Lear and his daughters

30 x 24_King Lear
                     King Lear, John Lyons (24 x 30 cm, oil on canvas)

A method to the madness
         an underlying grid a pattern
an old canvas pitted with pigment
         swathed in buff titanium
upon which a trellis of cadmium red
         and finally gentle strokes of the brush
to deposit patches of burnt umber
         ashes to ash applied

Out of the earth Lear and his daughters
         and the love that each has or has not
a stage for the passage of time
         for a shift in the power of prevailing winds
Choices choices as the blood circulates
        as the words vanish along with their breath
into thin air : the play is always the thing
         the capture of colour under the fading light

When I was a boy I would have sold
         my kingdom for a horse for a pony
to carry me off into the sunset
         Now age has mottled my skin
and confined me to local horizons
         under a heavy head of silver hair
I gather my dust and count
         the few blessings that remain
: on my lips the tempestuous taste of real love
         as in Spitalfields where the final curtain fell

John Lyons

Memories arrested in space

Tray, John Lyons (oil on plastic)

Memories arrested in space

Paint that captures
           the shape of gestures
memories arrested in space
           sinuous as the body is curved
And he thinks too
           of the unbound energies
they expended
           and of the shapes
that their bodies made
           when they came together

the arc of a breast
           a mouth agape
the slope of a thigh
           or an angled elbow
Form and the absence of it
           light and the absence of it
colour and the absence of it
           love and the absence of it
and under a wrathful sky
           their union and the absence of it

John Lyons

The politics of poverty

The politics of poverty

Not all saints are friends
           not all friends are saints
and words are easier
           than any actions
but there is a sense
           of what it is to be human
and to love and care
           for another and for others
and this prohibits
           all violations of the body
in every sense
           of the word

Life pared back
           to its essentials
stripped of excess
           and lived from
the very core of being
           Vanity is a citadel
that must be torn down
           duty brought to task
the politics of poverty
           offends us all
who would care to be
            ruler of this realm
of destitution :
           my kingdom for a horse
diamonds and sapphires
           in the mud

John Lyons