My words are love

           Autumn, John Lyons (acrylic on paper)

a line taken from
a poem by Frank O’Hara
who describes
the stubbornness
of his feelings
that simply won’t
shift no matter what

Is art ever
anything but
an act of love ?

I leave this
to the reader
to figure out

John Lyons


Forever in my life


Rainfall, John Lyons (70 x 50 cm, oil on canvas)

The rain perhaps
the rain as it used to rain
in my childhood
slow steady rain
an ablution of the earth
the damp air heavy
with the scent of soil

The rain perhaps
tiny droplets of memory
falling through the universe
and my mind wanders
to far forgotten places
and the faces
that I knew there

The rain perhaps
when we first built a shelter
and called it love
and we huddled there
together tightly and listened
to the rain and wind
and were content

The rain perhaps
that is neither a beginning
nor an end in itself
as though I had
always known you
always wanted you
forever in my life

John Lyons

it’s meaningless

General Sherman, NYC

                      General Sherman, NYC

So the weather takes a dip
       the wind retrieves its bite
tears at the fresh spring leaves
       gusts under the eaves
drives the rain hard
       against the skylight
displacing the Saharan dust
       that blew up days ago

Last night I counted the doors
       featured in an Antonioni movie
Sometimes it’s meaningless
       to watch films or to eat
or to drink coffee
       out of a paper cup

This morning
       I’m reading Frank’s poems
wondering about how many
       daydreams I will see today
whether any of them
       will notice my lavender lips
will talk to me
       will listen to me

Tonight promises to be
       a clear sky with stars :
nobody owns them
       as far as I know
though I am tempted
       to add the word yet

John Lyons

Relaxin’ at Camarillo

Charlie Parker

I’ve been listening
       to Charlie Parker
for most of my adult life
       I never tire of the riffs
the sweet melodies
       the effortlessly inventive energy
he applies to the saxophone
       the awesome power of his breath
that lives on in the recordings :
       masterworks indeed

Like the poetry
       of Frank O’Hara
who is alive and well
       in the Lunch Poems
his tone of voice too
       captured for all time
in a poetry that positively
       sings of friendship and love

‘My words are love’
       Frank wrote
and Charlie might well have said
       the same about his notes
Stepping away
       from the world of work
Frank worked the world
       into his verse
His poems – as with all art –
       are affairs of the heart

John Lyons