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

Fall

Fall

In the night
         the thermometer
has fallen
         the wind too
and fallen petals
         now litter the base
of the porcelain vase

Later rain will fall
         and the wind will rise
and autumn will shake
         more rusty leaves
from the tired trees

It’s an endless cycle
         and next year’s beauty
will be just as uplifting
         but we are in the Fall
and all but
         
the tender human heart
is falling
         falling

John Lyons

Variation on the theme of autumn

bare trees


Variation on the theme of autumn                  

What it is to introduce
                   a new text into the world
free from the fret
                   of fear and hate
I have seen the sycamore
                   the beech and silver birch
stripped to their boughs
                   as a wind blew in from the East
and a flurry of tiny birds
                   caught in a sudden gust
before their final departure

This is autumnal abandonment
                   the first shivers of the year end
plumes of smoke
                   rising above the houses
as every step hastens
                   one would hope
homeward to a smile
                   and a warm supper

In the woodlands
                   the last chromatic burst
has been neutralized
                   and expectation now rests
on the buried seed
                   that will rise to pierce
the transparent air
                   in spring

And yet the withered rose
                   it would seem
has outstayed its welcome
                   as nature reinvents itself
in the guise of the poor
                   of the dispossessed
of those by force of circumstance
                   obliged to live
colourless thankless lives

What currency rules
                   this bitter world
of inequalities ?
                   What canker lies
at the heart of communities
                   that disown their own ?
And where are we to find
                   the necessary angels
of the earth
                   those not stiffened
by the pangs of greed
                   those with uncurdled hearts
who believe in the reality
                   of harsh realities ?

Nature is the great leveller
                   and months of austerity
will yield in time
                   to the bliss of abundance
the speech of truth will thrive
                   and the peace of intelligence
will dismount the stars
                   and share the fruits
of their energy
                   among one and all
and nothing will be lost

John Lyons


No meaning where none intended

atumn2Having commenced this daily blog towards the end of July, and given the response of readers on a day-by-day basis, I have come to one conclusion, (there will be others), namely, that the poetry posts are far and away more popular than anything else, and certainly far more popular than the short stories. I believe that there is a very simple explanation for this. Readers respond to poetry because it touches them in a way that very little prose can match.

Prose tends to be rational, often following a clear thread or narrative and in some cases so much is signposted that the reader just has to sit back and absorb the story almost on automatic pilot. Poetry touches different strings, it intimates and invites the reader to participate actively in the event, and by that I mean participate in the moment at which the mind meets the emotions encapsulated in the text. Poetry stirs the soul as music does, and certain words in a poetic context have the power of big piano chords. Think of the simplicity of striking a low G on the piano, listen to it resonating: the energies of poetry can stimulate a similar effect, creating, with the listener’s or reader’s collaboration, a meaningful emotion. This is further evidenced, I believe, by the often perfect marriage of words and music in song. Emotion above meaning!


October

October comes wrapped
      in mellow dreams
and morning mists
      gulls coast on the horizon
gardens are stripped back
      to their essentials
and all human endeavours
      are humbled
by the force of nature
      The contrivances of love
will get us nowhere
      nor reckless ambition
Who would be
      the moon’s best lover
will soon enough
      know the taste of dust
as their lease on life expires
      Our flesh recalls
the schooled innocence
      of children who skip
their early days away
      the taut tango
of magpie and crow
      the scavenging of squirrel
and the aimless amble
      of foxes that parade
their shadows
      through our darkness
From each their fruits :
      we are conscripts
called to serve
      a higher law
we who were once
      a mound of undelivered life
must nurture the time
      of those around us
slay the dragons of need
      and abandonment
In the early hours
       I have touched
her flesh of moans
      heard the soft murmur
of breath on her lips
      the shapeless words
that struggle
      to rise up from sleep
folded her in the warm
      cocoon of my arms
shared seed and song
      and pierced her heart
beyond pain

John Lyons

White echoes

A gentle cascade of thoughts and words to fill a Sunday morning in which the world is struggling to awake from its deep sleep. The sound of traffic in the distance but otherwise little movement. Silence almost complete. A perfect dream-state. A time to make love and little else.


White echoes

red kite

How many lush green fields
      and slender silver streams
how many gold-rimmed sunsets
      how many spiralling kites
will fit into this endless silence ?
      Who heard our footsteps
as we walked through the park
      who saw us climb the hill
as squirrels jumped
      from tree to tree
as children filled
      their lives with play ?
Dreams and hope and desire
      grew within us
and time offered us
      its pledges which
we did not dare to believe
      Who saw as the curtains
were drawn
      as you laid down beside me
laid in my arms
      laid in my heart ?
The wind was still
      through the night
as spiders wove
      and the roses
took their rest
      Today birds will swoop
and feast on the berries
      the chestnuts will swell
on the branches
      and leaves will form
a carpet to take us
      into winter
and to a landscape
      sketched by frost
modelled by snow
      and draped in silence
Where will love be then
      and hope and dreams ?
Where will our shadows lie
      what scenes will be staged
within the theatre
      of our blind ecstasies
what life will be left
      to be led
by our bartered blood ?

John Lyons