Autumnal love

Autumnal love

Autumnal love
           that which never dies
which weathers the winds
           the harsh storms
the hail and snow
           but always comes through

How brittle
           these autumn leaves
you can hear them
           crackle under foot
the chlorophyll spent
           the epidermis
once green and supple
           turned to rust
now flaking and soon
           to be lost in the dust

But lovers
           though their skin ages
and their hair turns
           grey and brittle
have nothing to fear
           from time : the spirit
is immortal
           and the glow of passion
in their eyes
           and in their hearts
is as everlasting
           as love

John Lyons


Corrected text

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Autumnal feast

Autumnal feast

Small birds
           blue tits finches and sparrows
on a frenzy of feeding
           devouring the orange berries
so abundant on the bushes
           at this time of year

They come in their twos and threes
           their light weight
barely bending the branches
           and they peck at the fruit
as though there was no tomorrow
           and for them perhaps there is none

John Lyons


Revised

The mess of love

daub
Daub on yellow cadmium, John Lyons (30 x 30 oil on canvas)

The mess of love

The under-painting
           was more complex
more contrived
           had more definable colours
occupied the whole
           of the canvas

What’s presented here
           is a stripped back version
paint removed
           by the application of turpentine
and a rub with a rag
           so that the initial gestures
of the first intentions
           are not shrouded by excess

Here the daub
           is actually a disapplication
to leave virtually nothing
           but the bare bones
It’s a messy canvas
           because life is messy
Cadmium yellow
           is the colour of love
and love as we all know
           is messy too

John Lyons

Autumnal ode

palette portrait 2
Portrait, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Autumnal ode

September rain
           the pavements
strewn with leaves
           a dampness
that reeks of decay
           the dwindling light
of a year winding down
           after a long hot summer

And yet there is a comfort
           in these relentless cycles
all life and death
           in a nutshell
the lush green fields
           the swollen rivers
the long trails of birds
           flying south
while the rest of us
           batten down the hatches

And she is constantly
           in my mind
her hair the rich colour
           of autumn
her eyes too
           the beauty that lies
beneath the pale skin
           the love
that makes life
           worth living

John Lyons

Love tokens

Louise_portrait
Portrait, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Love tokens

All from atoms
           the roses I brought her
the champagne—
           she trimmed the stems
of the flowers
           and placed them in a vase
I opened the champagne
           and poured it into glasses

We toasted
           and we kissed
two bodies touching
           and in this way
peace was made
           sadness was banished
and for a while longer
           she loved me

John Lyons

The lover’s complainte

germination
Germination, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

The lover’s complainte

My heart has no complaint :
for the better part of love

I loved and was requited
Now autumn’s dust envelops

all the world along with seeds
amid the flaking debris planted

that will in time bring forth
new life new growth new love

fresh petals to adorn the bed
where every wanton kiss is granted

John Lyons

What’s in a name?

Verona
Verona, Ohio

What’s in a name ?

There is another Verona
           in which Romeo
never knew Juliet
           where no star-crossed lovers
ever met their untimely deaths
           a Verona devoid
of duelling Montagues
           and Capulets
and where the wooden homes
           have no balconies
from which to issue
           sighs of unrequited love

John Lyons