What burns below the horizon

Shifting Sands, John Lyons (65 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

What burn below the horizon

What burns
             just below
the horizon
             a palette
of mixed feelings
             love in flames
in its purity
             its sky-blue sky
             an oxidised earth

where pristine rivers flow
             where untamed oceans
beat against wild shores
             where green pastures
stretch into long-ago years
             upon the mountain roads
lined with gorse
             and golden heather
that carry me down
             to Dingle Bay

John Lyons

The lie of the land

The lie of the land

How silence may be
           the absence of all sound
or the absence of words
           a moment of peace or of tension
of loving or longing
           perhaps thoughtful
perhaps empty and endless
           the topographies of silence
how silent the beauty
           of the rose or of the heather
when it is in full bloom
           in the hills outside Dingle

And so to footsteps
           words that follow
in the footsteps of others
           paths of meaning
stepping from one word
           to another
stepping stones
           along life’s trails
my father’s words
           my mother’s
words for no reason
           other than
that they need to be spoken
           or to be withheld
as befit the silence
           they inhabit

I play on words
           I play with words
I make believe words
           in this make-believe world
this world of words
           and love too
is a make-believe word
            its syntax follows
the lie of the land
           the lay of the heart

John Lyons