The Supper at Emmaus (1601)

supper-at-emmaus
The Supper at Emmaus, Caravaggio

The Supper at Emmaus (1601)

The miracle is in the art
           the broken bread
the goblet of wine
           the fabrics and linens
the energies captured
           in the extended arms
in every gesture
           the look on every face
the apples and pears
           and grapes in the basket
these are all incidentals
           still life brought to life
by the artist’s eye : no other
           visible source of light

The textures with which
           Caravaggio adorns the text
no tricks other than
           the sleight of perception
the narrative heart
           perfectly composed
the power to interpret
           to express
to reveal in pigments
           our numinous nature

John Lyons

A taste for words

A taste for words

A taste for words
           for the energies of poetry
for artless time
           and timeless art
What shall we do
           with this world
but sing its praises
           and denounce
the human corruption
           of beauty and truth
the dry bones interred
           or the ashes placed
in the urns
           but the poetry
with a life of its own

who has a taste for roses
           for the rise and fall
of the sonata
           for the light and darkness
on a Caravaggio canvas
           And let’s be objective
facts are not symbols
           no meaning
where none intended

Dante asks :
           Was there ever a love
not tinged
           with eternal beauty
and nothing loose
           about his line
A taste for the craft
           for workmanship
for the construction
           of rhythms that harness
the full power
           of verbal energies

Let me tell you a tale
           of Shem and Shaun
and sweet Anna Livia
           and the river
that never runs dry
           . . .and of love

f MichelAn

f MichelAn

The name signed
           in the blood of the Baptist
he who would prepare the way
           the tongue of truth
silenced forever
           the burial of knowledge
the word extinguished
           the struggle between
light and darkness
           chiaoscuro
a life led on the edge
           turmoil consigned
to canvas
           every portrait
a self narrative
           betrayed
by a venal dancer
           violation of violence
the sad geometries
           of repression
right angles
           the steel lattice
the arc of defeat
           a price on his head
the imprisoned mind
           29 August 1608
he who lived
           by the sword
innocence of art
           Caravaggio

John Lyons

Fireflies

Caravaggio-Baptist-Toledo (1)
John the Baptist, by Caravaggio (c. 1598)

Fireflies

Deep in the forest
           the beckoning body beacons
advertising their love
           bioluminescent beetles
that hunger for a mate
           their bellies packed
with light-bearing enzymes :
           through the air
they drift
           selling sex
their soft cold lamps
           switching on and off
on and off
           on and off
as they cruise
           the shadows
of the unmarked
           boulevards

Chiaroscuro—
           bright glow
in the darkness
           of Caravaggio’s studio
the gleam in his eye
           the canvas awash
with the powder
           of dried firefly
to prepare a sensual
           photosensitive surface
for a Baroque
           baptism of light

John Lyons