOO late.But for
the worDs,beTimes, all is dusT.

18 April 2005

John Lyons

A clear day

A clear day :
        fresh leaves on the trees
have brought the ancient woodland
        to life : school has yet to begin
but soon the young
        will be making their way
along the path through the woods
        to their classes

the youngest will hop and skip
        and chatter their innocent
knowledge full of the excitement
        and anticipation of what
the day holds
        the new meanings
that their activities
        will create

Today the air is clear
        and this small world
is touched by sunshine
        The young have inherited
this part of the world
        this spectacle lived previously
by others long gone

And the woodland’s understory
        is alive with new growth
holly and dogwood
        ivy and nettles
saplings fighting for their share
        of the light

John Lyons