Tag Archives: Leonard Cohen

Friday poem: Suzanne

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she’s half crazy
But that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them”
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

Leonard Cohen (1933 – 2016)

So, I’ve cheated a bit, as these are song lyrics, but Leonard was also a published poet, and these words are surely poetry…..

Tonight, I Hear A Light

A great post from a fellow poet and Leonard Cohen fan:

Ivor.Plumber/Poet

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…

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Poetry makes nothing happen

Poetry makes nothing happen

Poetry may make nothing happen, but poetry happens to me
Announces its first line as others worm into my brain
Poetry flows stuttering from head to fingers to paper or screen
Words arrive and force themselves out
Typed frantically into the phone at the roadside, scribbled on random sheets
Telling stories, painting pictures, crying love or grief
It is mine in so much as I capture and tidy it
In so much as the stories, pictures, loves and grief’s are mine
Sometimes I can pull the inspiration to me
Make it give me the means for what I need or want to express
Make it work for me (like now)
But mostly it is a response

Poetry happens

To me

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

The picture quotes Leonard Cohen

Inspired by:

For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.

WH Auden

Between words

Between words

Between words
When spoken, are the painful pauses
The hidden meanings
The thinking time
The space to ruin it all
With a trite response
A hurt reaction
When written?
The patterning of poetry
Gives us pause
Can conceal or reveal
Illuminate blind spots
Can confuse meanings still
Yet allows us to reflect
Sometimes in a spasm of beauty
As the perfect phrase
Encapsulates what we see
What we feel
What we need to say
And so
The lovelorn
The seekers for truth and reality
The soldiers for justice
Those who need beauty in image and language
Read and write poetry

 

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond