The way of the world


Doors are
at the heart
of the matter
art’s space
a condensation
of time
of coordinates
Doors of perception
art poetry
keys to known
and unknown


or paths
to or from
what lies beyond
what brought us
to this point
what expectations
are held

How many
doors in my life ?
When one closes
another opens
or so we hope

Love is a door

into another’s
heart and or
a door open

to another’s heart
this is the way
of the world
not how it ends
but how it begins

John Lyons

Revised post

Faded flowers


Faded flowers, John Lyons (25 x 30 cm, oil on canvas)

These are the raw months
       of north winds
of incessant rain and snow
       trees stripped to their bones
all but a few of the flowers
       of friendship
       when skeins of ducks
fly west
       in tattered v-shapes
while other flocks
       simply flee the country

and in my heart stillness
       a longing for sunshine
to warm the cold stones
       to soften the edges
of the brutal horizon
       I watch foxes dance
within circles of magpies
       their days one long string
of unbridled entertainments
       : these are the raw months
a time to dig trenches and wait
       for these times to pass

John Lyons

Riddles of energy

Cosmos, a detail, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

How did the light
       that you and I once were
at the origins
       of the universe
become the energies
       and the colours
of who we are
       today ?

Shapes and textures
       within a cosmos
yet to take shape
       the thermodynamics
of our love
       spelt out in equations
the riddles of energy
       and mass subsumed
in a kiss exchanged
       at the speed of light

John Lyons

On the night shift

                                                   Universe, John Lyons (30 x 25 cm, oil on canvas)

On the night shift
       my mind is slower
more in tune
       with the stars

Look how long it took
       for the universe
to shape our world
       for the sea to separate
from the land
       for human life
to evolve
       for you and I to meet
to walk hand in hand
       across Tower Bridge

On the night shift
       my breathing is slower
I have been known
       to doze the hours away
to dream that you
       are still there
by my side and that
       time will in time
repair every injury
       to my soul

John Lyons

Resolution in the face

Prince of Denmark, John Lyons (25 x 30 cm, oil on canvas)

Love sleeps cosy
in my heart
a bright star
in a warm firmament

I wake to the chirrup
of thrush and sparrow
magpies in their Bourbon
regalia have yet to appear

In my dream
I was flying back to you
to a nest we had built
together lovingly

Though rain has fallen
it did not dampen my spirit
whatever life throws my way
I am ready and willing to play

John Lyons

Stream of life

Lake District, John Lyons (30 x 25 cm, oil on canvas)

Cold dry oils
       pigments stripped
from the earth
       daubed on canvas
to record all memory
       of time – here
where great sheets of ice
       once polished and denuded the land
here where barren trees
       now stand in their bleak midwinter

Generations have walked these paths
       have journeyed from star to star
from seed to seed
       an endless stream of life
If you close your eyes
       you can hear the whispers
of those who went before you
       those who fell in bloody wars
and those who lost their lives
       to love or to other distempers
of the heart – last night a moon
       full and intense enough
to burn a hole in the dark sky
       as if to confirm
that the worst is over

       that spring in all its beauty
will come soon and with it hope
       and with it love

John Lyons

The wisdom of magpies

moon surface
                                                     Moon surface, photo by John Lyons 

Magpies – the smartest birds
       on the block
feed on beetles and flies
       and caterpillars
and spiders and worms
       and leatherjackets

In winter
       they turn vegetarian
feast on plant material
       such as wild fruits
berries and grains
      Magpies are never crossed
in love – far too smart
       for that

John Lyons

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

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