What dies of the day

What dies of the day
        is dust is past
is long gone
        serves no purpose
cannot be retrieved
        is not worth retrieving

two crows in a field
        gingerly hounding
a fox off their territory
        two steps forward
one step back
        the fox nonchalant
devil may care
        the crows determined

all that lives in the day
        lives forever
all that love in the day
        love forever

and poetry is timeless
capsules of sound
        of meaning of feeling
preserved against
        the grain of life

poetry and love
        go hand in hand
care for the fox
        and the crows

John Lyons



                      Underworld, John Lyons (80 x 60 cm, oil on canvas)

And so I continue
        to map out my map
this is my world
        your world too
a world of colour
        of land and sea
and time and distance
        and a chance to know
where we stand and
        where we come from

All the time I’m thinking
        of textures and one hue
overlaying another and
        the currents created
by different brush strokes
        the transition from warm
to cold and light to dark
        and I know too that
in the future all this
        will be buried beneath
skeins of black and white
        applied at random and
as the mood takes me
        My under painting
is intended to be
        an underworld
a crude organisation
an orchestrated chaos
        a warm living breathing
world in which all things
        are possible including
peace including justice
        and including love

John Lyons

A world view

                Worldmappe, John Lyons (80 x 60 cm, oil on canvas)

A view of the world

        an artist’s impression
how I see it
        drawn from memory
some anomalies
        some distortions
some aspects
        out of proportion
basic and schematic
        a work of fiction
based on the loosest
        of all possible perceptions
I’m not a satellite
        I’m located somewhere
within these dimension
        it’s a self-portrait

Apart from the ocean
        the colours are notional
this is how I work
        creating an underpainting
with a clear narrative
        the north and south
of my knowledge
        and nothing left to chance

These words are a draft
        of other words as yet
        In the final painting
earth pigments will abound
        actions will be recorded
representational actions
        and the canvas will be
stained forever
        my right hand holding
a thin stick will trace
        the motion of currents
around this two-dimensional
        globe upon which the sun
appears to always shine
        I cannot literally
paint on your wall
        much as I would love to
this is the best I can do 
        : hang it !

John Lyons

Love that sets the path

Light that reaches back
to the origin of light
the original species
of light from which
all emanates

Has time ever stood still ?
Has movement ever ceased ?
The universe that expands
within our minds
within our hearts
all energy recycled
all growth turned
to advantage

So too love
in all its leisure
and our internal life
governed by purpose
and by attraction
by what we call desire
the passion that fires up
the humbled penitent soul
to action

Love that reaches back
into all our yesterdays
Love that sets the path
for all our days to come

John Lyons

Tilled earth


                         Land, John Lyons (70 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

The tilled earth
arable land worked
by ploughing and sowing
raising crops
out of which all life

Where the light falls
where the rain too
growth under ground
and in the air
that sustains us all

John Lyons

Poet and lover

The poet and the lover
are never idlebetween
and feelings

there may be a short

rest from time to time
just as in a musical score
the pregnant pause—one
is or one isn’t—just

as one does Words moved
the heart and mind

the dance of syllables
on the tip of the tongue

John Lyons

Corrected from earlier post

Rocks and stones

Rocks and stones :
      sun beating down
           small fry pursued
      by ravenous birds

The iron in my blood
            is innocent : it feeds
on the fat of the land
      All good things
            out of the earth
            oxygen out of the air
the impulse to breathe
      to shape life into words
            and words into life

To give praise
            where due
            the taste of beauty
on my tongue
            the warm breeze
            on my cheeks
dandelion days
       when we carried
our dust across
      the Brooklyn Bridge

John Lyons

Two pigeons

I’m sitting in the sun
watching two pigeons perform
        synchronised flying : their wings
almost touching : their wings
        never touching

Such perfect control at every
        sudden twist and turn : as
though they had trained
        for days for months : or
ever since birth : impossible
        to know their age : or whether
before they completely
        found their wings they were
ever clumsy : bumping into
        each other in awkward flight

I’m sitting in the garden
        sun beating on my face
wondering why the rest of us
        make such hard work
of moving around
        each other

John Lyons