Poetry

For Leonard

Photo Credit: pieter.morlion. CC-BY-NC-ND.
Photo Credit: pieter.morlion. CC-BY-NC-ND.

I should take the guitar up
to the balcony for one last
session of what in days
of more formal worship
I might have called
my Leonard Cohen Mass:

“A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes”
who are so down and out
they’re on the other side of it,

“So Long, Marianne”
and walking in a park
that stays green forever,

“Seems So Long Ago, Nancy”
about the girl we all knew
who committed suicide
in high school,

“If It Be Your Will,”
a psalm even David envies;

“Hallelujah,” “Stories of the Street”
and maybe “The Stranger Song,”
as enigmatic and haunting as ever,

but there is no end
to this Communion
administered by the poet-priest
whose Art has permeated
the world’s heart.

It may take
another soul steeped
in its own tears
to hear the beauty rising
in that dirge-like voice
up through those dregs
of minor chords,

but to one with such ears,
beauty shines brighter here
and love, requited or no,
is immortal.