Maritime matters

blood and snow
Blood and snow, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Maritime matters

The hypnotic sound of the sea
            breaking on the shore
the hydraulic power of the waves
            that race in and appear to trip
and crash down on the shingle
            the rasp as the waters retreat
the white surf lacing the beach
            Something primeval within us
nostalgia for the ocean depths
            from which we emerged
and for a simpler form of life
            for that prime motility
that brings us to where
            we are today

The sea runs in our veins
            with all the essential salts
star warmth marine blood
            stoking the complexities
of human relations
            the come and go upon dry land
She loves me she loves me not
            another shore another sea
there is always another
            another and another

John Lyons

Advertisements

Blood and snow

Blood and snow

Those early days were the best
            when we first travelled together
and you brought blueberries
            or cherries to snack on the train

I remember how your eyes lit up
            when I asked you that question
in the Southwark Tavern and how
            unconsciously you licked your lips

I remember the night we spent
            in Bruton and all the love we made
all the fun             Snow on the platform
            where we waited for the return train

the boys throwing aimless snowballs
            across the tracks and the young sailor
telling us of his life at sea 
            and the radiance of your smile

John Lyons

One vast cathedral

One vast cathedral

Joy that is that essential emotion
            that comes from peace and harmony
from life’s live and let live
            no place for bitterness or hatred
only the inflections of kindness
            and tenderness towards one another
the energies that rise
            through the limbs and are put
to work to good purpose
            to build relationship and trust

We in our intrinsic selves are part

            of the one true cathedral
built not from stone
            but from our cleft flesh
held aloft by proud bone
            the beating heart of humanity
and through the passing of generations
            the love that never ends

John Lyons

Une grande cathédrale

La joie : c’est cette émotion essentielle
            qui découle de la paix et de l’harmonie
du fait de vivre et de laisser vivre
            Pas de place pour l’amertume ou la haine
seulement les inflexions de gentillesse
            et de tendresse les uns envers les autres
les énergies qui montent
            à travers les membres
et qui sont employées à bon escient
            pour construire des relations et la confiance

Nous en nous-mêmes faisons partie

            de la seule et vraie cathédrale
construite non pas en pierre
            mais en chair fendue
maintenue en hauteur par un os fier
            cœur battant de l’humanité et
au fil des générations
            un amour qui ne finit jamais

 

Down by the Danube

Danube June 2018
The Danube, Vienna, 23 June 2018

Down by the Danube

On that glorious day in June
            we cycled along the banks
of the Danube
            alongside its blue waters
where swans swam in groups
            waters bound for Hungary
and beyond into Ukraine
            and the Black Sea

For a while we rode together
            but you knew the way
and you headed off alone
            and were soon out of sight
I thought you would turn back
            or wait for me to catch up
but you didn’t and I never did
            and I never have

John Lyons

Вниз по Дунаю

У той славний день червня
            ми їздили по банках
Дунаю
            поруч з його блакитними водами
де лебеді плавали в групах
            води, спрямовані до Угорщини
і за межі України
            і Чорне море

Деякий час ми їхали разом
            але ви знали шлях
і ви відправилися в поодинці
            і незабаром зникли з поля зору
Я думала, ти повернешся назад
            або почекайте, щоб мене наздогнали
але ви не зробили, і я ніколи не робив цього
            і я ніколи не маю

Lightness of being

Lightness of being

Momentary in the mind
            a reflection caught
in the mirror
            or a sudden gust of wind
that nearly blows me
            off my feet

Portion control
            and the weight dropping
since mid-October
            16 pounds to date
nosing slowly towards
            my target
I walk on air
            a spring in my step
one less person to carry
            around

I catch buses and trains
            I might have missed
Love is immortal
            the flesh is not
Care must be exercised
            but life as the poet says
is a sacrament of praise
            the beauty of all good things
the interminable flow
            of the seasons
along with my breath
            along with my blood
The only strings attached
            are those of the viol
the melodies that arise
            in my heart’s chamber

John Lyons

 

Columbia Road Market

Columbia Road Market

It was a Sunday in March
            the sky was overcast
but it wasn’t cold
            The market stalls
and the boutique shops
            were absolutely packed
with young couples
            out on a leisurely stroll

You bought earrings
            and some flowers
to decorate the flat
            I bought you a candle
to fill the flat with light
            when we ate together
It was an act of love
            and I hoped
that the flame
            would never die

John Lyons

End of the affair

End of the affair

Love emerges intact
            from the edge of night
the poverty of winter
            behind us now
the disparate particles
            coalescing into what
we once were
            coupled in our nature
I who am still warm
            with love and you
who have grown
            distant and cold

I let you go
            I bid you farewell
make no attempt
            to restrain you
My love is yours to reject
             yours to regret
for the rest
            of your life

I cannot bind you to the memory
            of Tooley Street
nor the dusty roads of Paris
            nor to the easy give and take
of our salad days
            Though the mornings
have grown silent
            I say go
go to be whomsoever you need to be
            go wherever you will

Did you think
            that the moon
would fall at your feet
            or that all the earth’s rivers
would run dry ?
            In my eyes I hold
the courage to observe
            your departure
In my wounded heart
            I await your return

John Lyons