The radiance of sunlight

Say that our bodies are beautiful
in the radiance of sunlight
our flesh still warm with the love
we bring to the day
how the regal flow of blood
sets our cheeks aglow
and how we are insatiable for life

As the flower’s beauty is inseparable
from the sum of its parts
each particle plays its part in our being

our intelligence a beacon
amid the arcane mysteries
of cosmos and creation :
how age degrades all things bar love
so that we have nothing to fear
from the edge of the night
nor the silence of daybreak
as long as there is breath on our lips

John Lyons

Corrected text

Love’s last intelligence

eggshell

Put aside the sad smell of lilacs
and words that spread outwards
to smother the truth of solitude
Beneath this deep eggshell blue
all manner of things might appear
chance and happy circumstance
all that is about to be written

Breathe freedom
an absence of objects
a spacious peace in which
our innate nature may flourish
here is horizon and novelty
made from pigments that arise
out of the earth’s core

We are in the time of roses
we hunger for the nightingale’s song
we who for so long have clutched
at the elements of life
and yet for every failed ambition
for every dashed dream
a single wisdom has sheltered us
and that is that wordless love
articulates the last intelligence

John Lyons

A bravura of the mind

A bravura of the mind

Fret fear fate
           new texts in the world
as though time dragging its heels
           even though time does not exist
outside of our perception
           the archaic forms of poetry
from worlds long gone
           the shift in customs and belief
and so much forgotten
           or abandoned and yet
the struggle is the same
           how to deal with the day
how to fill our lives
           with being

and how to remain open
           to love in all its gestures
receptive also to truth
           the beauty of it
to know the value
           of our breath
a bravura both of the mind
           and of the heart

John Lyons

 

Weekend wisdom

Weekend wisdom

A short walk
           down the path
to the front door
           where to the left
a climbing rose
           has just been planted
and behind it
           a new trellis
pinned to the wall

The rose will prosper
           its roots will reach
deep into the earth
           the mineral truth
of its beauty
           will flourish
year on year
           and it will be
a thing of joy

The emblematic rose
           and the power
of object and images
           and the speech of truth
what Wallace called
           weekend wisdom
the time devoted
           to words and thoughts
and how we carry words
           within us
close to our hearts
           weekend thoughts and words
and the sad smell of lilacs
           displaced
by the rose’s aroma
           and how we give
each other our word
           and how its truth
lies at the very heart
           of language
and how betrayal
           of the word
is an arrogant dagger
           fatal to desire

John Lyons