Held in the memory

Held in the memory

Momentary flames
            a brief fire that flickers
in the mouth of a cave
            a time for reflection
and for expression
            Pollock’s hand prints
on the wall
            the colours mixed
with intention
            a scheme of things
in the mind
            deliberately executed

Not to leave a record
            but simply to tell
of how it is
            of how it was
that day when we walked
            through the rain
or when we parked our bikes
            and stood in the shadow
of Chartres cathedral
            and admired its beauty
Days that we will never forget
            until the end of our days
and our love held
            in the memory

John Lyons


Breakfast in Chartres

Chartres cathedral
Chartres cathedral

Breakfast in Chartres

In Chartres she rose early
           threw on some clothes
and walked to the baker’s
           at the end of the street
bought a baguette
           and croissants
heard the tiny birds
           singing in the bushes
as she returned
           heard the cathedral bells
toll eight o’clock
           sat in the front garden
while I boiled the eggs
           and laughed at me
when I brought them out to her
           in my boots
and shorts and said
           it was the best bread
she had ever had and
           the freshest croissants
so pleased with herself
           for having broken
the spell of early hour 

John Lyons

Lines written at Chartres

Lines written at Chartres

Beauty is in its expression
           in the act of its articulation
in the fact of its confession
           the light that shines through
the stained-glass narratives
           in the huge rose window
of Chartres Cathedral

A story of grace as told
           by the human family
the craft of revelation
           the assertion of faith
and hope in the rendering
           of charity in the unity
of the sun and the stars
           and the earth and the sea
the colourful fragments
           with which the wholeness
is composed – many flowers
           in a single bouquet
the truth that lies in the art

Wake at daybreak
           to the sound of birdsong
sweet as on the day
           of its creation
We are the birds of Chartres
           and in our voices you will hear
only beauty and peace
           and you will know that love
without its expression
           is as dead as the cold
untouched stone that awaits
           the craftsman’s hand

John Lyons