Snow moon

Snow moon

Was this the snow moon
            poised low above the horizon
in the east this morning
            How the light reveals
and yet plays tricks
            the optical illusions
from rainbows
            to the crock of gold

And how each of us
            longs for a mirage
to relieve the angst
            of our inner deserts
And how we see ourselves cast
            in the planets and in the stars
We dream of Venus
            and of Mars and so set them
on imaginary paths
            How far have the particles
that made me
            travelled in their own
lifetime or yours
            in your lifetime too ?
Extracts as we are
            of distant energies
we bear the imprint
            of the universe
in our disparate souls
            and in our love
that seeks to bind
            the cosmic dust
into a marriage
            of perfect being

John Lyons

 

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Look to love

Look to love

What do you want to know
            what words do you look to
for wisdom for understanding
            that there’s nothing free from dust
in this world
            or that the turbulent sea
will outlive us all
            that the genius of nature
is inexhaustible ?
            Seed bud leaf flower
the mysterious genealogies
            of all living things
and natural selection
            and the truths that never waver

Look to love
            to the love in your life
the love that survives
            the day to day
the flesh bound fast
            to another’s flesh
for better or for worse
            Arrange your home
the inner sanctum
            be seasonal and fill it with roses
never mind the dust
            honour your heart’s desire
time is a luxury
            spend it wisely

John Lyons

Magnetic alignment

floweroffrost
Flower of frost 

Magnetic alignment

The beauty of frail
            flowers of frost
on the window pane
            fine filigree of ice
that will soon melt
            under the morning sun
And I think of love
            of compassed perfection
magnetic alignment
            in which the eyes have it
a tongue-tied love
            that exceeds the night
subsists on the light of stars
            values truth and sincerity
holds the body sacred
            knowing that the flesh
source of all life
            never lies

To lie in the lee of love
            sheltered from time
from the depredation
            of thwarted dreams
that lives in shared decision
            set upon a common path
a sole direction
            that trades not in power
but in tokens of gentleness
            As the wind ruffles
the fresh leaves of trees in spring
            so love stirs the heart’s fibres
its voice never fades
            never fails

John Lyons

A sense of gratitude

A sense of gratitude

A change in the weather
            drives the gulls inland
once again
            twenty or thirty of them
soaring in wide circles
            above the rooftops

High pressure and the trees
            almost perfectly still
while I sit and read
            and watch and meditate
on the way things are
            thinking and feeling
my way
            through the morning

Reject no one
            and debase nothing
Zukofsky wrote
            : wise words
And I turn my eyes
            to explore the face of the sky

We made a pact
            in Southwark Tavern
to which I hoped
            she would adhere
but those were days
            in which the sun shone
no sign of cloud or rain
            no threat of thunder

Luck has a way of turning
            as we know
though love built on luck
            never lasts
and our love was always
            unequal

Beyond desire our drives
            were different
but for a while we shared
            the very best of ourselves
and for those days
            for that part of the journey
for those happy times
            I give thanks

John Lyons

 

In retrospect

In retrospect

What was there to love
           but the light that danced
in her eyes : starlight
           and through her words
the music of her mind
           the love that flowed
through her voice
           the joy it exuded

The vibrant love in her
           the song sounded
in her heart : the quickstep
           and the foxtrot
that we two tangoed
           Now tears from the tongue
new art and old hurt
           slack bow of the violin
that my father played
           in days of sadness : the grace
from having known her
           the pursed once-kissed lips
stretched on a canvas
           that the eyes haunt
dark pupils that once embodied
           the affirmative

I press strings
           to the fingerboard
but grasp only those airs
           that emanate
from the mournful outer stars
           Overnight my world
withered to mute music
           mute wisdom
and no second paradise
           Turn again I say
to recapture the imprint
           my mirror still bears
of a time when desire
           was free and our love
prospered honourably
           and grief was unknown

John Lyons

Not for want of asking

Not for want of asking

Animate the still-life
           bring passion in
bring drive
           and determination
Through the threads
           of autumn and winter
sap will rise
           cherries will bloom again
trees will extend their branches
           to provide shade and comfort
through the summer months
           Admire the crisp new leaf-edge
that softens the bleak urban sprawl
           let the lines of poetry grow long
as they romp chapter and verse
           through the purple clover

Lend an ear to the vowels
           that bend in the breeze
and to those words
           that might save you :
you from yourself
           or your self from you

Learn from the wind that breathes
           life into us all
the air that burns in our lungs
           and think :
is there any other purpose
          than love ?

John Lyons

Cry of angels

Cry of angels

Language that developed
           out of deep need
that breath breathed into life
           words by which our thoughts
are fleshed out
           place where word and deed
coalesce and shape our lives
           passionate palpitating texts
soundscape wordscape
           of our day-to-day significance

the sense and sensibility of it
           snow flurries on a northern hillside
flakes forever frozen
           for all time captured
sight and sound recordings
           of how good it feels to be alive
to live in the warmth of another’s love
           out of the deep need
to give and to partake
           to annotate the cry of angels
an eye spy upon the world
           and to feel through what we see
to turn a deft hand to love
           to pursue the heady heart
to celebrate with the pulse
           of rhythm our soulful kinship

and how one body latches
           onto another for all time
a kiss at the point of creation
           what rises out of the mist
the perfect synthesis of light
           beauty’s truth
the poetry of it all
           the timed theme of our life
the ardent renewal
           of the face of the earth
all wordthings in
           immeasurable motion
in ecstatic dance
           until our dying day

John Lyons