Sometimes I think. . .

Sometimes I think I’m just too clever for words
I read poems by Ted Berrigan       by Frank O’Hara
by Charles Olson  by Guillaume Apollinaire      and the big earth 
floats on under the blue sky       till one day Patsy says
“But they’re all guys.      
                                    How come you don’t read
the girls?”     So I dip into Emily and Lorine and Alice
And Anne and even give Elizabeth a run around
the block, but sooner or later
                                        it’s back to the boys
Sometimes on a Wednesday      when it’s not raining
I’ll put the books down      and take a hike into the city
I love to watch the river flow      and ponder its destiny
I’ll stay there until the sun sets and the stars appear
I count them as friends     :    they’ve stayed with me
all my life, kept the faith,
                             peppered my dreams with light

John Lyons

How strange – a sonnet

How strange to be gone       the earth floating
through space and you are little more than
a memory      around which the dust is gently
settling     How strange to be silent      how ghostly weird  
to be not a word     not a breath      not a sigh      not a
sign of life       although somewhere under this blue sky
you continue to exist       How strange to be gone
and the way  you went       like a thief in the night      
upon which the stars shuddered      when they learnt       
of your coldness      How strange to be gone     when
everything else remains       the streets      the river
the theatres    the markets   the pubs     the office
where you once worked       and all those  places where

we once made love our own      How strange

John Lyons

Poetry will absolve me

It is daybreak. The city that never sleeps
has been sleeping. My dream was of trains
moving silently through the night. I must
wake the city and feed it with poetry.
I must get the world moving. I must dry
its tears and dress it with poetry. From
the Capital of Pain, Paul Éluard will assist me
with his hymns to freedom and to courage.

It is daybreak and I will never forget the beauty
of your eyes as you looked into my eyes.
Birds are singing sotto voce and a blue
silk skyline is unfolding as the city stirs.
It’s no disgrace to have loved you nor to love
you still : poetry will absolve me.

John Lyons

It was winter in Greenwich

It was winter
down by the river at Greenwich
an old seafaring clipper
in dry dock was being used
as a film set
actors in costume
an assortment of barrels
and wooden trunks
and bales of hemp
on the quayside
and snow flakes falling

It was winter
and the light fell
in shadows
as the snow fell
and the river was silent
and we turned a corner
and I caught the light
in your eyes
as your breath rose
before you
in the frosty air

It was winter
and snow flakes falling
and we dragged our heels
along the cobblestones
your hair a radiant blond
your skin paler than the snow
and we entered the market
where you bought mementoes
to remind you of your journey

It was winter in Greenwich
and snowflakes were falling
lightly dusting the cobblestones
and I reached out
and pulled you towards me
and when we kissed
I could taste the dust
on your lips

John Lyons