Dawn chorus

Just before first light
robins blackbirds and thrushes
start to thread the air
with their gentle melodies

their pre-dawn chorus is soon joined
by wood pigeons by wrens and warblers
while great tits and blue tits
sparrows and finches

only add their voices
when there’s light enough
for them to see

John Lyons

Flower of love

Hall flowers

Crocuses
       poppies
morning glories
       open as the temperature
increases during the day
       and close as the day
gets cooler
       in the late afternoon

The four-o’clock flower
       closes in the morning
and opens again
       late in the afternoon
right around
       four o’clock

Moonflower
       night-blooming jasmine
evening primrose
       angel’s trumpet
night phlox
       and night-blooming cereus
open only at dusk
       or at night

There is more to flowers
       than meets the eye
just as there is
       in love
and whether she loves me
       or loves me not

John Lyons

Out of the darkness

on_black
               On black, John Lyons (10 x 12 in, oil on canvas)

Out of the darkness
comes a cascade
of colour
of light
of love

here where words
flow in streams
all the energy
of the universe
finds expression
art with its visual
voice and poetry
with its glowing 
sequences of breath

heat and passion
a knife taken
to the cold canvas
out of it comes faith
and the hope too
that our lives
may be worth
remembering
forever

John Lyons

Tiny dancer

40 x 40_Tiny dancer

        Tiny dancer, John Lyons (40 x 40 cm, oil on canvas)

Tiny dancer
a shape that shifts

effortlessly
through the air

Over land or sea
a silhouette gliding

through space
The exuberance

of movement
to time and yet

timeless
We hear the music

in our imagination
the dancer advances

in leaps and bounds
under desert blue skies

All is revealed
where masks are worn

where love never tires
and faith is never lost

John Lyons

The day dense with thought

The day dense with thought
       with feelings and memories
: a grey sky is about to rain
       over our heads

In the rear garden
       a pile of earth
recently turned
       has been drilled
by worms to let in
       the air

and wild grasses
       have grown tall
and in the midst
       five poppies have flowered

So many miles from Flanders
       I see their blood-red blooms
swaying gently
        in the breeze

John Lyons


La journée pleine de pensées

La journée pleine de pensées
       de sentiments et de souvenirs
: un ciel gris est sur le point
       de pleuvoir sur nos têtes

Dans le jardin arrière
       un tas de terre récemment retournée
a été foré par des vers
       pour laisser entrer l’air

et les herbes sauvages
       ont grandi
et au milieu cinq coquelicots
       se sont épanouis

Tant de kilomètres de la Flandre
       je vois leurs fleurs rouge-sang
se balancer doucement
       dans la brise

At night in my dreams

At night in my dreams
I walk through fields of stars

the origin of all things
is here but nothing ever ends

I dream that birds in flight
weave in and out among the galaxies

pure existence they have no notion
of distance nor of time

Paul Verlaine wrote of the vast
tender sky that settles upon us

For all its fire and heat the universe
contrived to create the sparrow’s

breath and the lips of a child
the smile on lovers’ faces

and a sense of place and purpose
in my heart : a sense of peace

John Lyons


Por campos de estrellas

Por la noche en mis sueños
camino por campos de estrellas

el origen de todas las cosas
está aquí pero nada termina nunca

Sueño que los pájaros en vuelo
entran y salen entre las galaxias

pura existencia no tienen noción
de distancia ni de tiempo

Paul Verlaine escribió sobre el vasto cielo
tierno que se posa sobre nosotros

A pesar de todo su fuego y calor
el universo se las ingenió para crear

el aliento del gorrión y los labios de un niño.
la sonrisa en los rostros de los amantes

y un sentido de lugar y propósito
en mi corazón : una sensación de paz

John Lyons

Why the nightingale sings

Beauty of lip
       beauty of gesture
of word and deed
       Early summer days
the sap has risen
       the trees are in leaf
and everywhere seeds
       That the purpose of life
is life :
       more and more of it

Why the nightingale sings
       why the dove coos
why the bulls in the fields
       defend the territory
that they want to cover
       Beauty of hand in hand
beauty of lovers’ eyes
       locked in love

John Lyons


Porque o rouxinol canta

Beleza de lábios
         beleza do gesto
de palavra e ação
         Primeiros dias de verão
a seiva subiu
         as árvores estão em folha
e em toda parte sementes
         Que o propósito da vida
é a vida:
         mais e mais disso

Porque o rouxinol canta
         porque a pomba arrulha
porque os touros nos campos
       defendem o território
que eles querem cobrir
         beleza de mãos dadas
beleza dos olhos dos amantes
       travados no amor

L’univers symbiotique

Nous cultivons les étoiles
       en reconnaissance de la terre
qu’elles nous ont donnée
       le sol minéral à partir duquel
toutes choses poussent
       les plantes et les arbres
qui sont notre force vitale
       l’univers symbiotique
qui nous lie au chant du moineau
       au baryton profond de la baleine
aux premiers sanglots d’un nouveau-né
       qui quitte le ventre de sa mère
Et il n’y a pas une seule forme de beauté
       supérieure à toutes les autres
étant donné que la beauté est la vérité
       essentielle omniprésente de la création
et que l’amour est son expression
       la plus profonde

John Lyons


Love’s deepest expression

We cultivate the stars
       in recognition of the earth
that they have given us
       the mineral soil out of which
all things grow
       the plants and trees
that are our very lifeblood
       the symbiotic universe
that binds us
       to the sparrow’s song
to the whale’s deep baritone
       to the first sobs of a newborn
as it leaves its mother’s womb
       and there is no one form of beauty
superior to all the others
       given that beauty is the essential
omnipresent truth of creation
       and love is its deepest expression

Love’s deepest expression

We cultivate the stars
       in recognition of the earth
that they have given us
       the mineral soil out of which
all things grow
       the plants and trees
that are our very lifeblood
       the symbiotic universe
that binds us
       to the sparrow’s song
to the whale’s deep baritone
       to the first sobs of a newborn
as it leaves its mother’s womb
       and there is no one form of beauty
superior to all the others
       given that beauty is the essential
omnipresent truth of creation
       and love is its deepest expression

John Lyons


L’expression la plus profonde de l’amour

Nous cultivons les étoiles
       en reconnaissance de la terre
qu’elles nous ont donnée
       le sol minéral à partir duquel
toutes choses poussent
       les plantes et les arbres
qui sont notre force vitale
       l’univers symbiotique
qui nous lie au chant du moineau
       au baryton profond de la baleine
aux premiers sanglots d’un nouveau-né
       qui quitte le ventre de sa mère
Et il n’y a pas une seule forme de beauté
       supérieure à toutes les autres
étant donné que la beauté est la vérité
       essentielle omniprésente de la création
et que l’amour est son expression
       la plus profonde

A question of foxes

At dawn the foxes
       chatting away
at the end
       of the garden

to me it’s a cacophonous
       high-pitched screech
to them I’m sure
       it’s music to their ears

I wonder about
       their vocal chords
how many words
       they are able

to enunciate and
        whether they’re able
to formulate questions
       or express their feelings

John Lyons