So to the life learnt

Easter canvas

So to the life learnt

So to the life learnt
           word by word :
who walks beside me in the shadow 
           of Shad Thames ?

the hollow space
           in your image and likeness
the simple mathematics
           as dawn breaks
above my head
           on this Easter Sunday

I have a mind full of you
           and of words
from other scriptures
           and I salute the day with love

The ghosts of Wilfred Owen
           and of Paul Éluard
move through these lines
           one mortally wounded
the other a survivor
           in the Great War

There was a time
           when your almond eyes
drifted into mine
           mine into yours
a time when parting
           on Tooley Street
was such sweet sorrow
           before Hamlet appeared

Now there are red tulips
           and daffodils
with their yellow petals
           spread in honour
of the stars from where
           they come
and there are words
           so many words
that I deploy
           in my struggle against
the ravages of time
           and the loss of love

John Lyons


Raking over old ground

Raking over old ground

The simplicities of childhood
            that we carry with us all our lives
hope springs in springtime
            new life and lambing in the fields
daffodils grown and bought in bunches
            the lighter evenings
and a lighter heart
            the earth freshly groomed
and the prospect of love
            Resurrection and endless return
the promise of the coming months
            our pulses fired by the sun
and our delight in the swifts
            and swallows that return to the air

No trace of their human shadows
            down by Shad Thames
last year’s love nest abandoned
            the blinds drawn
and she gone south
            to nurse her shattered dream
to displace the memory
            of all that she had
of all that she so carelessly and yet
            so wilfully threw away

John Lyons