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Poems by Lyla Byrne


LylaBeing here


My body doesn’t need to be on the moon
I have the moon here, and many stars besides
that jewel the night

My body doesn’t need to go zooming into space;
and anyway I prefer the pictures
and the stories
and the flights of imagination

I don’t need a car
and the same for the aeroplane
the chain saw and motor mower

I don’t need a lot of things made from the Earth,
And I don’t want much sent from far away

I don’t want a lot more
than we could source and make and grow
as friends in the town and countryside we know

I don’t want bloody diamonds
or to fill my tank with bloody oil
      or to see the seas begin to boil
      and the skies turn red as blood
      But I’d love to be here
in the garden, with apple buds and waiting bees,
      with the sweet warm lemon scent of gorse
      the first May blossom, and butterflies
      and birds singing in the trees
      I want to rise in the morning with the swallows
      swooping over the ploughed field in golden sun
      and walk through the summer grass
      full of dew sparkling in different colours,
      beside wild hedges and woods full of creatures,
      and grow vegetables and tend geese.
      I want to breathe fresh air
      and feel the breeze like a caress,
      and be happy with those I love the best
      because the mongoose lives on the mountain
      the whale and fish are well in the waters
      and the tiger safe in the forest
      I’d love to be here
      so please stop
      killing the biosphere


When you are the small ones and the wounded ones and fall to the ground
Like the seeds

You are like the sycamore
Your wings and scars spin down to the earth, becoming a thousand new trees


also a tin teardrop


Life makes a healthy environment for life. 
Burning fossil fuels and living forests
is burning the candle at both ends.
We are so busy destroying the
candle that we do not have
time to realise that it
is what, in stories
would be called
a magic candle.
It is like the cup
that is never empty,
the rejuvenating grail.
It is self renewing using
the Earth and sunshine.
If we used it wisely
it could endure


In the lime light*


Out west
along the path at the back of the house,
up the hill into the red wood forest
into the lime light

a great domed enclosure
a tribute to the perpendicular
people talk about the cathedral of the pines
but the redwoods are even more majestic

reaching through hundreds of light years
the way the sun came down through the redwood leaves
and got broken up like in a pointillist painting
and each a brilliant point
amongst deep green dapples of shadow
so the glow within the fabulous bower
is a perpetual lime green light

a soaring deep green disco balled superbower
Sunny and cool at the same time
gold and green afternoon
stillness and peace


* A poetic adaptation of a piece from Tom Wolfe's The Electric Cool Aid Acid Test (p. 57) in which the central character is Ken Kesey, who wrote One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.


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