Suppose a new mercy

Suppose it is a new mercy   a kiss
perhaps from once upon a long ago
a brief return to that other eden
Words words words
               and the same old story  Cut
to the past  There was a time and a place
when butter wouldn’t melt and tulips came
from Amsterdam and we danced under a
watermelon moon    And another night
when my fingers froze as we sailed the dark
Danube and you leaned in to tell me a
winter’s tale of a betrayal you had
suffered at the hands   And in your eyes I
could see the silent river flowing out
to sea   So let’s suppose
                                    a new mercy

John Lyons


Down by the Danube

Danube June 2018
The Danube, Vienna, 23 June 2018

Down by the Danube

On that glorious day in June
            we cycled along the banks
of the Danube
            alongside its blue waters
where swans swam in groups
            waters bound for Hungary
and beyond into Ukraine
            and the Black Sea

For a while we rode together
            but you knew the way
and you headed off alone
            and were soon out of sight
I thought you would turn back
            or wait for me to catch up
but you didn’t and I never did
            and I never have

John Lyons


Day by the Danube


Day by the Danube

Cycled out to the Danube
             : on the far side
of the blue wide water
             white swans swam in lines
sticking close to the bank
             as they made their way north
The river was silent
             except where it sucked
at the stones on the shoreline
             where tiny wavelets broke

And time passed
             and nothing was done
and my mind floated off
             into the distance
and everywhere
             became nowhere
and now became then
             and it was good

John Lyons

Versión en español

Un día en el Danubio

Nos dirigimos al Danubio
             en bicicleta : y al otro lado
de las anchas aguas azules
             los cisnes nadaban en fila
pegados a la orilla
             en camino hacia el norte
Silencioso el río
             excepto donde chupaba
las piedras de la ribera
             y se rompía en pequeñas olas.

Y el tiempo pasó
             y nada se hizo 
y mi mente flotó en la distancia
             y todas partes llegaron a ser
ninguna parte
             y el ahora 
se convirtió en ya se fue
             y fue bueno

Styx and stones

Styx and stones

The city within
       the rise and fall of it
a world driven
       by light and by words
a word-world so to speak
       built of star-blood
what it costs to be poor
       what it costs to love
what is costs
       to succeed
what it costs
       to fail

Mythology tells us
       there are two sides
to every river
       I have crossed the Danube
back and forth
       and survived longer
than I would
       have imagined

John Lyons