How many dawns
           how many bridges
draped in mist
           how many gulls
gliding namelessly
           through the air
how many thoughts
           and hopes
and expectations
           as the sun rises
into a panoramic
           crimson sky

Soon cinematic streets
           will fill with purpose
the bustle of daily life
           the wheeling and dealing
of commerce and work
           as across London Bridge
a speechless caravan
           of souls drifts towards
offices set in towering
of steel and glass
           and from their windows
the idly occupied will gaze
           down into the streets
and dream of love
           as the hours leak away
How many dawns
           how many bridges

John Lyons



Words from the bridge

Words from the bridge

And again we ask
           how many dawns
and what lasts
on the wheel of time
           what is built to last
a bridge or a cathedral
           or a castle in the sky
yet what outlasts them all
           is the word

Even though the language dies
           the words remain
intact somewhere
           in the collective mind
What lasts
           is what returns
time and time again
           promises and vows
and declarations
           of love

its ebb and flow
           amid the light
and the darkness
           Love lasts
love the word
           verb and noun
the love forever
           on lovers’ lips

John Lyons


End of the affair

End of the affair

How many dawns
           did we wake to sunshine
and to the chill fresh air
           down by the river
In my thoughts
           you are everywhere
you are your very likeness
           but there is within you
a hidden voice that is distracted
           that reaches for words
but cannot find them
           Love you say
flies on faded wings
           it has no meaning
once you surrender
           to your mirrored fate
and so your heart tears
           into thin strips
the linen of your soul
           rent to tatters

The bridge was a monument
           to tenderness
to boldness
           a place to defend
with your life
           should you so desire
but in darkness you prefer
           to fritter away your tears
and to make your mouth
           absent from mine

And so silence
           that arises from the calm
slop of sleep
           and caprice has done
your destiny to death
           in dishonoured time

So be it
           loveless there is no joy
           you serve no one
not even yourself
           and all that you have
to give and to share
           goes unspent

John Lyons


110 Columbia Heights

110 Columbia Heights

And I have been able
         to give rein to freedom and life
which was acknowledged
         in the ecstasy
of walking hand in hand
         across the most beautiful bridge
in the world
         the cables enclosing us
and pulling us upward
         in such a dance
as I have never walked
         and never can walk
with another—
         and you will see
from my address
         that I am living
in the shadow
         of that bridge

It’s so quiet here
         a moment of communion
where the edge of the bridge
         leaps over the edge of the street
In the evening darkness
         of its shadow I began
the last verse of that poem

[Hart Crane to Waldo Frank
Brooklyn, NY, 21 April 1924]