Rimbaud’s genius

Rimbaud’s genius

Not all things
            are seasonal
love is a body
            of hope
of belief
            in the spirit
that transcends
            time and event
and the perfect form
            is there in the breath
the redemption
            of all life

We are all
            on a meter
but the stars
            have no agenda
for us
            we make our own
berries
            out of the ash

John Lyons

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Rimbaud revisitation

Rimbaud revisitation

The suburbs arrayed
       amid cold meadows
no bell sounding
       prayer long fallen silent

Here the air resounds
       to the caw of crows
whole armies of them
       that come swooping down
dressed for battle
       the black metallic sheen
of their feathers
       contemptuous of the light
their rapier beaks
       sharpened for business
no solace in their haughty bearing
       that sets them apart
from the smaller birds :
       nature too has its favourites

Along the roads
       and down by the little stream
they congregate in twos and threes
       in fours and fives
but do not dally showing disdain
       for Calvary’s winding lanes

Those who see them
       shudder at the thought
of life’s tender fragility
       the cold message
so dutifully delivered
       by these harbingers
of all things sepulchral

But o you black birds
       you cry in vain
for the winter
       that now smothers
the barren fields
       will lift soon enough
and the warbler’s voice
       once again will be heard
singing from the tops
       of mighty oaks

John Lyons

Elsewhere

Elsewhere

Do not mistake my body for me
I am sometimes there
and yes it’s an address of sorts
but I’m often absent
simply elsewhere
sometimes in the future
sometimes strolling through
past locations in which I accumulated
thoughts and feelings and experiences
there are hills and rivers and walled cities
and boats that cut through
the choppy waters of a beautiful lake
and there are men and women and children
and lips that I once kissed and still cherish
in an absent kind of way
so much so that when Rimbaud wrote
that his true life was elsewhere
I felt as though but for a quirk of time
he had read my mind
and stolen my thoughts

John Lyons

Rimbaud

Rimbaud

What emerges
         from this deep season
of confusion
         but a soul dissolved
in the light
         of misaligned stars
one who would hanker
         for a piece of forever
lost in the mind forest
         blind to the arcs
of astral fire
         only darkly alive
twisted and torn
         by the loveflesh
pitted against
         an obsolete future

Here I stoop
         to guzzle at the rain
to commit this tract
         of time to words
and tear off the hollow
         masks of the night

All that is unborn
         the leastful breathing grace
 that lived on the welfare
         of passion
No meaning where none
         intended

John Lyons