Poetry is word time

Holocaust memorial, Berlin, December 2017

Word time

Poetry is word time
           the running metre
swift of foot
           along the streets
of Paris or Berlin
           or Venice with its canals
The impertinence of history
           the microbes’ biological clock
or doomed stars
           as their batteries deplete
: what drives heaven
           and hell and every nook
and cranny of creation
           Drinking mulled wine
in the Christmas markets
           as snow gently falls
through the universe
           as it settles upon the living
and the remembered dead
           throughout the vales
of northern Europe
           and far beyond

Locked into the land
           with our earth gaze
ears cocked to capture
           a friendly voice
and it comes through
           crackling with radio
           our bridled thoughts 
to be mounted at will
           eternity in the saddle
time holding the reins
           And love a living thing
palpable flesh
           squeezed with delight
as darkness falls
           or at dawn
as the cattle egrets
           begin their day
and the host herd
           shuffles down to the river
to slake their thirst
           all in good time
solid word time
           cosmic rhyme time

John Lyons



Berlin memorial

Berlin memorial

The nameless shadows
           untimely laid to rest
in avenues of cold hard stone
           cemented into the merciless
grey of winter skies

collective or individual lives
           arranged in rigid alleys
that rise and fall underfoot
           but not a single angle less
than ninety degrees
           no soft circles or tender arcs
or any hint of creative
           deviation from that norm
that awaits us all one day

Here no birds perch
           and no song is heard
as the memories filter
           through and into the dust
these were our cities
           these were our streets
this is the place
           where we finally rest

John Lyons