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


A string of words

Face, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

A string of words

As blood is
            as words circulate
in the poet’s mind
            and fingers touch her lips
the pulse of her handsome blood
            beneath the hollow cheeks
the delicate porcelain smile
            below the naked eyes

She built of nature’s delight
            handsome in her womb
in the warmth of her blood
            morning noon and night
she presents a silent

Her scrupulous kiss
            he takes on the fly
savours the soft bright wet
            tenderness of muscles
in which a wordless song arises
            contained in herself
a promise never meant
            to be broken

John Lyons

Weight watcher

Weight watcher

Age notwithstanding
            he honed his body
to perfection
            so that he bore
not a single
            superfluous gram

But alas too late
            to win the silken heart
that she’d surrendered
            to another in another life

John Lyons

Venice carnival remembered

murano lemon.png
Murano glass, a hand blown lemon

Venice carnival remembered

The play of light
            and shadow
on the canal waters
            place of all ages
place of all beauty
            shops filled
with sumptuous pieces
            of Murano glass

And how the light
            travelled through
the contoured colours
            and how it rose
in your eyes
            as you examined them
and how I loved you then
            and how I love you now

John Lyons

Rough with the smooth

warp and woof
Warp and woof, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Rough with the smooth

Love too is a work
            of the imagination
it constantly seeks
            new forms of expression
in order to remain fresh
            to keep the present alive
and not simply trade
            on the faded past

It can be brash
            and outspoken
and have real attitude
            since by its very nature
it’s gestural
            more in the manner
of a de Kooning
            or a Pollock
than a Titian
            or a Raphael

Yes I want all of you
            the sweep of your strokes
across my body
            your hair falling
into my eyes
            my face drowning
in your tears
            of laughter
your precious hand
            gripping on to mine
as we hurtle
            down the roller coaster
moving from the darkness
            into the light


John Lyons

It’s good to be alive

It’s good to be alive

Cold and sharp last night
            clear and not much wind
the full moon shining
            a fine spread of constellations
Sirius very bright rising early
            preceded by Orion
vast glittering sworded
            chasing with his dog

In the calm splendour
            of the night
I take a short walk
            the earth hard frozen
a stiff glare of ice
            over the pond
my mind full of her
            of her last words to me
before the cold silence
            The bitter wind
drives me back
            into the warmth

I wake early
            my mind full of her
the lost warmth of her love
            the fond memories

Out in the open
            the sun has risen
I sit on a bench
            close to the woods
I bask in the pleasant air
            there are bluebirds
flying about
            I hear the reedy trill
of a robin
            then other songs that rise
to a steady chorus
            I stroll on past the pond
where the ice has melted :
            it’s good to be alive

John Lyons

Adapted from a passage by Walt Whitman