Love among the graves


       Tulips, John Lyons (40 x 40 cm, mixed media on canvas)

That Easter she brought flowers
blood-red tulips from Amsterdam

On a bench in Margravine
they sat and ate fresh doughnuts

they watched the squirrels at play
among the tumbledown gravestones

Life tasted sweet and good on the palate
and love was still a promise to be kept

John Lyons

Love in the mix


Such is the texture of life
       chiaroscoro on the palate
the rough with the smooth
       shapes drawn from nature
and chance the greatest
       of all artists – sole capable
of the happy accident
       a cascade of coloratura

and so we met and
       there was love in the mix
a relationship constructed
       out of coffee and much more
a sharing of bodies and of hours
       that built destinations
into our days and cut paths
       through the urban jungle

This disk of light and dark
       a flavour of the times
her cup never less
       than half full and all served
with a warm kiss – the taste
       indelible on my lips

John Lyons

Love’s conumdrum


      Dregs, John Lyons

Beauty lurks
in all things
ready to beguile
to entrance
to win a heart
to provoke a sigh
beauty that
so truly lies
to the eye
of the beholder

Here my fortunes
in love or life
all too easy
to be read
in the coffee cup
to me remained
a mystery
to others
an open book

John Lyons

Helpless love

           Grapevine, John Lyons

What shall I do
with this absurdity
this universe in which
silence and stillness
simply do not exist

I think of whispered words
the tightened bow of her beauty
the ships on the shores of Troy
the blazing battlements
and a heart under siege

The rod and fly that I handled
so poorly as a boy when I fished
the streams around Thomastown
days long forgotten dearly remembered
What shall I do with this absurdity

the mule that I rode or the horse
or the donkey or a day at the fair
riding the carrousel with scarcely
a dream in my heart just an old tune
: or adrift in the water

under sail off the Brittany coast
under a fierce summer sun
and something stirred within me
and I held her soft face in my gaze
and fell forever into helpless love

John Lyons

Hand of blood and bone


                                  Bone moon

Hand of blood and bone
         picks roses primroses
things of perfection
         things of time

Simple passing
         back and forth
of banter
         of bonded bodies
that separate
         that slip
in and out
         of sleep

On moon nights
         the silence
of starlight
         at daybreak
doves cooing
        and later thrush
and sparrow
         and eventual
magpies robins

Last night
         the interminable
chatter of foxes
         shooting the breeze
survival a way of life
         for them

Effortless love
         that slips in and out
of silence
         words couched
in tireless

Her lips closed
         she sleeps on
while he observes
         the coruscations
of time
         experience comes
at a price always
         worth paying

John Lyons

Love’s faded flowers


         Trash, John Lyons (40 x 40 cm, mixed media on canvas)

the faded flowers
       of friendship
heaped in a pile
       of sweepings
of yesterday’s news
       to which everyone
turns a blind eye
       as though
it never happened
       forgotten smiles
kisses consigned
       to ancient history
who lives by the sword
       dies by the word

John Lyons

Love – an artifice of eternity

                       Débris, John Lyons (40 x 40, mixed media on canvas)

The fact is that we grow into our age
a generation among generations

perhaps the flesh tires but the soul never
the spirit that drives us forward

the pursuit not of intellect but of love
whatever lights a fire under our emotions

From conception to birth to our passing
the cycle is relentless and justly so –

no rose or magpie aspires to immortality
though wild salmon run the rapids

to perpetuate their nameless lineage
The day is there for us to behold

the moments for us to savour the delights
of breath and feel the pulse of life

coursing through our veins : a gentle kiss
is all it takes to lift us up to heaven

John Lyons

Pale rags of cloud

Pale rags of cloud
       sweep across
the pale morning sky
       pearl grey day
yet to be infused
       with light

A single magpie
       waits for others
to join it in its play
       in the background
the desultory song
       of thrush and robin

my mind a haze
       of broken dreams
a spidery web
       of disconnected
thoughts and feelings

In all these years
       the ragged elms
have barely changed
       those that witnessed
my birth : from winter frosts
       to summer storms
they’ve weathered it all

Time stretches out
       its ragged horizon
: roses and daffodils
       and autumn leaves
the measure of me
       love another — times
I met a fair wind
       and a warm heart

John Lyons

When calm and quiet

When calm and quiet
I step into the past
Childhood is as
Another room
Open the door
Cross the threshold
On gentle tiptoes

Watch the characters
Interact as through
A curtain as light
As a butterfly wing

They make you laugh
Sometimes cry
Always longing for
A glance
A gentle touch
A nod of acknowledgement

A brief respite from
What is today
What has to be
Faced, dealt with
Renewed, refreshed
To go on.

Molly Rosenberg