A world fit for love

A world fit for love

Emerson was right

      : thought makes things
fit for use
      and Zukofsky echoed

There is no life

      without purpose
no exalted rose
      no winedark Aegean Sea
no beauty or truth
      no love

The poet’s task
      is to tell itas it is
to denounce the tyrant
      to laud good governance
to align with the poor
      with the aged
with the weak the infirm
      to petition for justice
to abhor each criminal act
      whatever its provenance

So Homer blindly sang
of Helen’s beauty

and of the strength and wit
      of Ulysses
and in poetry

      Dante delivered Beatrice
from hell’s depths
      Kosmos equals beauty
so thought makes a world

      fit for use and together
we make a life

      fit for love

John Lyons

 

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A test of poetry

A test of poetry

What have I
       in my breath
captured ?
       The stillness
of the moment
       the soundlessness
of a mind subdued
       of words lying
at rest at ease
       almost

In my breath
       a single syllable
: rose
       neither water
nor petal nor thorn
       nor stem

No flowering
       of the flower
simply
       a rose
with its gaunt
       silhouette bound
by the atomic energy
       subdued within

The word will outlive the petals
       that soon enough will
curl crisp and burn
       in the oxidizing air
dust is its destiny
       the fate we all share

but for the moment
       its perfect form captivates
its opiate beauty enthralls
       its fragrance entrances
and it is all
       it needs to be

John Lyons

Virtue

Virtue

The mind turns to the body
         the body turns to the mind
to thoughts and to the thing
         to the rose and the thought of it
beauty felt in body and mind
         in what we call the heart
or the soul or the spirit
         and that which we most desire
put a name to that face
         put a name to that love
and so in the pronunciation
         infuse that sound with feeling
so that she is always
         on the tip of my tongue

she inseparable
         from her image
every sinew of her being
         condensed into that sound
beauty in the nature
         of her warm soft body
impossible to remove
         from my mind
and so I touch her
         with my words
envelop her
         in the syllables
of these lines
         express the love
of which enough
         is never enough

John Lyons