Category Archives: ruff

Two poems and three songs for my Father Donald R Lyons Nov 21. 1925 – Jan 26, 2003.


DAD

The swans out in the field

Their secrets not revealed

Passing into silent flight are they

Perhaps their subtle sigh

Stifles some deeper cry

As they know you’ll be leaving much too soon

 

Walking down the lane

The filly foals refrain

Their running is the sound of falling rain

Are they restless from the summer?

Or somehow do they know

You’ll not stay to seen them fully grown

 

By the fairy mounds of old

The pock marked GPO

Cross the Boyne to bang your head on spiral stone

See the wonders down at Fore

And the ancient seat of kings on Tara hill

 

Now sitting by the fire, music’s playing’ low

Guess I’ll raise a glass or two before I go

Though it’s to an empty chair not your smiling face I stare

(Yet) whenever that door slams I still hope to see you there.

 

And sitting here I wonder

All those stories finally told

Revealed how in our youth

We were so very much the same

Was it drink that made us bold?

Or did we speak so true

Because somehow, we knew

You’d not be coming back this way again?

 

Somewhere Still

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.)

 

Donald Raymond Lyons
Donald Raymond Lyons, 77, of North Shore Blvd., East Sandwich, MA, formerly of Rockledge Dr., Waterbury, passed away peacefully on Sunday, (January 26, 2003) with his family by his side at the Mary F. McCarthy House in Sandwich. He was the husband of the late Flora (Rosano) Lyons. Mr. Lyons was born Nov. 21, 1925 in the Waterville section of Waterbury, son of the late Raymond and Ethel (Pollard) Lyons of Waterville. He graduated from Crosby High School in 1947 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945 during World War II. Mr. Lyons joined the Waterbury Police force in 1953. He was promoted to police sergeant in 1965 and to lieutenant in 1973, retiring in 1984. He loved family gatherings, his books, wine, dancing, lunch dates and his grandchildren. He was a member of B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 265 and the VFW Mattatuck Post No. 8075. He leaves his devoted family of three sons, Peter D. Lyons of County Cavan, Ireland, Mark J. Lyons of Waterbury, and David M. Lyons of Sagamore, MA; two daughters, Pamela A. Beane of Sandwich, MA and Judy M. Donovan of Plymouth; a loving brother, Raymond “Buddy” Lyons of Waterbury; and 11 grandchildren that adored him. He was predeceased by a sister, Shirley Aparo. The funeral will be held Friday at 8:45 a.m. from the Mulville Funeral Home, 270 West Main St., to St. Francis Xavier Church for a Mass at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in All Saints Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home Thursday from 4-8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mary E. McCarthy House, 73 Service Rd., East Sandwich, MA 02537, or to a charity of the donor’s choice. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the love and support given to their father by his longtime companion, Eleanore Bryan of Sandwich, MA.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Jan. 28, 2003

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To me there is a magic which only Christmas brings,


snow by morgan lyons

snow by Morgan Lyons

12.23.85.
Now two days before Christmas snow has stopped not amounting to much and well what can I say that hasn’t already been said about the joys and sorrows aroused by Christmas?

I like Green Sleeves, God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, Good King Wenceslas, The Holly and the Ivy, and for some reason Barbara Allen strikes me as a Christmas tune. I also like the best cognac I can afford and of course Champagne – very dry and very French. It must be cold for Christmas, it doesn’t matter if it snows but it must be cold so I can wear my big black overcoat and a long red scarf as I take my 1 a.m. Christmas Eve stroll after having watched Alistair Sim as Scrooge on the channel 2 Late Late Late show. The best thing about Christmas though is the melancholia. a thick strong liquor, the true spirit of Christmas brewed from memories of child hood and from witnessing present instances of hope and faith – the faith of children waiting for Santa Claus – knowing he will some how come, the hope of church goers (pious as well as the annual) the simple joy of strangers on a street corner singing songs of comfort and joy with the salvation army band. These are the ingredients of the precious brew that one sips slowly sparingly alone in the cold in the middle of the night. For me my own special garnish is my son who I cannot see on Christmas and my mother (always the source of our childhood Christmas festivities) who has now been dead for this the second Christmas – and yet still there is something, as if Christmas gives me the courage to think of each of them remembering those happier times without depression.

How do I explain? It is the joy we give that lays the foundation for our own faith in our ability to be happy. The presence of hope when hope should not exist, joy in spite of all the compelling reasons for despair – that must be magic. It is the season when one searches out, both in memory and present day to day, these instances of magic. Ones awareness is sharpened so as to better find out and discover these instances of joy and hope. So as to be able to say: See! It is real! It does exist. Here! Here is an example and here look here! Against all odds should be the motto for Christmas. Truly a holiday common sense and the rational are definitely out to lunch. All mundane obligations – rent bills job etc. are finally (if only briefly) put into a proper prospective and totally disregarded in favour of the pursuit of bringing joy to some one else. Even money in all its blood soaked splendour is transformed into an instrument of purity when with it are bought the tokens which give delight, the tokens that symbolize our wish to give happiness to others. It seems that everyone now has this mission – to make other people happy, as if to prove it is possible to do such a thing even in this world.

For me the magic of Christmas is that although I have good reason to be depressed ( my son, my mother, no money, no job, etc.) I know I will find, because of Christmas, a sense of joy, a sense of thank god for Christmas.
When I woke up this morning I swore I wouldn’t write anything about Christmas. I even wrote I had nothing to say about it and now here I am writing a Christmas lecture but perhaps you can forgive me. I don’t mean to tell you how Christmas is and must be for you, this is just a little reminder to myself as how it is for me. Hopefully I’ve spared you from too much of the boring personal details but gave enough for a good outline.
To me there is a magic which only Christmas brings, a sort of reason-less relief from the mun-day- to-dane preoccupations. For others I’m sure they will interpret it in their own terms, perhaps this too is what makes it a special time because each may experience it in a personal way without infringing on another. But no matter, Christmas will, I’m sure have her way and I believe deep down even the most adamant “hum-bugger” will some how be affected by her as she makes her way down the street, cold, alone, sipping slowly on that thick strong brew she loves so well, her eyes alive with the knowledge that she has little to do with any religion and that its useless for mankind to resist her. Christmas is a determined wench, patience unlimited. It doesn’t matter to her how long the seduction takes – she knows whether days months or years the result will be the same – that eventually we all fall under her spell.

more snow by morgan lyons

more snow by Morgan lyons

The day is nice, excerpt from Sal Manders by pd lyons (adult themes)


in 1974 I started work on a biographical/fiction. ( originally titled salamanders) incorporating bits of journal, drugs sex and drama from the point of view of a 18 – 20 something male living in an old factory town New England as he discovers drinks weed cocaine love sex marriage divorce fatherhood etc. it began by the river it hasn’t ended yet. here’s another excerpt – for what its worth. still ruff n ready I suppose

The day is nice,

today is a light cool mist over everything after weeks of ninety degrees. The coffee is good and strong. I’m sprawled out on the kitchen table with pen and paraphernalia. When I was first married my wife always made sure where ever we lived there was a room for my desk. It was great; a room, a desk, a typewriter and all my books. But as time went on and she and I got farther apart the desk seemed to get lost along the way as we moved and the place got smaller and smaller my room became less and less of a priority no longer, like myself, a necessity. However I did find a substitute for my desk, a most convenient and logical solution – a place to sprawl out and be close to the coffee pot a place generally as far as possible from sleeping children and angry women and even today when I have no typewriter, no home, no wife, I still have a little quiet and solitude here at this long inspiration of kitchen table.

It’s nice and cool but I would like some sunlight, sunshine like yesterday, the girl dancing and laughing and I rubbed her sore muscles putting her to sleep in the ragged summer grass there by the stream you can still drink from. Maureen, the way your hair shines golden, the way you wore that yellow tied at the waist shirt – I want to buy you a gold medallion of the sun, pretty girl I want to lay you out in ninety degrees of heat and fuck you till we melt. Maureen in the sun quiet, cynical, tired, your legs are strong I thought you were nervous but you fell asleep as I worked the tight muscles of your legs yielding up the cheeks of you ass, a long sleek back up around sore shoulders the white ivory neck kissed between the space of blonde laying in the grass my hands unable to stop…

Then there is Maureen in evening laughter,

Restless martial arts forms against the stars

Stoned as shit on some hashish she bought

To see her now, happy, care free, no self put downs,

Golden lady I like to be here…

Maureen your skin is magic,

The night has been beautiful for us

The moonless stars are animals I want to travel among

While your desire is to keep both feet on firm earth

Dancing in the dark I hate to leave you –

All night my fingers shake in their sleep as if I had ten penises each dreaming of your cunt all at once.

 

1978. Excerpt from Sal Manders by P D Lyons


1974 crosby

  1978    I’m sitting in this crowded theatre, I’m not watching the show, I don’t know what I’m doing here – just waiting for intermission or the end what ever comes first? The place is packed, everyone dressed real fancy, even me! I’m sitting on the audience side right, an aisle end seat with friends who’s faces I cannot see and names I do not remember with occasional flash backs of my mother giving me directions to a beach I don’t want to go to. One of the theatre girls comes over and is bending down over me to say something to someone in our row. I remember looking at her and thinking how handsome she is, not frilly pretty but attractively handsome. As she leaves this other woman comes into the theatre behind me, she’s dressed in black and maroon and wears a black shiny stone pendant. She is young she is attractive she is asking me to introduce her to the theatre girl, says she is her cousin or something. I tell her I don’t really even know that girl and why doesn’t she just introduce herself? She is afraid to, pleads with me until I say “yes – when she comes back this way I will “. I turn back towards the stage but everything is over, guess the end came first, and people are streaming out. There is no trace of the theatre girl but there is a woman kneeling in front of the stage writing something into a clip board. I go down to her; I know she works here, something to do with productions or something like that. I kneel there with her and somehow without words ask her how to find this girl and she answers me with out words. I don’t remember any words being spoke between us but she proceeds to give me all sorts of charts, numbers and diagrams concerning this theatre girl and I get this feeling that they belong to a group of nuns or priestesses and to find this girl one would have to go deep under the ground. We get up and walk to the main doors. I don’t know if she has decided to bring me to this girl or what but I don’t care because I find myself very happy to be walking with this woman. By the time we get to the door I’m sure I know her well and feel known by her and I remember no words and I remember not once did we look each other in the eye. As we left we went out different doors, parallel doors.  Once outside I say to her in distinct words “I like you very much. It’s been years since I met a woman smart enough to do more than put on her make-up.” She just smiles and we walk through the down town and in front of the old Grants department store reflected in the cloudy plate glass she puts out her tongue and I take it into my mouth.

(photographer unknown)

snippet from the midnights


it was a long distant thing

wound through midnight

only years not just slender

rather deep meanderings

crossing radio waves rode

such music never knowing separation

immediate transpiring

heart

heart

savoring  wu li dances

deeper the space  purer the ecstasy

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dancing_Wu_Li_Masters

spiral


he went down

a stairway

a stairway made up of days and other debris

such as people such as love such as violence subtle and also blatant

it took him decades to descend

sometimes the railings wobbled

sometimes his ankles twisted hung up on random fantasy broken dream tomorrows

sometimes ghosts would shadow him for a while

sometimes shadows would pass their lips upon his own

phantom tongues rising his desire

but each transient

each eventually relinquished

gave way

 

 

 

 

 

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The Things I Didn’t Want to Do, by pd lyons


All my life of lingering lies

Each and every single one

A point to point of indelible regret

 

So dig in deep and hold your mark

Squeeze the trigger, don’t black out

Ain’t that a fitting way for it to end

 

Slow and steady always just a mere formality

I could only follow where the strings were pulling me

 

Like the nagging of my mamma

And the raging of my pa

Those class rooms full of things I couldn’t really understand

And those laws that seemed only to apply to me

 

So dig in deep and hold your mark

Squeeze the trigger, don’t black out

Ain’t that a fitting way for it to end

 

 

And where’s the love like in those songs

And where’s the joy of that gospel god?

The fame and fortune like in those magazines

Fulfilling all those promises made by my TV screen

 

All those things I ever learned

All those lessons so absurd

I was only running after someone else’s manufactured dream.

 

So I’ll dig in deep hold my mark

Squeeze the trigger and not black out

And maybe hope for reinforcement will pan out.

 

 

what i wrote today : The Quiet of Your Love, a thank you poem for Shelly


I like the quiet of your love

when I wake up for no reason in the middle of the night

and you’re laying warm beside me

so everything’s alright

 

I like the quiet of your love

as we walk along the beach

and you’re pointing out the wild things

between the horizon and the sea

 

its those certain situations

no matter where we are

the whole world just goes quiet

like the love you have for me

 

Listening to your laughter

like I listen to your breath

Listening to your voice

like I’m mesmerized

 

and I don’t know how to say it

I always start to cry

so I’ll just hold you closer

and I won’t say a word

I’ll just keep it real quiet

like the love you have for me

sometimes I miss the horse days & someplace, by pd lyons


occasional it happens

 stray song over the kitchen radio

 old photo tucked into a book that for no reason i just picked up to thumb through

i hardly let it pause me

i usually just keep going

 

occasional it happens

 my old bones do an old ache

  glimpse that crooked clavicle in the bathroom mirror

 hardly let it pause me

 usually just keep going

 

occasional it happens

strong scent of well oiled leather maybe someones coat

packed tight on the morning train

mists trough the damp windows

shadows moving up the hills

hardly let it pause me

 usually just keep going

 

occasional it happens

but you know sometimes when it does

i just don’t feel like moving

stay right there  face the tears

yeah sometimes i miss the horse days

sometimes i just fucking do

 

Someplace

Down on the avenue
Work ’til the day is through
I just want to get away
But you know I never do.
And when the sun goes down
I’ll be sitting all alone
Watch them old cowboy shows
On some second hand video.

Wishing I was someplace
Where grass just grows n rain is clean
Where horses run and black birds sing
Someplace where the sky is big n the only cry
From an eagle on the wing.

But I’m city bound by plastic chains
Robbed to death by men with ball point pens.
My hopes gone up in Marlboro smoke
N ghosts of what used to be my dreams
Haunt me with wondering if I’ll live long enough to ever be

Someplace where grass just grows n rain is clean
Where horses run n black birds sing
Someplace where the sky is big and the only cry
From an eagle on the wing.

Someplace where I can ride for days
N never see another human being

 

pdlyonsphoto

pdlyonsphoto

pdlyonsphoto

razor black mirror porcelain by pd lyons


 

razor black

mirror porcelain

 

for your

rose bud

bird song mouth

I have made bouquets

 

gathering

shadow light

creatures wonderful

grotesques fortuitous

clear potable water

dark caves beneath a sunless world

secret hand fulls

tremors lolled by after glows

 

alone like ivory your room in blosom

rich solitudes of orchid

perfumed isolations

joys

with

or

without

love

i only make for you

 

 

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