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

Perros-Guirec, 1966


Perros-Guirec, 1966

And so the remains of memory
           the rabbits fed on wheat husks
mackerel fished
           throughout the summer
to provide for the winter
           paddling out to the island
in the kayak
           we had built in the garage

soaking up the sun
           on those endless innocent days
the first taste of conger eel
           the first taste of wine
the first taste of a girl’s lips
           an inkling of what love might be
in the years to come
           the pleasure and the pain

John Lyons