Walking home from Christmas

Walking home from Christmas

The stillness of the night
               barely a hint of drizzle
the full cold moon
               hidden by clouds
quiet deserted roads
               houses festooned
with fairy lights
               some flashing
some more sober
                Here and there a reindeer
illuminated on a front lawn
                A grey squirrel crosses my path
as I stroll over the railway bridge
                Will that bring good luck I wonder
Do I need any more good luck ?

I’ve just come away
               from my brother’s house
saw him playing lovingly on the floor
               with twins Faith and Hope
six months old on their first Christmas
                : and sitting at the table
their great-grandmother
               a Sweeney out of Arklow
all those years ago
               She didn’t know me
but years ago she’d known me for years
               still she smiled
and gave me a hearty kiss
               content in her own
parallel world
               in which she is surrounded
by Faith and Hope
               and so much love

John Lyons


 

Full Cold Moon

Moon in December

Full Cold Moon

This is the world
          of the full cold moon
and the deathless voice
          of deep December
hanging there in the black sky
          untouched by echoes of the world
this grieving world of pitiless war
          This earth is the garden of the sun
that calls out each day
          to every planted seed
to every rising flame
          of our humanity
This earth is the sun’s pastures
          its valleys its mountains
its teeming oceans
          its crystal rivers and streams
through which the shadows
          of salmon trout glide
and are gone
          as a gust of articulate breath
This is the world of incantations
          of truths that are never in season
the world of necessary words

I say :
          teach my soul to bow
before the bountiful glories of this world
          my heart touched
by the gentle folds of beauty in her smile
          and in the never-dying rose
the butterfly that flutters
          before my eyes
the tree that enters my hands
          that strives to bring mercy
and understanding
          where there is enmity
Love’s inmost part lies in peace
          in the disdain for bombs and guns
We are the world’s breath
          its hope and its passion
we are the tender tissue
          that makes sense of life
the earth’s expression of beauty
          the dusting of light that defies
the full cold moon
          of deep December

John Lyons