Stéphane Mallarmé – the sapphire of silence

Poorly equipped
defenceless
the poet enters
the world
rides a wooden
rocking-horse

an all-weather
walker he explores
ancient woodlands
and hikes across
endless fields

the stars render
time meaningless
just the beat
of his heart
and the pace
of his footfall

his ancestors
are words
words and music
and his home
is the sapphire
of silence
in which his soul
savours love

life is light
and colour
and all the world
feeds on life
patience is
a natural virtue
which the poet
cultivates
along with sparrows
along with magpies
he admires
their point of view
the purity
of their speech

spiders play
on strings
melodies rich
to the poet’s ear
crude vowels
and consonants
struggle to express
the beauty around us

John Lyons

The swan

The swan

For a moment a swan
down by the river
at Henley
the unspoilt beauty
of immaculate white wings

and so it thrashes them
and in the process
throws up
a spray of water
before it settles
back down

and elegantly dips its bill
below the unsettled surface
as though to drink
or refresh
its throat

and as the sun sets
its regal poise
once more regained
it glides off upriver
to be lost forever
to my prying eye

John Lyons