A bravura of the mind

A bravura of the mind

And yet
           what is mind ?
Say that we are
           textual beings
readers of all things
           say that words are
our common currency
           our feelings
put into breath
           our ideas
all notions
           of time and space
all relationships
           and especially
that shared passion
           we call love

John Lyons

Magpie takes a dip

Magpie takes a dip

On a cold winter morning
the magpie bathes
in the garden bird bath

Three times I saw it
jump into the icy water
and flutter its wings
so as to wet itself
all over

and each time it jumped out
and sat shivering on the wall
fluttering it wings
in order to shake off the excess
before repeating the exercise

a plump black and white magpie
time carelessly beating in its breast
and who knows what
running through its mind
full of the joys of life

John Lyons

A re-statement of romance

A re-statement of romance

It is what it is
           neither in the pale light of dawn
nor in the deepest dark of night
           is it anything other
than what we give to each other
           There’s a wholeness
about two people coming together
           so that without suffering
a diminishment the selves fuse
           into love’s common purpose

and note how each separately
           exhilarates the other
with singular commitment :
           it’s an exponential becoming
the sum of two being greater
           than the single parts
We pool our solitudes
           without wholly abandoning them
and just as we preserve our personal
           time and space we permit ourselves
to wallow in that other heart-felt dimension
           that is unique to our coexistence

John Lyons


Corrected text

A mind of winter

A mind of winter

Today I have
           a mind of winter
a heavy frost overnight
           has coated the cars
with freezing ice
           and the glazed paths
are treacherous
           underfoot
as I make my way
           down to the station

now is no time to slip
           and break a bone
in the darkness
           A mind of winter
in which all things
           fall back to the earth
trees stripped bare
           to reveal hidden nests
a world it would seem
           in disarray
in which things end
           the only warmth
to be found
           in the arms
of the one I love
           the one I love

John Lyons

 

The necessary rose

The necessary rose

What Wallace took
           from Emerson
that the beautiful rests
           on the foundations
of the necessary
           the poet’s fidelity
to his office
           to the announcement
and affirmation
           of the beauty of things

All form is an effect
           of character
all condition
           of the quality of life
The soul is the form
           that makes the body
: the beauty of a rose
           is not arbitrary
it is the embodiment
           of a truth and only as such
does it enter our spiritual world
           and love is the higher beauty
to which our human souls
           necessarily aspire

John Lyons

Resurrections 

Quercus_robur

Resurrections        

The common English oaks
         cast a towering shadow
over the platform
         at Barnehurst station
the pedunculate oaks
         with their sessile lobed
spirally-arranged leaves
         twisted into rhyme

Time has again gone up in smoke
         as autumn has drained
their lush green leaves
         to the colour of tobacco
Clad in thick fuses of ivy
         from head to toe
these trees are doomed
         as their lifeblood
is slowly sucked away
         No glorious spreading crown
for these emaciated specimens
         no monstrous girth—
their acorns litter the ground
         cracked and crushed
under relentless waves
         of commuter feet

Time feeds on time
         a parasite that will
one day bring these trees
          crashing down to the earth
and so these rugged branches
         will rot back into the soil
from which they once emerged
         ash to ash
dust to dust
         But the minerals
will rise again
         the resurrection
of the molecule
         is not an article of faith :
oak leaves are indeed
         hands reaching out
to future hands
                  Wallace

John Lyons

Blithe spirit

skylark

Blithe spirit

The poet and the poem
           the eye
and the landscape
           the painter
and the canvas
           are one

the field
           the campus
all over
           streaks and shreds
and flecks of colour
           an alphabet
of shape
           of gesture
all under the same
           heavenly stars

skylarks nest
           on the ground
their young sheltered
           in the dense undergrowth
until their muscles
           are fit enough
to bear them
           high into the air

they herald the dawn
           with an artistry
and complexity of song
           that suggest
true musicianship :
           the bird and the song
and the listener
           are one

John Lyons