Life & Verse: A Poem for Leonard Cohen

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There are a handful of scribes who carved these sad-lovely ideas of being a writer into my psyche. Leonard Cohen was one of them. T'is true, I hardly knew ye. And yet I feel this urgent need to say: THANK YOU, Lenny. lmr

 
 
 
When poets pass,
Life,  for me,  moves
In the slowest motion,
And I imagine
These mysterious people
Draped in cloaks...
 
They, and their loose-leaf
Notebooks traverse  
Near-empty
Cobblestone streets.
And then suddenly
A strong northern breeze
Blows and notebooks
Become airborne as 
Sheets of paper fly and
Billow wildly upon wind...
 
Are you
Among them now, Lenny...
Flapping, directionless before
Catching flight
Then finding the grace
To soar upon
Once hapless
White wings now?
 
 
Today there are
Scores of women
Named "Suzanne."
They are feeding
Like hoardes of
Sightless birds upon
"Tea and oranges...
That come all
The way from 
China." And they are breaking
Down, and they are falling
To their knees,
And they are
Leaning towards rivers,
Gurgling with silent grief...
 
And not a single one of them
And not a single one of us
Can repeat all the lyrics,
Faithfully...
Or sing the exultant chorus to
"Hallelujah"
In its proper key.
 
Oh, Lenny!
You poet!
You vagabond!
You bon vivant!
You king!
 
 
You will lean
Into our consciousness and
You will live this way
Forever...
And you,
Sweet Scribe,
Will belong to
The ages
With that rasp
Inside your throat
Never leaving...
 
For through your clever
Poetic flights and
Songs of spoken word 
You  aimed your pen
To reach new heights...
You made both
Life and verses
 
Sing!
 
 
 
 
 
copyright © 2016 by L.M. Ross
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