Ballad Of The Absent Mare; By Leonard Cohen: My Typing Exercise

Hello dear readers, I’ve been having trouble comprehending and concentrating on reading your articles/posts, of more than two stanza’s or one short paragraph in length. So my physiotherapist has given me some tasks to help improve my situation. Today I’m typing up one of favourite longer poem’s, by Leonard Cohen, called the “Ballad Of The Absent Mare”. I hope you enjoy his brilliant writing here.

Ballad Of The Absent Mare: By Leonard Cohen

Say a prayer for the cowboy, his mare’s run away

and he’ll walk till he finds her, his darling, his stray

But the river’s in flood and the roads are awash

and the bridges break up in the panic of loss

 

And there’s nothing to follow, there’s nowhere to go

She’s gone like the summer, she’s gone like the snow

And the crickets are breaking his heart with their song

as the day caves in and the night is all wrong

 

Did he dream, was it she who went galloping past

and bent down the fern and broke open the grass

and printed the mud with the iron and the gold

that he nailed to her feet when he was the lord

 

And though she goes grazing a minute away

he tracks her all night and he tracks her all day;

blind to her presence except to compare

his injury here with her punishment there

 

Then at home on his branch in the highest tree

a songbird sings out so suddenly

Oh the sun is warm and the soft winds ride

on the willow trees by the riverside

 

And the world is sweet and the world is wide

and she’s there where the light and the darkness divide

and steam’s coming off her, she’s huge and she’s shy

and she steps on the moon when she paws at the sky

 

And she comes to his hand but she’s not really tame

She longs to be lost and he longs for the same

And she’ll bolt and she’ll plunge through the first open pass

to roll and to feed in the sweet mountain grass

 

Or she’ll make a break for the high plateau

where there’s nothing above and there’s nothing below

And it’s time for their burden, it’s time for the whip

Will she walk through the flame, can he shoot from the hip

 

So he binds himself to the galloping mare

and she binds herself to the rider there

and there is no space but there’s left and right

and there is no time but there’s day and night

 

And he leans on her neck and he whispers low

Whither thou goest I will go

And they turn as one and they head for the plain

no need for the whip, no need for the rein

 

Now the clasp of this union, who fastens it tight

who snaps it asunder the very next night ?

Some say the rider, some say the mare

some say love’s like the smoke, beyond all repair

 

But my darling says, Leonard, just let it go by,

that old silhouette on the great Western sky

So I pick out a tune and they move right along

and they’re gone like the smoke, they’re gone like this song

 

Extracted from the book: Leonard Cohen, Poems And Songs, Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets

 

Ivor Steven (c)  2018

Published by

ivor20

Hi, and welcome to my blog site. My name is Ivor Steven, I live in Geelong, Australia. I'm a retired, part-time plumber, and a former Carer of my wife(Carole), for 30 years, who suffered from severe MS. I Write poetry about those personal thoughts, throughout and beyond my life as a Carer. I've been blogging for 18 months, and writing poems for nearly 18 years. Of course a lot of my poems are about my favourite subject Carole, but since I've been blogging my writings have become quite varied, humourous, mystical, observational, and even a few monster/horror poems.

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