Friday, November 21, 2008

The Ten Fingers

Here's a meditation on heat and love from John Lyons


The ten fingers
Of a seven-year old
Holding a semi-transparent
Pebble up to the light
As she tells her father
That she has found
A diamond, a rather
Coarsely polished
Stone picked from
The obscurity
Of the path
We are walking,
A chip of once
Molten rock
That has the hue
Of lightly cooked
Salmon - all nature,
All life being
About heat
And the loss of heat,
And what we
Carelessly take
To be incandescence.
It is close to sunset
And two woodpeckers
Sit idly on the condominium
Wall, wondering perhaps
Whether to call it a day,
To head home
As we all do,
At the end of a long day.
All out of the same
Cosmic soup, the spiral
Of life, the green parrots
With the bright red patch
Beneath their wings,
And their endless
Endless chatter,
The owls lazing
In the palm shade,
The convection of clouds
Gathering in the distance,
The unceasing transfer
Of energy from liquid
To gas, to liquid, and love
Precious love
In all its simplicity
Passing back and forth
between parent and child,
as tactile and as real
as the sample mineral
held in the hand and yet
of a beauty that could
put any flower
by any other name
to shame.

18 November 2008


Anonymous said...

Hi, John. I tried to translate Lyons´s poems, but they lost his musicality and I decided not to deal with them now.
Google became crazy and blocked my blog. So, I will be at
You can change it here. See you!
Abraços do Lúcio Jr.

Caine Mutiny said...

Is this the Caribbean born poet John Lyons. I will go through the blog to see if there is some further identification.

Thanks for putting up your blog. It is a pleasure to read.

John Hemingway said...

No, John Lyons is Irish, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't born in the Caribbean, although he loves the sea:-)


Evandro Motta said...

Hey John. I'm from Brazil, and I'm a great fan of your grandfather. Your blog is very interesting! Congratulations.

If you want to see some texts of mine, go to

It's in portuguese, but you can translate easily in Internet. Hehehe

and a big hug for you!