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

Lorine Niedecker : an appreciation


Lorine Niedecker : an appreciation

As night fell
           and the waters calmed
the churn of words
           within her

He fished the river
           his glass never empty
small fry he caught
           but he was there

the poetry buried
           within her
the thoughts
           and the feelings

guided by the stars
           darkness was a revelation
love might never come but
           breath most precious of all

John Lyons


Mixed feelings

Mix, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Mixed feelings

That morning stillness
           just woken from sleep
coffee in hand
           gaze through the window
a light winnowing breeze
           moves through the trees
birds tuning up
           for their morning chorus
a glorious day ahead
           blue skies and sunshine

and hope in leaps and bounds
           what passes is not love
whatever passes
           let it go : whoever passes
through your life
           let them go too
love never ever passes
           love remains

today I will mix paints
           and apply them to canvas
today I will mix words
           and apply them to paper
today I will make music
           with a mixture of notes
love never passes
           love remains

John Lyons


We are aftermath

We are aftermath

We are aftermath
           recycled residue
afterburn of creation
           our bodies built
from cluster upon cluster
           of wayward particles
and we are eternal return
           how many aeons
to shape a rose
           the petals of thought
the palpitating heart
           the desire to kiss to hold
and to caress
           to love

what emerged from the dross
           the debris of creation
in a structured universe
           in which no amount
of matter or energy
           is ever wasted
part of that immense
           single unending event
words formed
           from clusters of sound
and so to the surge
           of the poetic line
the mindful word
           travelling across space
or across the page
           deluge of the imagination
and how life unleashed
           feeds upon life
the unconscious cannibalism
           of carbon
fanned by the flames
           of oxidation
and all the time
           I long to run my fingers
through her hair
           wake to her dawn
all dust to dust
           rose to rose

John Lyons


Hark to the sound of light

Flowers, John Lyons (oil on wood)

Hark to the sound of light

The rose has its imprint
           petal softness of velvet
brushed against her lips
           threads of life entwined
gold and silver and amethyst
           honour in her silence
honour in her words
           honour in her breath
though the rose requires
           no tongue

           literally made
in the stars
           and in the black nights
we gaze at our past
           the foundry in which
we were first formed
           before thought

That such intense heat
           could give rise to tears
whether of joy or pain
           to wisdom too
and sadly ignorance
           : does there always
have to be a thorn
           in the side ?

We say that paradise
           is a place of grace and love
and all that stems
           from light –
speech is in our nature
           and silence too
the rose imprinted
           needs no tongue

Look to your mirror
           song will heal your heart
happiness is there
           for the taking
syllables shaped
           in the sound of light
the mirror says
           love you too

John Lyons

Trooping my colours

Trooping the colour, John Lyons (40 x 40 cm, oil on canvas)

Trooping my colours

Under a blue sky
           I lay out my colours
this is the shape of them
           their texture as revealed
by the light

There is a pattern
           a gathering within
a certain geometry
           but there is
spontaneity too
           and ragged edges

you could say this canvas
           has my fingers all over it
the brush marks are all mine
           the choice of colours too
and some might say it’s not art
           but who are they to judge
can art ever be truly defined
           can love ?

John Lyons

Ain’t that a fact

Ain’t that a fact

The idea of beauty
           shaped in the mind’s eye
because beauty is a shape
           so too is love
in all its dimensions
           proclivity to action
with a sense of purpose
           it achieves where
other emotions fail
           boundless too
though it shares
           the shape of infinity
the sometime symbol
into gold or silver
           that never ends
worn around the neck
           set into equations
a quick calculation
           beyond value

the sultry idea of her
           of her watered eyes
of her hesitant hands
           of her puffed lips
as they play
           with words
the cat and mouse of her
           wilfully oblivious
to consequence
           no facts but in ideas
what the eyes apprehend :
           by their deeds
you shall know them
           ain’t that a fact !

John Lyons