A living mirror of the stars
not quite—

we are not light reflected
just look into her eyes

see the life that glows there
warm flesh with fresh dreams

we’re all on a mission
to save the world

supermen and women
carrying the baton of love

and in the vast expanse
of night no star shines alone

and every intimate world
lit by another or others

so that the word world
means perspective

point of view
within the collective

every creation has
its fingerprints

unique and non-negotionable
and as light

that passes unimpeded
through glass the journey

through our heavens
knows no obstacle

therefore if you say love
mean it or be damned

John Lyons


Out of our stars

Out of our stars

What bearing
out of stars

are they words
or not

why of course
all hails from them

we the stuff of stars
their language

the love I feel
is star love

it is energy
and attraction

and it fills my sky
with contentment

it is paradise
not to be crossed

poetry is more
than earth song

it is the rhapsody
of warm blood

purposing through
the cold universe

and so it encompasses
all surpasses all

John Lyons

Corrected text

The politics of poverty

The politics of poverty

Not all saints are friends
           not all friends are saints
and words are easier
           than any actions
but there is a sense
           of what it is to be human
and to love and care
           for another and for others
and this prohibits
           all violations of the body
in every sense
           of the word

Life pared back
           to its essentials
stripped of excess
           and lived from
the very core of being
           Vanity is a citadel
that must be torn down
           duty brought to task
the politics of poverty
           offends us all
who would care to be
            ruler of this realm
of destitution :
           my kingdom for a horse
diamonds and sapphires
           in the mud

John Lyons



I need no eyes
I stumbled when I saw

fleshly pencils

one thing from itself
never turning
time’s fool
the mind’s peace

this composed wonder
of your frame
my eye is in my mind

tongue lose your light
love’s mind
the red meat on the rug

Out of chaos
this composed wonder
a world framed
in your image

Time is a fool
to leave so much

John Lyons

Life story

Life story

Temper and belief
           as we move through
the transparent air
           and embrace
the solitude of the self
           Our thoughts

words and deeds
           are the particulars
of this life story
           the shifting colours
of autumn winter
           and spring with their
unique silhouettes
           and time that runs
through our flesh
           and bones from
the very first tick
           of the clock

We’re here
           to love and be loved
there’s no mystery
           each of us is a new text
in the world
           born of our breath

John Lyons

Reading ready

Reading ready

A man is reading
           a novel to himself
out loud
           in the library :
he seems totally
in the story
           and oblivious
to everything
           around him

He’s about
           forty-five years old
casually dressed
trainers and
           a light jacket

He reads slowly
           but without
           over words

I remember the transition
           to silent reading
when I was at school
           a minor milestone
to be sure
           but I have to admire
this character sitting
           in Holborn public library
on a cold December afternoon
immersed in the joy
           of his fictional world

John Lyons



Do not mistake my body for me
I am sometimes there
and yes it’s an address of sorts
but I’m often absent
simply elsewhere
sometimes in the future
sometimes strolling through
past locations in which I accumulated
thoughts and feelings and experiences
there are hills and rivers and walled cities
and boats that cut through
the choppy waters of a beautiful lake
and there are men and women and children
and lips that I once kissed and still cherish
in an absent kind of way
so much so that when Rimbaud wrote
that his true life was elsewhere
I felt as though but for a quirk of time
he had read my mind
and stolen my thoughts

John Lyons