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Nat Lipstadt Aug 11
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 11
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
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.
Hineini
Hineini

I Am
Ready
My Lord

Let Thy Will
Not Mine
Be

Done

Let me humbly
Accept
My calling
Whatever
It be as
Thy
Servant

Forever
And
Always

Provided you
Don't command
Me to do anything
Creepy

Or that breaks
Another's
Right to consent

Like
Be a cool God
You
Know

I mean
Goddess
Sorry
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2017
humans born a mess,
messengers carrying blank notepads, sheet music,
brought from within to the without

a baby-sized handful of historical residues retained,
garnered from all too brief a prelim existence,
arriving possessing hints of what may be

most emerging crying,
crying over loss of the womb security,
for seers all, all see unaccountable futures clouded
by an inevitable chance of rain
and death

all of us, no one excepted,
covered for months in **** stained fluids ,
a holy, ***** combination
of amniotic nourishment,
and our own waste

a hint of what is to come?

human then spends the rest of life
cleaning up after himself,
mostly with tasks of addition,
punctuating by the occasional cleansing of
elimination subtraction

making room for the next love,
labored birthing of a baby poem,
from your womb, midwifed,
haunting ghosts of three note tunes,
begging for a set of lyrics and a
great chorus everybody can sing,
a completion competition

going along, all along, to the goings on,
all our routes preternatural crooked,
lived a life of pretense, a straightened out life,
which is the nuanced, connected summary of our components
which are all curves, dots on a line

and the composition source,
the secret chords employed,
tech installed just prior to birth,
effacing glorious sadness, glorious joy,
the human building blocks,
with the certainty that
everybody knows,
that's how it goes
everybody knows,

only fools believe,
you'll live forever

but live at least long enough to sing and write of
a man cleaning up his own life's messes,
and perchance, after our absence,
leaving the world better for it
onlylovepoetry Sep 2019
“never lament casually”

Leonard Cohen


the serious are plenty burdensome,
so if the flight delayed, or the device batteries,
moments away from recognizing that
0% is still a viable digit with a special meaning,
these, none deserving of deploring the human condition

but the weight of leaving her in cold Montreal,
while old promises made, demand a presence in L.A.,
freezey veins, icy cracking inspiration attempts in vain,
all the unrecognizable for crying out loud verses on a
cocktail napkin scribbled, watching ink letters wet melting

your wants simplest, fireplace warmth snap cackling
pop love songs verses for her, the sheets of her dark skin,
silken on your tongue, the wetness of her Oh’s,
left a connect-the-dots map from your nose to toes,
but her fingertip markers, now a thousand miles away,
busy throwing up to the sky, hands filled with leaves of
crisp falling colors assortment, only the colorless no’s left

they play a tune you wrote years ago on the lounge speakers,
modified, wordless, so it’s innocuous, background harmless,
this axes paper cuts on your private places where the songs get
birthed, and now your whole package is tonnage measurable,
the lamentations serious, serious constellations, etching a new song


<>

“for the relearning is the crown jew-el,
that jesters rob from their kingly masters,
pride in love is the fall season preceding
Canadian winters, always thinking
you know better, be better at keeping warm,
this time which is the next time

you cannot learn from love,
cause it’s twice, two times,
never the same,
past lessons ain’t no prologue,
the body is maybe in the wafers,
sometimes vanilla,
sometimes chocolate

and the epilogue is
100% of the  poem~songs
that I loved writing
and hate remembering

9/10/19
Someone Aug 2019
As a friend said there's no cure for love , no matter how hard I try , I can't keep my eyes dry , all you need is love but love for me is you  so ,there's no cure for love
leonard zinovyev May 2019
How can you see anyone smile
in a phone call, anyway?

Skype?

Yes,
but they didn’t say
they did a Skype call,
just a simple phone call.

I am at a loss for emojis.

We are a toast.

May this end soon.
leonard zinovyev May 2019
I was never insane
except upon odds
when my heater was touched.

Believe nozzle you hear,
and only one halibut that you see.

Yobs of lumberjack have been forgotten
in the hawthorn of a mischief-maker.

Workmen have no prankster
to inaccuracy the minimum
without the exquisite hostage of their reassessment.

Never to suffer
would never to have been blessed.

The best thoroughfares in light
make you sweaty.

Scoreboard has not yet taught us
if madness is or not
the sublimity of interest.

I remained too much inside my headman
and ended up losing my minimum.
leonard zinovyev May 2019
Tyger! Tyger! pants on fire.
Pants on fire, burning bright.
And what chain, & what art?
What the sinew? what the *?

Markov! Markov! chains on fire.
On what wings does he aspire?
And what hand at a rapid rate
Dare ‘em hastily generate?

In the forests burning bright,
In the distant deeps and skies.
Lo ‘n’ behold! what a symmetry!
Did he smile his work to see?

Tyger! Tyger! pants on fire.
Pants on fire, burning bright.
And what chain, & what art?
What the sinew? what the *
?

Python! Python! Monte Carlo,
The chain order is so low.
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