Genes

Genes

Our stories are in our genes
           our genes in our stories
Olson called them
           the genes of the soul
the dreams of light and dark
           the voyages of fantasy
of exploration and discovery
           the confrontation with our fears
the defeat of all those
           who would oppress us
with their mythical truths
           Theseus had a thread
and Ariadne’s love
           and the Minotaur died
and by the skin of his teeth
           Ulysses made it home

John Lyons

Blessings

Blessings

Of all the blessings
           I could ever wish for
to see as love sees
           would be the greatest
to live as love lives

pure and unadulterated
           let all things be themselves
the rose and the unicorn
           the leopard and the wolf

but let love be
           a brilliant undying flame
never a gesture nor a word
           but being in all intensity

what the earth gives
           the earth takes away
but not love that surpasses
           all understanding

Love holds the heart firm
           never loses its grasp
even in the darkest night
           or through the coldest winter

and that is the essence
           of peace : to see as love sees
in all places at all times
           all souls of one mind

John Lyons

Chain of thought

Chain of thought

Life is chain and resurrection
           variation within the repetitions
the roses are as red as ever
           and so too are the lovers’ lips
but we are all of traceable origin
           we all go back in time
our genes chosen
           from a common pool
our hopes and dreams too
           that are dictated
by the soft anatomies
           of the heart

So this day may blow over
           but another will follow
and waves will crash
           on the fine sand of a beach
we knew in our youth but which
           we may never revisit— who knows
and all the kisses we never gave
           may one day be given
and the beauty of it is that
           the truth may finally be told

John Lyons

Outsourcing

Outsourcing

Out of my bones and flesh
these words unauthored

a flood that rises from within
without rhyme nor reason

knowing not the source
of my thoughts and feelings

nor possessing the titles
to my deeds nor my dreams

as much a mystery to me
as to the reader casual or not

we create our own mythologies
and spend our lives

impersonating ourselves
counting the roses in our gardens

yet weary of daisy and dandelion
only in love do we find completeness

when we can find it : so much
judged by shallow appearances

but love truly is the acid test
in which selflessness is dipped

into the heart’s solution
life’s true colours felt in a beat

John Lyons

Year end

Year end

Renewal of the bones
           and the flesh
reaffirmation of prime causes
           what moves the soul
the tender fabric of which
           you are made
source of your moral blood
           purpose of universe

Know yourself artfully
           in dance
in the melody of your movements
           your mind a place of kindness
a sanctuary for the misbegotten
           value the power
of your breathing word
           admire the methodology of the rose
in its simple delight at being
           a glorious petalled presence
and standard bearer
           for impeccable beauty

John Lyons

Love song

Love song

a man and a woman
           is not a dream
is not a figment
           bound by stars
it is a love path
           that brooks
no betrayal
           is honest
as the day is long
           a man and a woman
is not an appetite
           hunger soon passes
thirst too
           love never

there may be
           a fragrant mutuality
a bonding of pheromones
           there may even be
a web of enigma
           such that the lustre
is never lost
           the mystery
of attraction
           never actually resolved
to the point
           of disillusionment

a man and a woman
           is a distance halved
courage and fidelity
           a raiment of truth
that no dance can undo
           desire that does not
weaken with time
           but stands strong
in the mind of both
           a man and a woman
is an ability to measure
           footsteps and survive
the burial of voices
           days and nights
and sea land and air
           make a man and a woman
only the treachery
           of their own hand
can unmake them
           God help them

Life

Life*

Yesterday evening
         as the sun was setting
the sky seared with red light
         thirty or more ducks
flying in that characteristic
          ragtag bobbing V-formation
heading home
         to Crayford Marshes

As Charles Olson puts it
         anger came after man
there is none in nature
         Nature is pure beauty
all life from the division
         from the exuberant
multiplication of single cells

         through the sharing
of cellular resources
         two for the price of one
literally each my other half

         and from this process
the rich complexity of the rose
         of the spider’s web
or the webbed feet
         of amphibians

so that always at the heart
         of all that is beautiful
an essential simplicity
          and so too I ache
for the kiss of her lips
         for the warm press
of her breast on mine

         for her sweet compliance
as I enter the openness
         of her kindred flesh
again and again

         so softly

John Lyons


*Revised from earlier posting