Monthly Archives: August 2015

There Is No Need To Believe by pd lyons

Pdlyons's Explorations

unknown photographer unknown photographer

What is discovered

is beyond doubt

what is discovered

is beyond choice

free from duality

is certainty

belief has nothing to do

with what is

the teacher shows

the steps

the student takes

the walk

the teacher shows

a way

the student who goes


there is no need to believe


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published in Boyne writers spring edition

Pdlyons's Explorations

Boyne Berries 7 Spring 2010 now available.

Boyne Berries 7 Launch

Issue 7 of our magazine Boyne Berries was launched by Meath County Librarian, Ciaran Mangan, on Thursday 25 March in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim at 8pm. A large group attended and twenty contributors read their pieces. Submissions for the next issues of the magazine will soon be open. More details on the Boyne Berries page.

the extent of his youth

up the road to the next town

with a girl he knew from high school and her kid

grey clap board bungalow

breakers on the rocks below

reminding him only of working boats.

he loved that kid more then he loved anyone

took her out for sweets and ice cream at the corner shop

taught her how to skate and hold a hockey stick on black ice lakes

almost ended up in jail trying to get that…

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Poet as someone I envy

there are not many poets that i envy – but here is an example of a piece of work that makes me wish i had been born this man. Also included a stunning reading of it by Liam Clancy


Mary Hynes

(The most beautiful woman in the West. Padraic Fallon translation
of the Anthony Raftery poem)

That Sunday, on my oath, the rain was a heavy overcoat
on a poor poet; and when the rain began in fleeces
of water to buck-leap like a goat, I was only a walking
penence reaching Kiltartan

and there so suddenly that my cold spine broke out
on the arch of my back in a rainbow;
this woman surged out of the day with so much sunlight,
that I was nailed there like a scarecrow.

But I found my tongue and a breath to balance it,
and I said:

‘If I’d bow to you with this hump of rain, I’ll fall
On my collarbone, but luck I’ll chance it’; and after falling bow again
She laughed: Ah! she was gracious, and softly she said to me,

‘For all Your lovely talking I go marketing with an ass, I know him.
I’m no hill-queen, alas, or Ireland, that grass widow, So hurry on,
sweet Raftery, or you’ll keep me late for Mass!’

The parish priest has blamed me for missing second Mass
And the bell talking on the rope of the steeple,
But the tonsure of the poet is the bright crash
Of love that blinds the irons on his belfry.
Were I making an Aisling I’d tell the tale of her hair,
But now I’ve grown careful of my listeners
So I pass over one long day and the rainy air
Where we sheltered in whispers.

When we left the dark evening at last outside her door,
She lighted a lamp though a gaming company
Could have sighted each trump by the light of her unshawled poll,
And indeed she welcomed me
With a big quart bottle and I mooned there over glasses
Till she took that bird, the phoenix, from the spit;
And, ‘Raftery,’ says she, ‘a feast is no bad dowry, Sit down now and taste it.’

If I praised Ballylea before it was only for the mountains
Where I broke horses and ran wild,
And for its seven crooked smoky houses
Where seven crones are tied
All day to the listening-top of a half door,
And nothing to be heard or seen
But the drowsy dropping of water
And a gander on the green.

But, Boys! I was blind as a kitten till last Sunday,
This town is earth’s very navel.
Seven palaces are thatched there of a Monday,
And O the seven queens whose pale
Proud faces with their seven glimmering sisters,
The Pleiads, light the evening where they stroll,
And one can find the well by their wet footprints,
And make one’s soul!

For Mary Hynes, rising, gathers up there
Her ripening body from all the love stories;
And rinsing herself at morning, shakes her hair
And stirs the old gay books in libraries;
And what shall I do with sweet Boccaccio?
And shall I send Ovid back to school again
With a new headline for his copybook,
And a new pain?

Like a nun she will play you a sweet tune on a spinet,
And from such grasshopper music leap
Like Herod’s hussy who fancied a saint’s head
For grace after meat;
Yet she’ll peg out a line of clothes on a windy morning
And by noonday put them ironed in the chest,
And you’ll swear by her white fingers she does nothing
But take her fill of rest.

And I’ll wager now that my song is ended,
Loughrea, that old dead city where the weavers
Have pined at the mouldering looms since Helen broke the thread,
Will be piled again with silver fleeces:
O the new coats and big horses! The raving and the ribbons!
And Ballylea in hubbub and uproar!
And may Raftery be dead if he’s not there to ruffle it
On his own mare, Shank’s mare, that never needs a spur.

But ah, Sweet Light, though your face coins
My heart’s very metals, isn’t it folly without a pardon
For Raftery to sing so that men, east and west, come
Spying on your vegetable garden?
We could be so quiet in your chimney corner–
Yet how could a poet hold you any more than the sun,
Burning in the big bright hazy heart of harvest,
Could be tied in a henrun?

Bless your poet then and let him go!
He’ll never stack a haggard with his breath:
His thatch of words will not keep rain or snow
Out of the house, or keep back death.
But Raftery, rising, curses as he sees you
Stir the fire and wash delph,
That he was bred a poet whose selfish trade it is
To keep no beauty to himself.








1972 by pd lyons/ thanks to dave evon for finding this

Women We Should Know : Djuna Barnes

Pdlyons's Explorations

My Nightwood

is some where else

on another shelf

on another table

by someone elses bed

in the hands of another woman

I no longer know

 pd lyons

night wood night wood


Barnes’s reputation as a writer was made when Nightwood was published in England in 1936 in an expensive edition by Faber and Faber, and in America in 1937 by Harcourt, Brace and Company, with an added introduction by T. S. Eliot.

The novel, set in Paris in the 1920s, revolves around the lives of five characters, two of whom are based on Barnes and Wood, and it reflects the circumstances surrounding the ending of their relationship. In his introduction, Eliot praises Barnes’ style, which, while having “prose rhythm . . ., and the musical pattern which is not that of verse, is so good a novel that only sensibilities trained on poetry can wholly appreciate…

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Pdlyons's Explorations

“Bigger science, more money, bigger dams, and bigger centralization – it’s not going to do it. It’s going to create bigger cities, bigger slums, harder garbage pick- ups, and more race riots.” – Volume One, Sunday Morning Services on The Farm by Stephen Gaskin. 1975 -1977.


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tozeur by pd lyons

Pdlyons's Explorations


rows across dead hearts

rows of things to come once guts

rose up from the stone kept ceaseless derisive

rose of Dardanelles

only by hands saved and spared

a star over night

a sun to someone

a myth of multiplicity

I will keep watch until once more warm beats

your own secret single stay awake all night prayer

a pulse a whisper a ghost

my ear my hands my wounded finger prints


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Looking For work in Dublin, by pd lyons. As published by The Legendary Down Dirty Word

Pdlyons's Explorations

this version of Looking For work in Dublin appeared in issue #16 of The Legendary. Would have been written around 1998 upon my first going to Dublin to look for work. Hence the title. For me Dublin was a very cool place full of great Joycean mythologies, spiced with rebellion and whiskey ghosts, and the fact that I was wandering among the dreams of my father… Everything was possible and still the taste of strong tobacco and black coffee kept me aimlessness in the good company of of my own self reminding me to the streets of my own home town Waterbury Ct. In fact there are some elements in the poem come from older Waterbury/New York notes. Seem to dove tail nicely. A commonality of cities.

The same girl sitting on different buses going by over and over I knew if I saw her one more time the…

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How The Woman Alone Brought Rain To The Island, by pd lyons

Pdlyons's Explorations

Back in the early 90’s  was fortunate enough to spend some time in & around Hawaii. This piece comes from that time. It was published in a little chap-book by Lapwing Press. It was the first time a book of my poetry was published. I will always be  extra grateful to Denis Grieg, the editor – because of him my Dad got to see my work in book form. That it was an Irish publisher just made it even better for him.

mix media by morgan lyons mix media by morgan lyons


What if the Rainbow Hunters

Reached down to her,

There in the crevice of fresh water.

Wouldn’t their grass wrapped hands

Protect her?

And the children,

What if they stood by her

In the crevice of clear water.

Couldn’t their songs disguise her?

What about the crazy ones?

What if they ran in mixed up circles around her

There by the crevice…

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Dear Ireland,

Dear Ireland

until a country accepts each and every truth be it beautiful or horrible about its history – it will not truly be a country. Its people then unable to act unison will only serve a variety of disguised colonial cronies down through the centuries.



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