The looking glass

The deep green
       of woodland ivy
       of life and death
and the holly
       rich with red
winter berries
       and mistletoe
with its plump
       unctuous fruit
such significance
       within a universe
so alive with death
       as though each
were interchangeable
       in the glass

Her lips now pale
       with age
her song now silent
       now a thing
of the past
       We are voice
and we are memory
       but our voices
grow silent over time
       and our memories
fade beyond the sunset
       Love for today
for tomorrow
       it may be gone

John Lyons

Love and peace

An octet of magpies
       sitting high up
in a neighbour’s tree
       I say sitting
but in fact they keep
       jostling for position
perhaps to determine
       who plays first violin

At the rear of the garden
       the foxes are making their moves
overnight there was a light frost
       but it didn’t last

The foxes are lounging
       on the shed roof perhaps
recalling those long gone
       summer days
and their friendly skirmishes
       with the magpies

High winds are forecast
       but on this Christmas morning
there is a stillness
       a contemplative silence
and love in my heart
       love and peace

John Lyons

Corrected text!

The picture of health

green door

This is a picture of health
       the green door of fresh pastures
the field of possibilities
       where sparrows and crows feed
where daisies and dandelions
       flourish in summer months
meadows bisected by clear streams
       sunlight devoured by every leaf
and blade of grass and life busy
       about its task of refreshing life

lovers and families come here
       to stroll and to remember
their purpose indeed their obligation
       to disperse shadows and sadness
to raise every crestfallen heart
       to apply the warm human touch
to every aspect of their life
       not to ask whether it is nobler
but to bear testimony
       to the truth in all its beauty

John Lyons

What never dies

Our frailties
       humble flowers
in the meadows
       and happiness
an art a skill
       that enables us
to live for
       another day

To be is better
       than not to be
words words words
       to fill a theatrical
space in time
       to know all
that defies entropy
       peace and love

John Lyons

Purple moon

purple moon

Patterned purple moon
               mood from a slice of wood
the once living fibres
               caught in colour
so as to project its emotion
               its intricate intimacy
circuitously perfected
               with life’s stamp
Here it is offering
               gift in the moment
of revelation
               a pause for thought
a focal point
               for feeling

Under today’s drab sky
               on the horizon
trees shrouded in mist
               a winter blowing
neither hot nor cold
               evening will come
a torrid sky
               with a purple moon

We will hold hands
               perhaps kiss
perhaps make love
              put the past behind us
swaddle ourselves
               in a shared dream
The stars are there
               to be counted
by their very nature
               they are all lucky

John Lyons

A benediction

Earth – rich
       mineral loam
out of which
       all roots feed.

Light and air.
       Deep seep
of clear waters.
       Seed of love
from which
       all life.

Her lips unsoiled
       her kiss –
a silence
       a benediction.

John Lyons

As the crow flies

As the crow flies
       or the hawk
that all-consuming
       view of the world
noting the slightest
       alteration of detail –
how we map our lives
       And our relationships

There is in all of us
       a natural hunger
for love
       for acceptance
for the pleasure
       of being with another
or among others
      for the sharing
of full-fleshed
       feelings and emotions

John Lyons

One voice – then another

One voice
And then another
Lifestories told
In their own words
From their own
Points of view

To know what another
Feels or means
This is a skill indeed
And to be able to express
Clearly what one feels
And what one means
This too is indeed a skill

One life
And then another
When paths cross
Or paths diverge
Or when two travel
Side by side
Bound by love

John Lyons

In the heat of the moment

In this universe
forged from heat
there is frost
on the garden wall
ice where water
has frozen
here and there
in the gutters

and sometimes love
that blows hot and cold
the ebb and flow of passion
of desire too
and silence
not the absence of words
perhaps more than ever
mulled in the mind

a horde of magpies
on the lawn
Napoleon has landed
and the years
that seem to set
their own pace
one two three
and forever counting

the fox has seen me
walking down the alley
and is beating a retreat
snow has fallen
in parts of the country

Yesterday I shivered

and remembered my age
but shrugged it off
and went on my way
what the naked eye sees
what the naked mind
One forgets
how many miles
how many words
how much love
makes a life

John Lyons