By Putney Bridge


Down by Putney Bridge
slow day descending

into darkness –

river high

but not unduly
temperature falling

but not that cold –

late joggers

back and forth
ducks and geese

on the causeway –

first lights of evening

I watch the waters flow

I think of you
your one betrayal
after another

John Lyons

Words are not love

chaos of colour

Words are not love
just as leaves
are not autumn

dismissive gestures
and empty smiles
as the questions
tumble one by one

between your world
and my world
there is a world
of a difference

I too have crossed
Brooklyn Bridge
in the blazing heat
of a distant summer

dust upon my shoes
and city grime
etched into my collar

you were a shape once
you were a sense
you were a direction
full of promise

now nothing but words
sounds corralled
into a meaningless grid
of petrified ambition

John Lyons

The road less travelled

road less      Parksville NY, John Lyons (30 x 25 cm, oil on canvas)

The road less travelled

Just after the dawn dust
           had settled
after the larks had risen
           into the vacant sky
I chanced upon
           this fork in the road
a yellow wheat field
           and in the distance
the deep dense green
           of ancient woodland

and who knows
           where a road might lead
or what awaits us in our day-to-day
           as we make our way
along paths known or unknown
           how for better or worse 
a random choice may change
           a life forever

John Lyons

Text revised

Of art poetry and love

Infancy, John Lyons (40 x 40 cm, oil on canvas)

Of art poetry and love

Nothing changes
           from generation
to generation
           but the thing seen
and that makes

writing and painting
           are like that in that
what is observed
           whether internally
or externally
           provides the material
necessary to live
           as an outlaw
in defiance of rules
           and totally open
to the unexpected
           that is why lovers
are always ahead
           of their time
because they create
           something entirely new

a bond composed
           of myriads of affinities
alongside refreshing
love like that
           is always beginning
is never ending
           is a fount of constant
innovation and harmonious
art poetry and love
           are the natural trinity
in which beauty and truth
           are enshrined

John Lyons


What burns below the horizon

Shifting Sands, John Lyons (65 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

What burn below the horizon

What burns
             just below
the horizon
             a palette
of mixed feelings
             love in flames
in its purity
             its sky-blue sky
             an oxidised earth

where pristine rivers flow
             where untamed oceans
beat against wild shores
             where green pastures
stretch into long-ago years
             upon the mountain roads
lined with gorse
             and golden heather
that carry me down
             to Dingle Bay

John Lyons

Out of the earth

Plant, John Lyons (oil on wood)

Out of the earth

Out of the earth
           this pine wood
out of the earth
           these pigments
out of the earth
           the oils used
out of the earth
           the wooden brush
and bristles
           the artist too

out of the earth
           from stardust
to stardust
           this simple
           a smattering of light
in the darkness
           out of the earth
all life all love all art
           out of the earth

John Lyons

A quick dash of colour

Dash of colour, John Lyons (70 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

A quick dash of colour

A quick dash of colour
           to suggest dusty fields
of wheat and barley
           green pastures where
sheep and cattle graze
           the gentle hills and dales
through which blue rivers
           run their course
the red flourish of poppies
           in the wide meadows
           on their slender stems

the colour of earth
           and blue skies
and white clouds
           riding high :
this is where life lives
           where hearts break
and are mended
           and where energies
are all but exhausted
           in the pursuit of love

John Lyons


New dawn

New dawn, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

New dawn

What is striking
           are the bare spaces
the bare sky the bare streets
           the bare park hidden behind
the thick summer foliage
           These are times
of tenderness and grief
           times in which to care
           for the body
and let the devil
           take the soul

Company that is comfort
           has given way to avoidance
and now more than ever
           distance separates us
and love’s versatile touch
           is so out of reach

Yours was a name
           I once loved
but in that name
           a space has grown
larger than any
           I have ever known
it tells me that though
           you are still here
you are long gone
           long gone

John Lyons


Pulsar, John Lyons (oil on canvas)


From the great vortex
           comes harmony
structure out of chaos
           energy that cools
into matter
           and ultimately
into flesh and blood

blood the colour of fire
           and of oxidised iron
love that descends
           into the mouth of hell
to retrieve love
           Orpheus armed only
with a harp

reality is
           what we imagine it to be
so too is love
           the love of one
created in our image
           and likeness
the whirl of emotions
the centrifugal pull
           of the universe

light is the colour
           of life
it purifies the soul
           is music to our ears
is food of love
           is pulsars
of accelerated particles
           one pulse beating
in time to another
           in time

John Lyons


In the dark hour

Nocturnal Flowers, John Lyons (oil on wood)

In the dark hour

In the dark hour
that come and go
           the bright beauty
and the fragility
           of their life

flowers that cast
           no shadow
that simply are
           to be admired
to be treasured
           love of flowers
that never leaves us

John Lyons