Helpless love

           Grapevine, John Lyons

What shall I do
with this absurdity
this universe in which
silence and stillness
simply do not exist

I think of whispered words
the tightened bow of her beauty
the ships on the shores of Troy
the blazing battlements
and a heart under siege

The rod and fly that I handled
so poorly as a boy when I fished
the streams around Thomastown
days long forgotten dearly remembered
What shall I do with this absurdity

the mule that I rode or the horse
or the donkey or a day at the fair
riding the carrousel with scarcely
a dream in my heart just an old tune
: or adrift in the water

under sail off the Brittany coast
under a fierce summer sun
and something stirred within me
and I held her soft face in my gaze
and fell forever into helpless love

John Lyons

Love’s complaint

Upon Troy’s battlements

I will not say
       that the cards dealt
were marked
       or that such were
the merciless stars
       that shone upon
those dark nights
       when I struggled
to find my path
       my soul

in the stillness
       in the morning silence
broken only
       by voice of thrush
and sparrow and
       cooing dove
I stand by my choices
       and the consequences
       and look to the future
my body yet to collapse
       into wrack and ruin
my desire to love
       and be loved intact

Today I hold
       my hand to the fire
hell has no mysteries
       it is heaven that eludes
or provokes with promises
       of rude passion to tempt
our tender flesh
       into submission
or beguiles us with
       crude images of beauties
that stalk the flaming
       battlements of Troy

John Lyons

The Tower

W B Yeats (1865-1939)

The Tower

The clouds of the sky
           torn to shreds
by the bitter wind
           grey clouds blowing in
from the East
           on this the shortest day
the longest night to come
            How well Yeats understood
the wreck of the body
           the slow decay of the blood
and for so many years
           knew only love unrequited
haughty disdainful love
           that near broke his heart
until he found satisfaction
           with one who cared
peace of body and mind
           at last and an harmonious life

Faith and pride
           he bequeaths to the young
and memories of love
           the poet’s sweet imaginings
he puts to one side :
           time indeed to make a living will
a testament to his humanity
           the lock stock and barrel
of his life and the learnings
           of his unbroken soul

John Lyons