Category Archives: ghost poems

from Poems Found in Boxes by pd lyons


Lyrics

I’m a back street rambler

Got no place to go

My lovers are crazy

My money is low

And it’s a slow death

I’m waiting for

A slow death I’m praying for

Got no gifts to offer

No money no dope

All I gots my love

And they say it aint right

Its long night I’m going into

A long night I’m going through

My mirrors are many

My insights are few

no tears left to cleanse me

Got nothing for you

So, I’m two feet for the highway

Two feet for the road

Don’t know what’ll happen but I hope it goes slow.

I would abandon all other cities for this… poetry & photography by pd lyons


nyc pdlyons

 

I would abandon all other cities for this…

To wake from sleep with little angels

Cross weeping waters 

Opiate lilies

Rolled tobacco porcelain skin

We would talk

 I would give out money, paper money for free

 Answer, because you are sitting on the streets I was born into this world on.

 

I would pass from them like loose wrappers

cobbled stone behind lost mythologies, strangers foreign even to my self

But I could if I want sift sea salt stolen dreams

camera fantastic songs

 long meandering trails to and from the stars siren spiralling

 a better life only in theory because I would give up all other cities for this.

 

To wake from sleep with nameless angels

Cross weeping water smugglers

Beggar a hazy sun dry enough for a nod nod noddy nod.

Soft we would talk knowing no remedy for tomorrow only respite from the past.

rest your head on my shoulder,

safe from all  clatter drift,

from the hard shelters the rough searchers the mingling watery blood sucked ones.

 

I’d tell you stories of cities abandoned long ago

Where warmth was free

Where angels had names

Where heroes would rescue even you.

I would sleep without being asleep,

  your head on my shoulder

I would not move when disentangled from my arms

you pooch my pockets for something worth taking, cash

  let you have it going,

never to call you anything but by your long-ago name

 the one your mother whispered once all sea spray

 hidden away from anyone else but me.

 

sometimes I will find quiet even in the day light

sometimes I will find a way warm into the night

by myself again

there in only gentle ghosts I blend

 my new skin, my confident sway

a sweetness beyond graves

among stars.

 

nyc pdlyons

 

nyc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the people who had cured themselves from the virus they once called language ( a dance piece) by pd lyons


the people who had cured themselves

from the virus they once called language

~

communicated eloquently

with their hands

with their arms

with their skin colour

with their eyes

a dance impossible to be misunderstood

~

they learned of the winds worship of leaves

the way the sun and every shadow enjoyed each day by day

and the height of midnight stars all sparkling –

happy with the moon

longing for its return

~

eventually they forgot –

the coarseness of verbal abuse

the trickery of its seduction

the con of its half truths

~

they made themselves dwellers of an island

rescuers and healers of those washed up from the deep

unafraid of reinfection they let the long term healing of their lives

speak for themselves

.


William S. Burroughs

“Language is a virus from outer space”

William S. Burroughs

The Ghost of My Mother’s Lover, by pd lyons as published by Gone Lawn


The Ghost of My Mother’s Lover

Sometimes I would find the things he left, loose change under the cushions, a little red box of wood matches (that my mother took away), black liquorice candies wrapped in stripped silver foil
And once a big silver skeleton key – that he really left for me.

 

One night I woke up, hearing his voice, his voice form my mother’s room, his voice talking and talking. I went up to the door which was not quite closed – they were in bed together. He was sitting up and mother lay with her arms around him, head on his bare chest. He wasn’t just talking
he was reading, so I sat down there in the hallway and listened about Morgana the sister of a king.
I guess he didn’t notice my mother was asleep because he kept on reading and whenever he turned the page I thought he would look right at me and smile.

 

I listened as Morgana looked into the water for pictures of the future and how some of the knights did not like her but there was one, one with dragons on his arms who loved her very much, how it was Morgana who taught the little girls of Avalon to serve the Goddess…And I thought I have to ask him, who is this Goddess?

 

I must have fallen asleep there on the floor by the door of my mother’s room because the next thing I remember I am being carried and in his arms! My face against pictures of blue stars and a black winged horse on his shoulder. His smell a little like the ocean mixed with something from
my mother’s kitchen. His muscles so great that with one arm he held me while with the other pulled back the blankets, swung me down into my bed so fast I almost laughed out loud then tucked me in.

 

Through my half closed eyes I could see his face coming closer and closer, then his lips touched my forehead – but soft like mother’s kiss even though his breath of smoke and prickly chin were not at all like mother. As he pulled away he said so that I could hardly hear, “Sleep well. Sleep well little Morgana.”

 

Then I remembered I wanted to ask him… I sat up and said “Tell me -” But he was gone
and already the light in my mother’s room put out.
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as published by gone lawn

Winter, 2010

after

Xunantunich, by pd lyons – from Myths of Multiplicity


In 1990 I was lucky enough to travel to Belize. For half the trip we were doing a horse trekking in the highlands. We stayed at a former orange plantation – i remember most vividly the  of free flying parrots. They were elegant airborne acrobats so unlike those domesticated souls back in the states. We wold ride through the jungle for hours sometimes lunching by water falls, or swimming into limestone caves. we each were issued a machete to lop off the foliage as we rode. It was deemed poor etiquette to not do your fair share of keeping the trails clear. occasionally we’d pass trees of ripe citrus – reach up from horse back and pick one. Our guide had worked with Harrison Ford on a film based in Belize. He told us he really liked Harrison and became friendly with him. So much so that Harrison promised to take him back to America where he could work for him. But this never happened and now he didn’t like Mr. Harrison Ford too much no more.

Xunantunich is a Mayan  site. It had been excavated years ago, a pyramid complex. The steps of which were terrifyingly steep and slippery with wet limestone. All to quickly we would be done with our days of 4-6 hour rides and return to Belize City our only solace being to go on and spend a week on Ambergris Caye discovering the sea.

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Xunantunich

The silent policeman
Lay himself down
Across the great western highway
Tired from watching everyone
He wants a return to dreaming
A return to those days of the high bush
Those days of the interior.

Swimming into limestone caves
Box of toucan matches
Lighted lantern
Floats on a little block of wood
While on a smoke of kerosene
Coming back to him now, the words of his fathers:
“So now you know. Everything is alive.”

The silent policeman
Lay himself down
Across the great western highway
Tired of growing heavy with the world
He wants a way
To avoid
End of Paradise Hotels
ESSO drums
Coca-Cola CESSNAS
To return
To those days of the interior.

Behind his eyes bare foot women light the lamps
Honey shadows seep up into a palm thatch
While owls make questions of constellations
And rolling in from across the valley
A hush answers “From the pale eye of the hunter
A single tear drop fell arching over an unseen face
It touched Earth and disappeared.”

Ring tail ghosts come by
Soft grey kisses through white jungle nets of night
Beyond an ancient plaza
Immersed in some whisper of wings
Jealous eyes of jaguar
Two great gold pearls on the edge of rain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DSC_8247http://www.metbelize.com/lodging.html

(unfortunately I did not get custody of the photos so none from Belize)

2015 NOTE – in setting up this blog post i search for some info re Xunantunich and found this piece of info kind of interesting, keep in mind i wrote the piece on my flight home in 1990 –  from Wikipedia listing –

Xunantunich’s name means “Stone Woman” in the Maya language (Mopan and Yucatec combination name), and, like many names given to Maya archaeological sites, is a modern name; the ancient name is currently unknown. The “Stone Woman” refers to the ghost of a woman claimed by several people to inhabit the site, beginning in 1892. She is dressed completely in white, and has fire-red glowing eyes. She generally appears in front of “El Castillo”, ascends the stone stairs, and disappears into a stone wall.[citation needed]

Xunantunich – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xunantunich
LyonsCover01fin)

myths of multiplicity by pd lyons 2014 runner up erbacce poetry prize

The Girl in the Silver Mercedes by pd lyons


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come back

I want to know

what’s it like

all your dreams come true

your hair longer now than when we were teenagers

leaned against high school halls

100 years old then

gone now

gone

the one word, one thing

applies, can be applied,

utterly applicable to every person,

place, thing, concept, category –

what else is new?

  1. 2. 12

my father, my mother, Yeats, golden apples & silver apples – reading by PD Lyons


read by PD Lyons poet~

The Song of the Wandering Aengus by WB Yeats & Somewhere Still by PD Lyons

The Song of the Wandering Aengus by WB Yeats from Eveeryman’s Poetry, J.M. Dent, Orien Publishing. London 1998 Somewhere Still by PD Lyons from When You Worship Swans No Longer Limited Edition, Supported by Westmeath County Arts, 2017

 

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
Source: The Wind Among the Reeds (1899)

.Noun. 1. Aengus – Celtic god of love and beauty; patron deity of young men and women. Angus, Angus Og, Oengus.

SOMEWHERE STILL by PD Lyons

Somewhere there is still a place, you sitting in the sun, concrete porch paving slabs, Cape Cod Grey picnic table, small summer savages running jumping clinging – immune bare feet impervious to sun. Skin frosted with salt, lotions, cake icing.
Somewhere children still take your hand, invite you to cross the street walk with them down to the beach, taking them sometimes instead to lunch…
Long-time companions, comforts of old age, afternoon naps, books, TV, mail order catalogues, big band music and too those ever-dangerous memories – love, marriage, a hole never in twenty-three years has time healed.
Somewhere she still takes you by the hand. Ohs your name laughs into the open window, Fifty-five Chevy, summer bright chrome. So close to flying great American V8 highways up through the Canadian border dwindling into heavy Nova Scotia sands.
There has never been an ocean too cold for her to swim in. Long after your retreat to safety – Flamingo towels, Knickerbocker beer, USMC Zippo, Old Gold cigarette spiral prayers. Gratitude at last. Unable to fathom any reason to feel bad about surviving.
Deep breath wonderful (not a god damn palm tree in sight). Watch that woman of the sea; only wish there would never have to be a time to leave.
Later she gets tipsy; acquiescing when the waiter offers to sweeten her drink no knowing here to sweeten means more liquor. Out on the dance floor, hold each other tight as you want because she’s your wife now and you always liked the Mills Brothers.
Sometime after midnight, small cedar room, Stuart tartan blankets, crisp white sheets. Strange night sounds traipsing gingham curtains. As if tiny fingers, she ohs your name. Answer back with words you never knew before.
This spring by the sea your little house will not find you. Gone now perhaps to wander just like W.B. said –
Glimmering girl once more beside you and pluck
Till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
(For: D.R.L. – with regards to W.B. Yeats, his favourite poet.)

Fallen Lilies, by PD Lyons Poetry


 

Fallen Lilies

 

We will surround you with silence

Like the voices of our children never to be heard again

We will surround you with fallen lilies

Like each of one our children cut mid bloom

 

We won’t ever know what to do

With a hypocrite’s thoughts and prayers

 

We won’t ever find anything

In a hypocrite’s concern for  grief

 

But we’ll not match the hardness of such hearts

By hardening our own

 

We will not meet such hearts with violence

We know too well that path of sorrow

 

So, we will meet you in silence

Like the voices of our children never to be heard again

We will meet you in fallen lilies

Like each one of our children cut mid bloom

 

Unlike you

We will do what must be done

Unlike you

We will remember and continue to find days to be thankful for

 

Mothers rocking babies rocking mothers

Fathers rocking babies rocking fathers

Altar of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Notre – Dame

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


 
ROWING
 
 
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

 
1928–1974
 
Anne Sexton

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Sexton#Death

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]


THE AUTHOR OF THE JESUS PAPERS SPEAKS

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.

birthday note on turning 60 by pd lyons


1974 crosby

1974

 

the old fellow near the sea

the old fellow near the sea

 

today ends my fifth decade. to morrow i will be 60.

the sixth decade begins at 5:54 am

bringer of the new dawn

 ever aging scorpion.

 

sometimes i think it has not happened

sometimes when i think of that certain little boy

i still get tears.

sometimes when i think back,

teenage, marriages, children, lovers, others –

reminding myself  of the good and of the not so very good –

reminding myself that I really  did the best I could.

 

but you know i am the luckiest man i know.

i have ended up in a country foreign to my birth

with a family of my own…

i  think i am in the best health ever.

no smoking for over 15 years

steady yoga meditation

and always did and still do love to walk –

there are miles of my life upon

mountains, shores, countries, continents

and  along those meandering pathways between the worlds.

 

and while i know all things come to an end –

as of right now i have not!

how cool is that?

cheers

.

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cover photo

photographer unknown

photographer unknown

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