The numbers game

The numbers game

Birth is an instance
            a number after which the ball rolls
one of six but eight in total
            lived at seven but celebrated
three on the twelfth month
            The numbers and what
they amount to
            hours days years
children born
            flights across the Atlantic
How many times in love
            and who now
would want to be
            by my side

I painted her portrait

            decent enough
before she ran off
            with another
Age will not alter
            the lines on that face
and the beauty of her eyes
            will always remain

Poetry too

            measured by numbers
and yet it may halt
            the onslaught of time
so that Lesbia’s beloved sparrow
            will live forever
and Caesar’s resounding victories
            be ever sung

John Lyons


Note: the Roman poet, Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84 – c. 54 BC), wrote a lament for the death of his lover’s pet sparrow.

Good morning

Good morning

There’s a sparrow on the wall
           singing its heart out
a tiny sparrow that sings
           all day long barely stopping
to feed or take a sip of water

it’s there every day
           the same sparrow
I can tell from its cheery voice
           to which I have become
quite accustomed

rain or shine the sparrow
           is always around
to brighten my day
           with its uplifting
little threnody

a tiny sparrow
            cited in scripture
as a paragon
           of insignificance
in the vast scheme
           of creation :
a vile slur

more passion in that tiny bird
           than many people I know
and you Lesbia my supposed lover
           so far away
send me a cool message
           just two dull words :
good morning

John Lyons