Raison d’être

Raison d’être

To see the world
as love sees it

the constant
ephemeral flame

what fires the heart
sets acts of passion

in motion
and drives us

to be better
than ourselves

to be the gift
that never dies

to be the truth
that never denies

its reason for being
its being for a reason

John Lyons

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The snows of yesteryear

snowfield
Snowfield, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

The snows of yesteryear

When lost for words
           I reach for the poets
Charles Olson
           or François Villon
luminous words
           scrawled on paper
genius is almost always low tech
           it comes in flashes
in aperçus
           in fleeting moments of insight

All that has been
           suddenly is : time
is the face of recognition
           where are the loves
of yesteryear
           the snowfields of yore ?

Each of us has
           our own unique antiquity
some die in their bed while others
           swing from hallowed gallows
Notre Dame
           a place of visitation
a monument to belief
           in the resurrected spirit

John Lyons

 

The material spirit

The material spirit

One to another
           separate
but each seen
           in the other’s eyes
the face read
           observed
listened to
           each expression
traced and mined
           for signs of love

for its affirmation
           recognition of feelings
of commitment
           the delicate need
to be one and both
           more than the convergence
of skin and breath
           a shared form or way of life

within the big picture
           the smallest of gestures
that accumulate
           that act upon love
absolute and lyrical
           innocent and just
measured in startime
           bathed in beauty
lustrous truth
           of the material spirit

John Lyons


Revised text

As blood is

As blood is

As blood is
           as blood rises
handsome blood
           ruby red
rich with iron
           fortitude
of the soul
           it irrigates

as blood is
           as love
as winsome smile
           as soft brown hair
wind-blown
           into tear-stained eyes
lips chafed
           under the sun

as blood is
           that bleeds
into the fallow earth
           blood of promise
of covenant
           of marriageable minds
faithful unto death
           blood of my breath
blood of my flesh
           all for the heart
as blood is
           as blood is

John Lyons

The tender bones of it

The tender bones of it

A love of firm purpose
            a constancy and yet
an intimate intricate
            perplexity
Life structured as a dance
            for one who moves lightly
on her feet
            whose gestures engage
with another
            whose fingers count the hours
whose lips savour their secret
            whose hips gently sway
in the partner’s presence
            whose soul captures the flow
of a unifying universe
            in which mountains rise and fall
with the seasons
            whose words and deeds
are but rarefied variations
            on a solid theme
She who is beauty to the eye
            she whose satin soft skin
glows with life’s pleasure
            rare creature born to love

John Lyons

 

Fruit of the stars

Fruit of the stars

A sky
            full of snowflakes
obscures the stars but
            from their hydrogen
and their oxygen
            comes water
a marriage made
            in a molecule

Yes
            fruit of the stars
and chain of constant
            resurrection
that for which
            we were born
moving within the light
            at rest within the shade
a temperate life
            capable of noble deeds
energized from before
            the moment of conception
and measured against
            the inspirations of time
and judged
            by our capacity to love

Love
            that supreme fiction 
poetry of all that’s made
            bonds of flesh
bound in words and intoned
            in tender hymns
to our humanity
            cherished thoughts
that elate the heart
            and fire passion
in our blood until we attain
            the proud pangs of paradise

John Lyons


Revised

The glory

The glory

The glory of what it is to live
            without pride or prejudice
but to fill the lungs with living air
            to be energised by all
that existence has to offer
            to give and receive love
in every shade
            and to forgive others
as we are bound
            to forgive ourselves

Composed not just
            from the dust of stars
but from their light
            which we transform
into daily life
            the meeting of body
and mind and the web
            of words and associations
that we create within
            the intimacy of our souls
the periodic table
            of all we value
of times and places
            and names and melodies
and kisses never to be
            forgotten

John Lyons