A Slip of Paper by PD Lyons





This life time bardo

With all that manifest

Coming from my self

How can I deal with it?

Either wisdom or ignorance

That is all


Simply the choice

Wisdom or ignorance

That is my truth

Distraction or awareness

That is my method


excerpts from the poetic novel Bella & Shirley ~ a work in progress by PD Lyons

Justice without protection is oppression. ~ Bella

Currently I am working on transcribing notes from a story i started years ago. It sat around for years. always wanted to but never seemed to get it off and running. A few months back my daughter lent me one of the books she had read and loved, so I gave it a go. It was The Poet X  by Elizabeth Acevedo. It was a great read and for me a great inspiration. The Poet X is a novel done in wait for it ~ POETRY! And while my poetic novel is in no way related to the context of   Elizabeth Acevedo’s book, it does owe (for better or worse) its existence. If  i know one thing about myself it is that I am a poet not a novel writer. Remove the obstacle  and  the story returns to life. So no no longer a chore but a work of poetry separate related poems. I love writing poetry so here we go. In no particular order or reason I’ve selected these three to break the ice. A more orderly and story like posts will follow. Maybe some of you will like it? It takes more nerve than talent to be a writer …. The events take place in a modern first world civil war ~


It Was Tilkon From the Lady Camp

~ Bella after Shirley’s Death ~

It was Tilkon and the others from the lady camp

they were still alive

they were my women

our women

 felt the breath leave me in a heap

 felt the gag of my own aching body well up into tears like I never thought I’d weep again

 they were moving milling all around me

 I felt the ground give way, their voices farther and farther away


felt them holding me.

remove my weapons

 my gear

let myself be carried


they were alive

they were my women

our women

they were alive


they brought me to one of the tents

got me into one of the camp beds

and there were sheets

sun dried stiff


 so white

I had to close my eyes

so clean

I had to turn my head to better draw in their scent


And When I sleep now?


I sleep better because the screams in my dreams,

no longer those of women, girls, children,

but of perpetrators, savages, in-human pigs.


sometimes like when I am at the lady camp

and   can relax sure its Shirley comes to me,

lays beside me and melts that hardness from my heart.


But you know for all that ,

there are no ghosts  when I wake

 it’s the wet of my own tears,

the state of my own being.



So, it’s not about brutality,


don’t talk to me of being numb.

 don’t tell me about being heartless.

 I hunt the in-human.

I teach others to hunt

to protect themselves and all those who are all too human.

It’s not about hate,

it’s not about brutality –

it’s about protection the protection of all who are human.

Justice without protection is oppression.


Marina Abramović/ women we should know

Pdlyons's Explorations

salamander yellow pad

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Marina Abramović/ women we should know



Marina Abramović

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marina Abramović

Abramović performing The Artist is Present, MoMA, May 2010
Born November 30, 1946 (age 66)
Belgrade, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia
Field Performance Art
Training Academy of Fine Arts, Belgrade
Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb
Movement Conceptual art
Works Rhythm Series (1973–1974)
Works with Ulay (1976–1988)
Balkan Baroque (1997)
The Artist is Present (2010)

Marina Abramović (Serbian Cyrillic: Марина Абрамовић), Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [marǐːna abrǎːmoʋitɕ]; born November 30, 1946 in Belgrade, Serbia is a New York-based Serbian[1] performance artist who began her career in the early 1970s. Active for over three decades, she has recently begun to describe herself as the “grandmother of performance art.” Abramović’s work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body…

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Francesca Woodman 1958–1981/ women we should have known

Pdlyons's Explorations

Francesca Woodman 1958–1981/ women we should have known

salamander yellow pad

 from: Tate UK

from tate uk


Artist Rooms artist essay

American photographer Francesca Woodman has eighteen rare vintage black and white photographs in the Artist Rooms display, from a collection once owned by the artist’s boyfriend. Woodman’s photographs exhibit many influences, from symbolism and surrealism to fashion photography and Baroque painting. They have a timeless quality that is ethereal and unique. The artist began taking photographs at the age of thirteen and though she was only twenty two when she took her own life, she left behind a substantial body of work.
Francesca Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. She puts herself in the frame most often, although these are not conventional self-portraits as she is either partially hidden, or concealed by…

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windows ~ Rome, Italy. photos by pd Lyons

Where Her Breasts Used to Be, as published by A Quiet Courage. 2016

Was very pleased to have thise poem appear on A Quiet Courage! Thank you  Clara Klein!

I have also included a link to their submission page : https://aquietcourage.wordpress.com/submissions/



He kissed her courage,

he kissed her fear,

he kissed her sadness,

her deep unknowability.

Because she was his dearest,

because she was all he loved

and ever wished to.

P.D. Lyons: Born and raised in the USA. Travelling and living abroad since 1998. Currently resides in Ireland. Received Mattatuck College Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry. Received Bachelor of Science with honors from Teikyo Post University Connecticut. Books of poetry: Searches For Magic, and Caribu & Sister Stones published by Lapwing Press, Belfast. A third book, Myths Of Multiplicity, published by Erbacce press Liverpool as part of the 2014 Erbacce International Annual Prize. pdlyons.wordpress.comamazon.com/PD-Lyons/e/B00B6PEFSQ.

As If The Rain by pd lyons from The Women Retrospect


As If The Rain

Emily Dickinson used to sneak out.

Sometimes in day light, mostly at night.

Tip toeing carefully down the back stairs

Even though nobody else was there.

Always a hat a shawl or a veil

To keep the neighbours off her trail.

Walking along the streets of the town

Glimpses her reflection among dry goods and gowns

And in the shop she has been seeking makes her purchase from a little man who has always honoured their agreement

And never Miss Emily’s secrets revealed.

Bag of tobacco, skins and matches snapped up in her bag.

While wrapped in brown paper knotted with string – a bottle of port

tucks under her wing.

Emily Dickinson used to sneak out.

Later that night she did it again.

Carefully tip toeing down the back stair

Even though nobody else was there.

Making her way out to the train station,

Counting the stars as she sat on the bench,

Named new constellations while she was waiting.

A shudder of sighs defined by an overcoat of stains

he sits down beside her.

Rodent hands desperate in deep dead end pockets

Until, rusty knife retrieved by one opened by the other

String and paper, slit and peeled

Turbulent mouth not spilling a drop.

Until eased back against the slats.

Things he knows he tells her ~

Crossing the country by freight. Tin can meals around a fire.

Men who only knew for certain that they’d not meet again.

Bones broken by horses. Bayonets emerging from a fog.

What it’s like on the other side of the ocean.

Names of young girls, young men.

Who might be living? Who might be dead?

And sometimes, only warm smoke shapes between them linger

As if the rain would never come again on a Tuesday night in Amherst…

Wrote this in the late nineties.  Sent it off with a few others to a small Irish poetry magazine called Brobdingnagian Press (if i remember correctly) the pun was that each issue was one sheet of broad sheet paper with small poems printed all over it. Any way this was much too long for it although the editor was kind enough to accept one or two of the shorts. The embarrassing part was that while he appreciated the Amherst poem, being an aficionado of Emily, he did suggest that i might want to spell her last name correctly when sending to other editors.

anyway we had a bit of a laugh over that, Em and I and then went down to the waterfront. it was autumn and a storm was heading in….

a version of this poem appeared in The Yes Factory first issue 2012  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B58yt4q1_WOpenRMa3RCczVqMlE/edit?pli=1


poets we know and live with ~ ROWING & THE AUTHOR OF THE JESUS PAPERS SPEAKS by Anne Sexton

A story, a story!
(Let it go. Let it come.)
I was stamped out like a Plymouth fender
into this world.
First came the crib
with its glacial bars.
Then dolls
and the devotion to their plastic mouths.
Then there was school,
the little straight rows of chairs,
blotting my name over and over,
but undersea all the time,
a stranger whose elbows wouldn’t work.
Then there was life
with its cruel houses
and people who seldom touched-
though touch is all-
but I grew,
like a pig in a trench-coat I grew,
and then there were many strange apparitions,
the nagging rain, the sun turning into poison
and all of that, saws working through my heart,
but I grew, I grew,
and God was there like an island I had not rowed to,
still ignorant of Him, my arms, and my legs worked,
and I grew, I grew,
I wore rubies and bought tomatoes
and now, in my middle age,
about nineteen in the head I’d say,
I am rowing, I am rowing
though the oarlocks stick and are rusty
and the sea blinks and rolls
like a worried eyeball,
but I am rowing, I am rowing,
though the wind pushes me back
and I know that that island will not be perfect,
it will have the flaws of life,
the absurdities of the dinner table,
but there will be a door
and I will open it
and I will get rid of the rat insdie me,
the gnawing pestilential rat.
God will take it with his two hands
and embrace it.As the African says:
This is my tale which I have told,
if it be sweet, if it be not sweet,
take somewhere else and let some return to me.
This story ends with me still rowing.


– from The Awful Rowing Towards God 1975
( Her eighth collection of poetry is entitled The Awful Rowing Toward God.The title came from her meeting with a Roman Catholic priest who, unwilling to administer last rites, told her “God is in your typewriter.” This gave the poet the desire and willpower to continue living and writing. The Awful Rowing Toward God and The Death Notebooks are among her final works, and both center on the theme of dying

Anne Sexton



Within 12 years of writing her first sonnet, she was among the honored poets in the U.S.: a Pulitzer Prize winner, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the first female member of the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.[10][11]

On October 4, 1974, Sexton had lunch with Kumin to revise galleys for Sexton’s manuscript of The Awful Rowing Toward God, scheduled for publication in March 1975 (Middlebrook 396). On returning home she put on her mother’s old fur coat, removed all her rings, poured herself a glass of vodka, locked herself in her garage, and started the engine of her car, ending her life by carbon monoxide poisoning.[12]

In an interview over a year before her death, she explained she had written the first drafts of The Awful Rowing Toward God in 20 days with “two days out for despair and three days out in a mental hospital.” She went on to say that she would not allow the poems to be published before her death. She is buried at Forest Hills Cemetery & Crematory in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts.

Sexton is seen as the modern model of the confessional poet. Maxine Kumin described Sexton’s work: “She wrote openly about menstruation, abortion, masturbation, incest, adultery, and drug addiction at a time when the proprieties embraced none of these as proper topics for poetry.”[13]


In my dream
I milked a cow,
the terrible udder
like a great rubber lily
sweated in my fingers
and as I yanked,
waiting for the moon juice,
waiting for the white mother,
blood spurted from it
and covered me with shame.
Then God spoke to me and said:
People say only good things about Christmas.
If they want to say something bad,
they whisper.
So I went to the well and drew a baby
out of the hollow water.
Then God spoke to me and said:
Here. Take this gingerbread lady
and put her in your oven.
When the cow gives blood
and the Christ is born
we must all eat sacrifices.
We must all eat beautiful women.

Anne Sexton  from The Book of Folly 1972

the girls i knew in high school were all enamored with Sylvia. and i must admit i was some what smitten. but there was this teacher of English. she did not debate but rather exposed the rare woman genius the all too common crucifixion the dark stronger than the bright, the strength to take control in a time in a place where all is only waiting around food feeding on food attracted like horseflies to tenderness. the time was she said now and so the time was and so she said it was therefore it would be now and never any other time but. – pd lyons

all photos C. pd lyons photography.

With Alessandra

With Alessandra


time travels softly

across the river

sun pours

volcanoes of night

suck away the day

ghosts rise hungry

clean olive scented bones

in another sleepless night

                                                                                 along this land of green dreams




nick cave, into my arms. video & lyrics/ Poets We Like & Live With

Into My Arms

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did, I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Oh, not to touch a hair on your head
Leave you as you are
If he felt he had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
Both to each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
But I believe in Love
And I know that you do, too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candles burning
Make her journey bright and pure
That she’ll keep returning
Always and evermore
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms, oh Lord
Into my arms
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Nicholas Edward Cave
Into My Arms lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.



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