Turner’s time

Origins
Origins, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Turner’s time

Time of itself
           no significant changes
my time is not your time
           we each carry our own load
I could even say lode
           Time and what you make of it
the wish to change
           and the will to change
the energies that we apply
           to the process of change
or stasis
           and time-resistance
no wish and no will
           to change and each year
as the year before
           and life a constant
duplication of the previous
           or do I repeat myself
the steps we take
           that you and I take
to renew and refresh
           to break through
the time-barrier
           Turner on Margate beach
sand under his feet
           sailed through time
applied fire to his canvas
           held eternity at bay
if only for a while
           all for his art

John Lyons

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Simplicity

simplicity
Simplicity, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Simplicity

Poetry —many things
          including a place
of repose
          when we are time-sick
Soon the leaves
          will come tumbling
down in cascades
          borne on gusts of wind
raked up and bagged
          on our streets

And as the nights
          close in
peace will descend
          and we will have
sessions of sweet
          silent thought
and true value
          will warm our blood

John Lyons

View from the Turner Museum, Margate

Turner Contemporary
The Turner Contemporary gallery, Margate

View from the Turner Gallery, Margate

How light the liquid light
          lies upon the sea
as the sun sets
          the silver shimmer
of tiny waves that roll in
          from the distant horizon
candescent curls
          that ferry brilliance
to the shore : calm now
          on this end of summer
afternoon with contentment
          settled among the families
at play on the beach
          fine dry sand underfoot
and a rising tide and a waning
          moon in the wings

Here Turner knew
          tempestuous times
when ships were lost
          with all souls drowned
: but there were days too
          when the placid waters
held his eye and he saw
          only peace and comfort
his heart awash
          with the beauty of it all

John Lyons


Visit the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-6pm.


 

The unkempt garden

spears
The unkempt garden, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

The unkempt garden

After the long dry spell
          the grass is threadbare
covered in tall coarse weeds
          and towering dandelions
: a couple of chairs
          that were overturned
in the fierce storm
          have yet to be righted

The word that comes to mind
          is neglect or abandonment
although it’s not as though
          nobody cares
just that nature appears to be
          one step ahead of the neighbour
who has assumed responsibility
          for the garden

Frankly he’s getting on in years
          so I don’t blame him
in fact I blame no one
          that’s just the way it is
plant life is so rampant
          under these climate conditions
it poses a real problem but I trust
          it will all work out in the end

John Lyons

Liquidities

Figures 2

Interim, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Liquidities

Life and its liquidities
          the ebb and flow
the figures that come and go
          and how one thing
leads to another
          and the dry wit of words
amid the steel stone and glass
          structures that cement
our minds to the ground
          so that life becomes abstract
and all the while
          as the climate heats
the earth cools
          and pockets of distress
spread like wildfire
          and time turns to December
frost thick in the fields
          and the night sky
a fretwork of stars
          and a moon that beams
misfortune upon those detached
          from the pulse of love

John Lyons

 

Shooting the breeze

Figures_detail
Liquid figures, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Shooting the breeze

A body of thoughts and feelings
          fed by the blood of sunlight
a body that moves erratically
          along a predetermined path
a body that knows when to stop
          to admire a rose or to stroke a dog

a body given up to the intensities
          of work and the leisure of love
one that lives in defiance
          of the seasons and dreams only
of moonlight and a warm bed
          in which to lie  A body

stripped of all ambition
          other than to breathe
the wholesome country air
          and count the beats of its heart

John Lyons

Magnetic resonance

magnetic resonance
Magnetic resonance, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Magnetic resonance

Vascular life
           with its niggling
day-to-day setbacks
           the rough taken
with the smooth
           dismissed perhaps
as time’s tantrums
           life calling death’s bluff

and in the garden
           the wheelbarrow laden
with fresh turf
           a new lawn to be laid
and the wind picks up
           and autumn is upon us
with its August lights
           that draw in the moths

winter preparations
           for the season of silence
the months straddled
           by ice and snow
and a world-weariness
           the long bed of the river
silting as it snakes
           into the empty sea

and love that clings
           to pearls of naked flesh
that longs for the warmth
           of word-wisdom and
gentility on the tongue
           a lamp burning through
the long nights
           the random days
that consecrate love’s
           tender traffic

John Lyons