Sunday 2 October 2022

Three Poems by Ed Lyons

The Temptation of Galahad


My temptation is hope

That my arms will hold who they held before

because language flows between us once more.

and though I gave her everything I had,

I still find ways to give

and still find ways to go.


But if she came to me she’d break her word

she gave to him but never gave to me.

and if she came to me, how could I know

she wouldn’t fly away

on the morning wind?

How could I love her rightly,

wondering this?


I gave her what she needed in a way

worthy of a Cavalier,

and I am free to show my love for her,

and free to love another. What could I want?

She will be true to someone, if not me –

Begone, you shadows of the lonely heart –

Angels come around and sing to me.


This is a tale of two –

Two cities, two extremes, and two in love

This is a tale of three: Mother, Father,

the child frozen at the bedroom door;

Our Lord bring one more to lie with me;

Make this tale whole – make this a tale of four.

Reply to the Protestant


When I told her goodbye,

a well-meaning Christian woman told me

      “Praise the Lord, now you can get right with God;

       since you do not walk with Him, you have these sorrows.”

Like the friends of Job, though I am innocent.

I declare to Heaven and before Our Lady,

To have loved another is no sin.

Waiting without Knowing

If your wingèd ones are ever to return,

how far must I ride alone in the windy night?

This is the empty time,

between worlds destroyed and worlds not yet born.

Once more I gaze into her eyes

that are away now, once more

I hear her voice not speaking.

Hour upon hour I pass the time,

night into day the silence grows more vast.

I think she will not return

to these arms that hold nothing at all.

I am praying that she will find a way home again.

What could be more real than when we were alone?

Now that some dark wind tears her away,

and I don’t know whether her glance backward is fond,

or whether she is crying.

The sky is cold, the clouds are full of rain,

and the new leaves break free

in a shower of petals.

Ed Lyons has been writing and publishing poems for over forty years. He is a regular contributor to the Poems from the Heron Clan anthology, and has also appeared in Albatross, A New Ulster,  previously inLothlorien Poetry Journal, and North Carolina Bards, and written hymns for the Moravian Church. The last is the subject of Ed’s 2019 chapbook Wachovia, published by Katherine James Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Ed lives in Winston-Salem, also in North Carolina.



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