The River

The river
The River, John Lyons

Three years ago

This is where we meet
            in the eyes of the mind
or of the heart on streets
            that the rain has swept
where early blooms
            have defied the season

We traipse through
            the long galleries
where feelings hang
            in frames and we examine
the colours and the textures
            of others’ lives
the long brush strokes
            or flicks of the palette knife
and in the hall where
            the bronze sculptures laze
a deep note sounds
            of young whales 
struggling to reach
            the surface

And all day long
            our shadows
are in hot pursuit
            and our tongues
never cease to babble
            and our convergence
has brought a new confection
            into the world
there is after all
            an ineffable art to love

John Lyons

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Held in the memory

Held in the memory

Momentary flames
            a brief fire that flickers
in the mouth of a cave
            a time for reflection
and for expression
            Pollock’s hand prints
on the wall
            the colours mixed
with intention
            a scheme of things
in the mind
            deliberately executed

Not to leave a record
            but simply to tell
of how it is
            of how it was
that day when we walked
            through the rain
or when we parked our bikes
            and stood in the shadow
of Chartres cathedral
            and admired its beauty
Days that we will never forget
            until the end of our days
and our love held
            in the memory

John Lyons

How it goes

mood
Mood, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

How it goes

A poet works
            with eyes and ears
listening and watching for
            whatever is worthy of note
and for the silence
            that sustains it all

A poet sees and tells
            such as it is
the lie of the land
            the clocks that tick
the hand that leans
            out of the boat
to trail fingers
            in the smooth sea

A poet wipes the salt
            from his lips
before he kisses
            the love of his life
He preserves
            her beauty in lines
that will reach
            beyond
the outer edges
            of time

But a poet must not
            be betrayed :
to do so is to break
            the universe in two

John Lyons

Self-portrait

my life
Self-portrait, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Self-portrait

And so my life evolves
            in momentary flames
of passion and of loss
            of belief and disbelief
the warm colours of love
            the frosty colours
of abandonment
            my image strung up
on the walls
            of a civilised cave

These are the true forms
            these the accurate renderings
of a somewhat chaotic existence
            captured the texture of my life
It is my breath that has filled
            this unfinished canvas
and I fully intend to paint
            myself out of every corner
that I have through my choices
            and my good
and bad decisions
            created

What does it represent
            what does it all mean
you might ask
            and I answer
everything
            every tiny detail
It is for the observer to unravel
            the intimate timeline
to arrive
            at the heart of the matter
the broken heart
            and to piece it all together

John Lyons

 

Embers

embers
Embers, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Embers

I imagine flakes of time
            falling gently
through the universe
            the ash of moments
invisible to the naked eye
            but that the heart 
apprehends in the darkness
            that moves into the light
in the light that moves
            into the darkness

Three years of flowers
            that first flourished
then faded and then died
            The images abandoned
in the mirror along with
            the laughter and the love
What it meant
            to be together
what it means
            to be apart

John Lyons


Revised from an earlier post

Came now to peace

north america
North America, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Came now to peace

Came now to peace
           the darkness
and the silence
           before the light
before the day broke
           Heard foxes in retreat
the first cries of the pigeons
           Heard the crows
scampering across the roof
           all this
before the local world awoke
           before the buzz of traffic
in the distance
           Peace in the darkness
and in the silence
           alone with my thoughts
before the turbulence
           of the day
nursing memories
           mindful of the blessings
I have received
           the love that came and went
but that was for a while
           worth living for

John Lyons

Fields of gold

yellow
Yellow, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Fields of gold

I shall set this yellow canvas
           aside for a while
and wait to see
           what might grow in it
in the imagination
           Yellow the colour of
joy and energy and loyalty
           of intellect and fresh hope
of the wheat fields
           on the foothills
around Arles
           or the sunflowers
that Vincent so lovingly 
           painted with his life
the sky above him
           a chrome yellow
almost as bright
           as the sun itself

John Lyons