When she wakes

When she wakes

Her tousled hair
           when she wakes
the fine threads
           that bear her age
the intersection
           of her beauty
with the world
           the accumulated
events of her breath
           and all that it takes
to make a life
           a probe advanced
into history in the making
           knowingly becoming
who she wishes to be
           the flesh of her
with its starwarmth
           like all things
fabricated from
           universe

So I ask myself
           what is there
not to hold dear
           and to love ?

John Lyons


Revised

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Bones that yearn

archaeology
Bones, John Lyons (coffee grounds and oil on canvas)

Bones that yearn

Bones that yearn
for other bones
out of the earth
into the earth

coffee grounds
and yellow cadmium
eyes turning
one toward the other

only love heals
the scars left
by love

winsome
her hazel eyes
her lips
a celebration

love woven
on the loom
of her life

bones
and the echo
of other bones
long gone

Venus sidles up
to the moon
and for a brief
moment

it illuminates
their love
their bodies turning
in unison

time will one day
sweep them away
for ever conjoined
their dust

their bones
laid to rest
for a single
eternity

John Lyons

Where blood thickens

Where blood thickens

This is where the blood thickens
with time with age
with hair losing its natural colour
with skin becoming dry
and lined with the bitter-sweet
badges of experience

This is where the only lessons learnt
are self-taught and remembrance
threatens to overwhelm
with constant impulses to return
to what was in any case
dysfunctional and unsatisfactory
out of keel and unbalanced

it takes skill to live life
with passion whilst not offending
justice and good sense
nor to be duped
by honey-tongued princesses
Recall the calves
the thick varicose veins
the spent knees
and the multiplicities of indifference

You who are needful of a human life
grasp it while you can
be muscular in your pursuit of love
fearless in your acts of pleasure
repay tenderness in kind
and seek what wisdom lies
deep behind the eyes
remember too that the rose
once dwelt in the stars
as did its thorns
as did your bones
and hers too

John Lyons

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

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