Energy runs
that’s the law :
hot things cool
and engines
run out of steam

sooner and later
are part of
the narrative

my first letters
were shaped
using a stick
of chalk on slate

before I was
onto graphite
and paper

sooner and later
the narrative

behold the moth
behold the dust
left in the wake
of woodworm

One day
the entire sun
will be
cosmic dust

Where is Flora
the beautiful
Roman flower ?
Where Abelard
and Heloise ?


John Lyons


Dustance – aged time

Where are the snows
        of my childhood
On this warm
        February day
I ask ?
        Where are the snows
that once covered
        the hills of my childhood
the snows that tumbled
        into the stream
and floated on
        into the empty distance ?

I mistyped distance
        and it became dustance
a new word to describe
        old times
the old snows
        for example
of my childhood
        my neverlasting
        the substance
of distance
        in time

As a child
        wherever I saw
a pendulum within the body
        of a grandfather clock
I would halt the swing
        so that time stood still
I gave it no thought then
        it was instinctive

Age has taught me
        if nothing else
that my childhood instincts
        were right on target
time is the killer
        and wherever possible
it should be stopped
        in its tracks

John Lyons

The snows of yesteryear

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