Holly berry

Holly berry

At the top of Maresfield Gardens
           in Hampstead at the front
of one of the houses there’s a holly tree
           the lower branches of which hang over
the brick wall close to the pavement
           and their leathery leaves are covered
in a fine film of dust and on some
           there are signs of damage and decay
but hidden among them
           is a solitary bright red berry
sole survivor from last season
           and I wonder how the birds
could possibly have missed it
           for so long just as I am happy too
to admire the utter simplicity
           of its ineffable beauty

John Lyons

Maresfield Gardens

Maresfield Gardens

These translucent leaves
           that Freud once knew
no longer have any use
            for this late autumnal light
except to illuminate
           their frail falling beauty
but what a wonderful show it is
           these yellows and coppers
and wafer thin golds
           drifting gently down

Though I go unnoticed
           through the throng
one day I will be a stranger
           to nothing
and that’s the way it should be
           a poet silent
except in my verses
           a believer in words
knowing that if the words fail
           all else will fail too
along with the gifts
           of water and air and light

In an unswept garden
           the litter of leaves
drifting and turning
           in the light wind
and in the centre
           a rose bush
several in fact
           but only one
with a single surviving yellow rose
           and so far from Texas

John Lyons