Tonight, I Hear A Light

Tonight, I Hear A Light

 

From his tower of song

The teacher heralds his story

Thought provoking and foreboding

His words, are wise and profound

Almost a lullaby to your inner child

Or shaking your soul, almost to death

Recognising the ancient past

Honouring a vaccinated future

In a world that has been torn

His personal eulogy, is solemn but not forlorn

My heart will keep living the romance

Thank you for the dance

 

 “It’s Torn”  Lyrics, by Leonard Cohen

I see you in windows that open so wide
There’s nothing beyond them and no one inside
You kick off your sandals and shake out your hair
The salt on your shoulders like sparks in the air
There’s silt on your ankles and sand on your feet
The river too shallow, the ocean too deep
You smile at your suffering, the sweetest reprieve
Why did you leave us, why did you leave

You kick off your sandals and shake out your hair
It’s torn where you’re dancing, it’s torn everywhere
It’s torn on the right and it’s torn on the left
It’s torn in the centre which few can accept

It’s torn where there’s beauty, it’s torn where there’s death
It’s torn where there’s mercy but torn somewhat less
It’s torn in the highest from kingdom to crown
The messages fly but the network is down
Bruised at the shoulder and cut at the wrist
The sea rushes home to its thimble of mist
The opposites falter, the spirals reverse
And Eve must re-enter the sleep of her birth
And up through the system the worlds are withdrawn
From every dominion the mind stood upon
And now that it’s over and now that it’s done
The name has no number, not even the one

Come gather the pieces all scattered and lost
The lie in what’s holy, the light in what’s not
The story’s been written the letter’s been sealed
You gave me a lily but now it’s a field

You kick off your sandals and shake out your hair
It’s torn where you’re dancing, it’s torn everywhere

 

Ivor Steven (c)  Nov 2019

 

 

 

Violin Strings (Revised)

Today’s poem, is a piece I originally wrote in June 2017, and the words were influenced by Leonard Cohen’s song, “Show Me The Place”, and this being the 3rd anniversary of his passing, I thought it an appropriated week to re-post my poem. I’ve slightly revised the poem, but overall the meaning of my words have stayed intact..   The Featured Image above, is scanned copy from, “The Wordless Songbook, Leonard Cohen, by George A. Walker, page/113, (A book, in my personal library)

Violin Strings

 

I’m singing a song, about you

Singing words, both wistful and true

From my heart to my soul, the veins

They’re as tight as violin strings

I needed you, to take my hand

Take my hand and show me the way

Show me the way, to a formal debut

Show me the way, into your dancing shoes

 

I needed you, to take my dreams

Take my dreams and show me how to behave

Show me the way, to your family home

Show me how to drink, from your holy grail

I needed you, to take my open heart

Take my heart and show me how to pray

Show me the way, into your world

Show me how to fly, in your milky-way

 

I needed you, to write some heavenly notes

Take my violin and show me how to play

Show me the way, to your harp’s wings

Show me the way, into your tunes

But in the end, you took my heartstrings

Then you burnt my soulful lines

Melting my broken violin

Into unplayable, twisted strings

 

A Singer Must Die

Three years ago

On that day

I cried

I cannot forget

The death of a ladies man

When he found his, sisters of mercy

 

On this day, hallelujah

I now, fondly remember

By the rivers dark

In the land of plenty

Our, Field Commander Cohen

Singing from above, in his, Tower of Song

And below, I’ve attach the entire music/video of the ‘Leonard Cohen Memorial Concert’ from,  Centre Bell, Montreal, QC, Canada | November 6, 2017. The video goes for 1 hour and 30 minutes, and is certainly well worth watching. Enjoy !!

 

 

Ivor Steven (c)  Nov 7th 2019

 

A Chalice Of Champagne

Hello dear readers, my night was full of dreams, remembering “our” Anniversary, and I also had many happy thoughts of Leonard Cohen. In the early hours, I wrote these words, thinking of my forever girl, and my lifetime sage, on his birthday, 21st September  1934…. For, Carole, and Leonard…..

A Chalice Of Champagne

 

Once upon a time

In the days of rhyme

When learning to climb

I saw my neon sign

Slowly die by design

 

An angel’s teardrop fell

Ringing the church bell

And missing my empty well

From the tower of song, I wanted to yell

But life doesn’t let you dwell

 

Despite annual September rain

I trek over flooded plains

Avoiding delta swamps of pain

Scaling the same old mountain again

Searching for our chalice of champagne

 

 

Ivor Steven (c)  September 2019

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