You took me to the Mekong River,
handing my documents over the border,
to the temple of the left-handed Buddha,
in the hope it would all make sense.
You took me to the brink of a stolen calamity,
you stayed with me in poetry; my eventual insanity.
You kept me with your golden voice,
you kept me with your wit.
You lost me with your genius;
how you discarded it.
You drove me to a calling that I could not fulfill,
just make statuettes from the ash that lines my windowsill.
Call it art, or call it a longing,
call it that animal burn for some kind of belonging.
You were a father, you called off the saints,
you cooled my tongue, my off-white yogi;
taught me these songs of pain, these songs of love
were meant to be sung by everyone.
Not the clever mind, nor the metronome heart
that keeps time with this life, that keeps pace from the start,
but for the stumbling folk, the slow off the blocks,
the maladjusted, the criminal; those who only see dark.
That this chip on my shoulder is a flute in which to sing,
that each failure I live, is a story I should bring
to the table of life, to the feast of recovery,
for every impatient soul with a hunger for discovery.
Each broken chord is a chance to sound alive,
amongst the crackle of the static, there is another side.
Another wasteland companion, another strangled voice,
that amongst all this hopelessness; we always have a choice.
To bend or to break in the shatter of our soul,
sometimes the glass must be half-empty in order to feel whole.
That some convenience pleasure is not always enough,
sometimes we must bear the burden;
sometimes we must hang tough.
Because the words will come, the sun will rise,
amongst the debris of yesterday, there is another side.
You took me to the temple and on bended knee I pray,
that I could lift a suicide, with just the words I say.
Written on the day that Leonard Cohen died.
Leonard Cohen tribute: