I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

The Lions Of Lyon (27)

And who said there were only lions? No one said they had to be alone! This one brings up so many different feelings! (Click on the photos to enlarge them).

For those who have loyally followed The Lions Of Lyon over the past year, there is some good news: deep in the vaults beneath the Shameless castle I have discovered there are about 20 more of these beauties yet to come out into the light.

For those who haven't been following my series, and who couldn't give a horse's nostril about the lions, too bad! They are coming. They are glorious. The competition to find the best one will just have to jolly well wait until ALL of the entrants have had a fair chance at exposure.

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Also, I was very chuffed yesterday to get an email from a university teacher in China who says her/his students enjoyed two of my poems. She/he said they came across my blog through a friend in London. The poems were read out to a class and the students discussed them. Now, how is that for the power of the Internet! I have written back asking for more information: is it a state university? SXP, I hope you like the lions too. Which poems? I hear you all asking. These two:

a bench by the lake

beneath branches with wide knuckles, where leaves would normally chatter, a breath comes over the green of the lake, calming the pulse of a modern man

a wooden bench to rest on is chosen randomly, to claim a pause from the fury of the world, to watch the stillness that beckons those who just can’t focus

with his own story he stays alone, a dialogue of millennium nonsense, his thoughts skimming across the water, beneath the eyes of a church on the hill

a rumbling from beneath seems to stir the past, inviting old footsteps and shadows to make themselves known, long forgotten moments eager to flicker

room is made for a soldier and his weeping bride, for a mother welcoming home an errant daughter, and for a young lad looking forward to 1900

a homeless woman

it’s not exactly the most fetching plait, one in which an ebony pin would shine, but at least it has some form, a sign that somewhere in the rough morning a hand reached back to say i’m still in this life, not everything is abandoned

her windows are clear with a spirit to connect, her palms move forward with vigour, and behind the dirt one can see grace and gold, the queen of a tiny and manageable kingdom, where there is not one reason to think about leaving

they come in white vans, offering warmth and food, called by citizens who think of their own mothers and grandmothers, but she doesn’t remember the sunday roast or the trips to the seaside or her daughters’ holy communions

she keeps moving from coffee to coffee, from doorway to doorway, from one donated bun to another, but every now and then she looks at herself in the shine of a metal receptacle, remembering when she was attractive and so in love

© Copyright, 2007. Seamus Kearney.


Unknown said...

Ooh well done Shameless, famous in China!

And now to the Lion. Not sure what I think about this one. The lion seems more powerful than the person standing on it, in that the person looks blinded by those cords. All the same he still seems to at ease up there on the lion and I like the powerful lions (and the female ones too!) There's a sense of emasculation here.

S. Kearney said...

Hi V,
Famous in China! Yeyyyyyy! Do the poems fit in to communist thinking? Or are they examples of how the "west" creates? It's funny, because I've also had quite a few hits recently to my poems site from Iran. These are mostly university sites as well, it seems.

Yes, the lion is definitely the powerful one here. I figure this is a male lion (with mane), with a man on his back, who's being led. A prisoner? A human who thinks he's in charge but is not really? It would've made more sense if the lion had been female, maybe?
What do others think of this image? What is the point here?

Unknown said...

Famous and discussed too! Nice one SH! Very nicely observed pieces too!

Unknown said...

Are you sure it's a man on the lion's back? I had a close look, but it's quite hard to tell, from the way it's done. I thought it interesting that the eyes have lines leading down to the reins, and there are other connecting lines too - who is leading who, is right.
Lion, is the king of the beasts
man is supposed to be the king of all creation. Does the beast in man lead the beast in Lion, or the is the beast in Lion a sub-symbol for the beast in man..? Questions, quests... here in Ireland I smell chicken poo! (been gardening today)

Anonymous said...

Wow - Congrats Shameless. The poems are ravishing. I especially like "A bench by the lake". :)

S. Kearney said...

Hi, with all your chicken poo aromas!:)
Yes, now you mention it, there are signs of a not-so-flat chest ... we need to enlarge the photo to see the details! :) It could very well be a woman.
I like your theory though. Who is leading who?

Hi, nice to have you stop by. Thanks for your nice comments re the poems. If they're out there, and people are enjoying them, what more could I ask for? :)

L.M.Noonan said...

I see you have picked yourself up and dusted your self off. Nothing like a little praise to raise the spirits. The praise is well deserved. the chinese have a long history of poetry appreciation and the beautiful descriptions in a bench by the lake transcend all cultural and political differences. What's with lions anyway? It's a very peculiar sculpture.

Unknown said...

Love the poems, adore the lions!
Congratulations on the discovery by China! Yes, the internet is an amazing tool. I always wonder, where would be without it and without email? Think of how many frienships and discoveries have been made through it, how the world has become smaller, more friendly.
Here's to lots more discovery!

Erm, Cailleach, you worry me with that reference to Chicken Poo...

Unknown said...

Reaching out to China - how cool is that! Great stuff Seamus, could they follow up with an invite for a personal reading!

Hmm, not sure about the 'ladybumps' but she appears to have a 'ladybum' - very curvy. No matter, it is a favourite - have I said that before?

S. Kearney said...

Yes, we have no choice but to dust ourselves off, I think. :) Onwards and upwards! I'm glad to think that my poems can transcend differences; for me that's what the creative process is all about.
The lions are a series I started way back when this blog was a baby. There was an exhibition in Lyon where lions popped up all over the city. It was absolutely wonderful, hiking around and finding out all the unusual places where these beauties were positioned. We took photos of many, but not all! :)

Thanks for your nice words. Yes, it's pretty amazing what connections we can make. I got another mail a while back from a US English professor whose book on cats and writing I mentioned; he came here and said he liked a lot of my stuff, which did give me a lovely boost!
Re the chicken poo: yes, that means Cailleach has chickens in her garden! You two need to hook up and exchange! :)

and Minx, thanks, yes I was super chuffed! You read me like a book: by sending back an email I'm hoping to get invited to go and explain just what I meant by "branches with wide knuckles" and the like! :) We were there a few years back, but would love to go again. It's an extraordinary place and the people are so friendly! And I have other poems to share with them!
Re the bumps, yes, no, ummm, don't know, can't work it out! Can anyone throw light on this one? What about the person who made this? Hello? We're all wondering! :)

S. Kearney said...

Oh, also, I've noticed I've been getting some regular hits now from different parts of China. That must be one of the upshots of having had the poems read out! :) How cool is that? Who in London do I have to thank? A fellow blogger? Do let me know if you were the nice linker-upper! :)

Saaleha said...

Great news that about the poetry. Well done! Here's to many more internet successes :-)

Anonymous said...

That's incredible news about the class in China! We make such amazings connections. The importance of distance is forever falling away.

The homeless poem was especially touching.

S. Kearney said...

Thanks. I'm adding that to another poem being used at a Middle East baptism last year as proof of the fact that I have global reach! I am a citizen of the world. :)

I would have rather presented the poems in person, and then taken lots of repeat visits to nice places! :) Thanks for your kind words. :)

Kay Cooke said...

After reading th epoems, I can understand their reception in China as an exccellent exercise for study. Lovely poems with a lot of detail, strong and interesting characters and discussion points.

Kay Cooke said...

Oh and also ... I love that lion and glad there are still more- it's rather intriguing ... can't wait to see them all lined up eventually for the final analysis and judgement.

S. Kearney said...

Thank you. Yes, I was very stoked when I got the email, which I've replied to, to get more info. I'd like to see if I can get some kind of link to anyone blogging over there.
I'm glad you like the lion series, which has a little run left in it. I have become quite attached to them, as you can see! :)

Marie said...

That's great news about the poems!
Lovely pictures too.

Well done, Shameless.

S. Kearney said...

Thanks Marie. :) I'm packing already, waiting for my invitation for a round of Chinese university talks! :)