Memory is distance

               Coffee grounds on yellow background, John Lyons

Memory is distance
       over time
is wholeness
       is struggle to prevent
fragmentation –
       perceptions saved
within the senses
       the dragonfly
that skimmed the pond
       summer after summer
all those years ago
       and the scent of cherry blossom
of peach and pear and plum
       and cut grass
and ice on my tongue
       the joy and sadness of rain
and winter dreams
       and the discontent of bees
as flowers fade and dust gathers
       on the gilded earth
and love comes lately
       if it comes at all

Memory is sharpness
       of the mind
we forage for it
       and sometimes stumble
upon past realms
       resurrected in the heart
savoured on the lips
       or a soft voice heard
on the edge of night
       a tender text of angels
a sudden knowledge
       of years reborn
a body politic
       to which we clasp
until daylight breaks
       across our bones

John Lyons


Love be brief


History – dead time
       a past buried
in a chromatic wilderness
       a burnt match floating
in a greasy pool
       of rainwater
an old hair
       on an old pillow case

Be minimum
       with your words
in your actions
       resolve to move forward
to write new texts
       in a world
of warmth and affection
       the past is scribble
of fret and fear and fate
       beyond absolution

Be minimum
       cut to the quick
courage and conviction –
       angels will appear
on the edge of night
       by day they will mingle
with crows and sparrows
       foxes will pay allegiance

She who is not worthy
       will lose her way
be lost forever –
       exercise discretion
: in the forgetting
       there is forgiveness –
be minimum
       say no more

John Lyons

The essential poem

The essential poem

The essential poem
           one that relates
the clouds and the trees
           to an earth that would
otherwise be barren
           the words that enter
into the very dynamics
           of what it is to exist
and to be breathingly alive
           attuned to the beauties
of light that plays
           on the calm sea surface
or the breeze that ruffles
           the leaves of the forest

words that make sense
           words that draw colours
together and moves shapes
           into a moving composition
in which the subtle harmonies
           outlast the darkest thunder

the lover chooses words
           out of desire out of hunger
for the opulence of flesh
           upon willing flesh
and a kind of fulfillment
           that makes sense of the horizon
and the movement of planets
           of wheat raised from the soil
that feeds the necessitous soul :
           the essential poem is a song
condensed from loving energies
           informed by lip and finger
a tactile clairvoyance that knows
           from the softness of her breast
that life without love
           is utter desolation

John Lyons



To say that we live
           in prehistoric times
is no joke :
           what is history
if not dead time
           a past buried
in a chromatic wilderness
           in which nothing
may be reversed
           nothing achieved ?

A burnt match floating
           in a greasy pool of rainwater
a hair on a pillow case
           now lost beyond extinction
a lost lover who may be held
           in the memory for only so long
before the breath fades
           before the shifting sands
envelop every recollection

Be minimum
           with your words
economic in your actions
           resolve to move forward
to emerge from the tunnel
           into the hurly-burly
of the present
           write a new text of the world
full of warmth and affection :
           the past is a scribble
of fret and fear and fate
           that cannot be absolved

Make your world personal
           exercise the courage
of your convictions
           and adulterate nothing
Hers was a beauty
           that time could not slay
an angel of reality
           on the edge of night
my Morning Star

Be minimum
           I will say no more

John Lyons