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Tommy Randell Mar 12
(Dylan & Cohen, talking together in a dream - )

"You think to lead? Lenny, you should know
There is an Art in it - to being noticed
But not being seen. To glance away
At the right moment with nothing to say
And be just the passer-by, the no-one, that day."

"The Poets of the Future are not born yet."
Cohen says, "In these locked down Days,
Prophets, like Yeats & Lorca, as always hold no sway
But lie un-sung in the furloughs!
We 2 are such Heroes, but which of us is which?"

"You don't understand, and I've followed You
From the moment I heard Marianne.
I'm sure you knew. I'm sure you were aware.
You've seen me look away, trying to be Not There,
Hearing but not Listening - Being there Not-Being.

"Success and Failure they are but Creeds
In my calculus of Thoughts and deeds.
The Art of Following is to Be,
To be the Known the Unknown needs -
Hallelujahs, Leonard will never get you Free."

In my dream, Cohen gave a gentle hinting smile
And, a piece more of the Puzzle -
"Watch the sidewalk, Friend," he advised.
"Seek out both, the Truth & the Lies.
Practice your Art, but don't take it Personal."

Tommy Randell - 12th March 2021.
Literally, a dream I had ... I left out Paul MacCartney, it got too complicated/
It was 1988.
I wasn't even born and he was already grey.
When I watch him now I'm falling in love.

His voice, his eyes, the way he seems to use his sexuality to calmly sing with charm.
His wisdom that I wonder sometimes if he himself even knew exactly what it meant.
He mentioned that a lot of times: he'd go there more often if he knew where the good songs came from.
He gives me answers to my questions or calms me while I'm anxious from the hell I was placed in.
4 years after 1988.
I would have fallen in love and hugged him if he hadn't died before I was able to appreciate his holy words.
His deep yet soft sounding voice, the melodies, the beat in my ears as I'm walking down the street.
Or when I run to the trees.
And the man I love who looks a bit like you Leonard Cohen, he can also relate to you but not always very well to how I feel.

It was 1988.
I wasn't even born and you were already grey.
When I watch you now I'm falling in love.

So at least I have your voice to run into.
Maybe some time I'll hear it clearly next to me.
But I won't follow any voice that sounds like you, I'd just listen to what I feel.
I know that now.
You helped me through.

It was 1988.
I wasn't even born and he was already grey.
When I watch him now I'm falling in love.

Leonard Cohen with your twinkling eyes, knowing about the chains, the pain the intense aching and the lies.
Years already, long before these times.
If you can die then so can I.
If you can die then I'm sure so can I.

It was 1988.
I wasn't even born and he was already grey.
When I watch him now I'm falling in love.

Years go by, they seem so long and feel so wrong.
Nothing's ever working like you've stated yourself as well.
Many years of aching always living with this burden and the constant battles coming.
Coming and coming.
Hell till the world seems darker.
And then there's your voice and your words to express some parts of what is playing out around me here.
Inside me now, deep and real.
Pain of trying to **** off these things that are happening that are torturing.

It was 1988.
I wasn't even born and he was already grey.
When I watch him now I'm falling in love.

Leonard Cohen, do you listen to me too?
Or have you moved on now?
How would I know where to find you, there could be anything doing a good job at pretending to give me answers.
So I hope you found your way.
Your true place.
Your true way.

While I'm still taking you with me right here on mine.
I'm still taking you with me along the way.
As I'm locked up in the night and in my walking through the day.
My cold body and lonely feeling soul with the wrong energy from nothing ever helping me to exist in my own way.
But anyway, nevermind, thanks a lot and see you around.
Feel you around, Leonard Cohen, you've been great, you've done a lot, done your part.
Hope to find you somewhere at some place but I'm still taking you with me as I'm going, always.

Watching you now and it was 1988.
I wasn't even born and you were already grey.
When I watch you now I'm falling in love.
15-02-21
Pasquino Dec 2020
Cohen wrote of broken praises,
and Shakespeare of unchanging light.
Aurelius of unyielding ways;
Descartes of impossible sights.

An ironic Socrates goes
on to fetch the hemlock cup,
while Nietzsche wanders on to rot,
content, he never drank hemlock.

But now what am I supposed to
believe– which truth is really clear?
When I see your gorgeous eyes– blue
I remember only Virgil, dear:

“Amor vincit omnia, et nos cedamus amori”
The only truth I’ve ever seen.
Nat Lipstadt Mar 3
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/3983306/who-by-fire-after-leonard-cohen/

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1844090/for-leonard-a-man-cleaning-up-after-himself/

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/3319252/never-lament-casually-leonard-cohen/

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2714710/for-leonard-cohen-two-and-a-half-years-on-11716/

Aug 29 2020

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2187204/all-ive-learned-from-love-for-leonard/

http://hellopoetry.com/poem/1833538/for-leonard-cohen-the-musicians-minyan/

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/3932910/when-leonard-cohen-met-charlie-daniels-the-devil-went-down-to-geo­rgia/

!!the links repeat below, so no cut and paste required!!
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2020
In the year 2016,
Yom Kippur was celebrated on Oct. 12th.
Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7th.


~~~

faint knocking heard at the heavenly door of the Tower of Song

the ministering angels, hearing a rhythmic,
lyrical rapping, sigh, thinking the atonement day,
the holiday/holy days, are supposedly over,
the human balancing act, the rush to judgement period,
all tallies totaled, the busy sale season for souls,
at last completed, each fate inscribed & sealed,
in the book of life^

but, always one,
the itinerant straggler, the last reluctant sinner,
a judgment resister, flaunting an almost expired coupon,
trumpeting demands for a recount, waving it,
claiming it, the bearer, entitled to a
mercy discount and an extra 30 days

"who shall we say is calling?"

the Angels are stunned to hear the responsa,
a familiar raspy, growling, almost indescribable,
yet, stammeringly beautiful voice enchanting,
equally asking and answering, (how both?)
with a strident humility, "a man in search of answers"

this voice, instantaneous recognizable,
the asking superfluous,
all beating wings now, all in vast excitement,
this psalmist, long awaited, one of His best,
a chosen one, a courtly singer in the Temple of his people,
blessed with the curse of seeing and believing,
the comprehension of beauty of the human superior interior,
never being quiet or quite satisfied,
in capturing, its multifarious variations,
in every language spoken

this is the man who took ten years
to compose just
one song,
one poem,
one word,
Hallelujah,
whose faith was strong,
but still needed proofs,
whose every breath of oxygen inhalation,
brought more questions,
every exhalation, only releasing partial answers,
and yet, still, yes, yes! finding hidden verses inside

a simple, everlasting
hallelujah

the hubbub subsides,
the man sings~speaks:
how came I here,
was I one, who by fire?
that fire afeared, that my finality
was spirit consumed?

in one voice, answers the angelic choir,
in one voice, the swaying back-up singers answer,
not by fire, not by water, not by stoning
or even drowning,
in tea that came from all the way from China

when sing we Angels,
the Judgement Day poem,
we alone, on high and above,
we, keepers of the books
and records of everyone,
are permitted this special query:

Who by Sufficiency?

you, the sidekick of the creator,
special commissioned by him, anointed to live a life of research,
record in word and song the mysteries of musical gene strings,
that intertwine the skin cells of man and woman,
man and his fellow us-human,
your soul commandeered, ordered, to delve deeper,
into the consolable chasm tween divine and mortals,
all those who are so poorly but perfectly constructed
in his image

you, who has earned his place, his best rest,
his works adjudged sufficient,
you, who best answered
this judging,
this calling out,
this calling in
incantation

Who by Sufficiency?

now forward on, write only of answers,
wade in the troubled waters no more,
no more passports, or borders to cross,
no more measuring the days,
the last road trip finale
finished & feted,
fate meted

no more changing thy name, changeling priest,^^
sing songs of solution, salvation,
for the questioning hours of confusion,
the urgency of revolution,
no longer need a hallelujah resolution,
you have been judged sufficient...
it is his will


                                                    | | |
Who By Fire                             Who By Fire, Who By Water:^
(lyrics by Leonard Cohen)     (A Yom Kippur Hebrew Prayer)

who by fire                             How many shall die and      

who by water,                                how many shall born,
Who in the sunshine,                 Who shall live      
who in the night time,                   who shall die,                      
Who by high                                Who at the measure of days,
who by common trial,                    and who before,
Who in your merry                            
                                                          Who by fire
month of May,                                 and who by water
Who by very                                 Who by sword,
slow decay,                                       and who by wild beasts,
And who shall I                      Who by hunger,
say is calling?                              and who by thirst,

And who in her,                           Who by earthquake
lonely slip,                                         and who by plague
who by barbiturate,                      Who by strangling,
Who in these                                    and who by stoning
realms of love,                               Who shall have rest,

who by,                                             and who shall go wandering,
something blunt,                            Who will be tranquil,
And who by avalanche,                  and who shall be harassed,
who by powder,                            Who shall be at ease,
Who for his greed,                           and who shall be afflicted,
who for his hunger,                      Who shall become rich,
And who shall I,                             and who shall become poor,
say is calling?                                Who will be raised high,
                                                         ­     and who will be brought low
And who by brave assent,                  
who by accident,
Who in solitude,
who in this mirror,
Who by,
his lady's command,
who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains,
who in power,
And who shall I,
say is calling?




^From the liturgy of Rosh Hasanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the  Day of Atonement, there is this truly stunning prayer (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unetanneh_Tokef) in the Jewish liturgy. The Book of Life contents the fate of every sinner. From the first day of the new year, until ten days later, on Yom Kippur, depending on whether the sinner repents or not, his fate is sealed.
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1833523/for-leonard-cohen-who-by-fire/
this first version first published Jan. 2017

^^"A Kohens ancestors were priests in the Temple of Jerusalem. A single such priest was known as a Kohen, and the hereditary caste descending from these priests is collectively known as the Kohanim.[2] As multiple languages were acquired through the Jewish diaspora, the surname acquired many variations." Today, with no temple, the limited role of the Kohanim is to bless the Jewish people on the high holy days with a  special prayer with abeloved tune,  instantly evocative (see wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing) The Kohanim are still revered, honored, and always called up first to the Sabbath reading of the weekly portion of the Old Testament

A thank you to Bex for proofing and encouragement.
Part I of a trilogy
For a  more detailed analysis of the roots of the song, "Who By Fire," and its origins, see:
_____________________________________________
http://www.leonardcohen-prologues.com/who_by_fire.htm

He worked on the song Hallelujah, arguably his most famous composition, for ten years.
Nat Lipstadt Jul 2020
When Leonard Cohen Met Charlie Daniels, The Devil Went Down to Georgia

~~~
The Devil Went Down to Georgia ¥
https://youtu.be/wBjPAqmnvGA

Charlie Daniels, the country music legend who died July 6, 2020, was part of the 1970 Leonard Cohen tour. (see notes)
                                            
This one is a gift to a recovering addict and a poet, for whom that peculiar, par-articulate, addictive passion, thank the Lord, got no cure.

                                                      <£>

two country boys, ok, so different countries, but both intimately
a-cquainted with the Devil, his song & music-making-copious
a-bilities, his other trois backup ***-sin-tants, The Sin Sisters,
a/k/a wine and women and sweet poetry...

now the Devil mostly gets his due, you pay his price twice, in daily
wear ‘n tear on body and soul, always trying to keep one step ahead,
taking his best, sometimes leaving the rest, but ha! not always cause sometimes a...

bargain needs keeping, gotta keep your word honest, still if you can find a wile e coyote-wriggle-way to be a tad faster, keep them ten  fingers crisscrossed, you might steal a tune or three, before you chanter la finale, sing/pay the last installment...

now these boys were multilingual, one spoke french, the other, southern, but two-gether, they could harmonize the Lord’s Prayer on a banjo, fiddle and a guitar, in une langue ancienne#, formerly spoke in those United States and Canada, now only in the heavens above...

cannot truthful say I ever saw them play on the same stage, no matter,
cause the parallels are clear as a night sky starry moon, the stories they told, in lyrical verse, different cuzins, slightly incestuous, and
infectious too, cause you catch yourself singing redneck in a foreign
language and you’re liking the way women looking at the big star on
a tour bus...

now the devil wanted these bad boys real bad in his pantheon, went
down to Georgia and back up to Montréal au paradis, said to them “no more diddling, just fiddling and singing, time to make that finale payment, principal and interest, come to collect my country boys  and all what they got left...alors allons en enfer mes bébés..”##

now the sounds they made was just too good, the Lord heard it, it was like Picasso painting the sky, and came to collect Charlie yesterday, (07/06/20), Leonard had come up earlier, and if you need to learn how this story ends, well, there’s a poem listed down below avec tous les détails.

but as my straight laced pappy, use to say in his German accented english, in his morning suit, striped pants and Homburg hat, all’s well that don’t end in hell

or something like that anyway.
# in an ancient tongue
## ok then let’s go to hell, my babies

“He [Leonard Cohen] spoke in poetic ways and was able to communicate with people who had never lived in that world, like myself, and had never been exposed to that side of things…I saw another whole side of music that I had never seen, and I had so much respect for Leonard’s creativity, unique thoughts, the way his mind works. I learned a lot. You know what we do is the sum total of what we’ve done, actually. I was glad to be exposed to that feel, to that thing.”.  Charlie Daniels

^Also see:  https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1833538/for-leonard-cohen-the-musicians-minyan/
_______________________

¥ “ The Devil went down to Georgia. He was lookin' for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind and he was willing to make a deal
When he came across this young man sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot.
And the Devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said, "Boy, let me tell you what."

"I guess you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player, too.
And if you'd care to take a dare I'll make a bet with you.
Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy, but give the Devil his due.
I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul 'cause I think I'm better than you."

The boy said, "My name's Johnny, and it might be a sin,
But I'll take your bet; you're gonna regret 'cause I'm the best there's ever been."
_________________
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/charliedanielsband/talktomefiddle.html
Last-ting Pleasures (Leonard Cohen)


“Morning coffee on the balcony of this old duplex, the cat at my feet, and a couple of biscuits. Notebook near by. No one coming over.“

Leonard Cohen
                                 <>

aging with graces saved from so many spectacular failures, I took droplets of wisdom where they were free to drink, yet  
the best, were the most costly, for which you never end paying

but here I sit, well traveled, in Los Angeles sunshine, do my calculations, my final preparations, memorizing the blessings
so they flow easy, no stumbling, unbefitting a poet-writer lover

obligations diminished, bills paid, goodbyes said and spent, so long Marianne, lines of jewish buddhists wisdom seekers not too long, a few women come, last looks, a reminiscence for themselves

lovers seeking preservation, a signatory on their diaries, proofs, of what I know no longer know to state, sated, the statuary
sentence almost served, and last scribbles, to notebook dispatched

It is His Will, and yet here I am, asking forgiveness, as tradition demands and more, understanding, for it was all transcribed into praise of You and your god-sparked creatures, ah, bon chance, until we meet again, bring your robe and tallit, let us recite psalms

for if there was ever a wilder king, finer poet, lusting for life and god, all of us just birds on the wire, gambling which course to fly, where to, so waiting patient, resolution of the only remaining unanswered question, who by fire?

anyone, each of us, who first asked ourselves why not! before we ever thought,

                           why?
Proctor Ehrling Feb 2020
You're reaching the town
I left at your incentive
Your verb was a noun
My verb an adjective
I've built a rapport
On breaking my own heart unprovoked
You've built a house
You lie in it and burn to dust
Freestyle written in 3 minutes.
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