Why does Leonard Cohen wear a hat on stage,
nearly eighty, is he saying something about his age?
A man so deep must have a reason.
Maybe it is to hide his hair, now glinting grey,
his winter come, he wants to stay,
certainly he lived his every season.
When he smiles and lifts his hat,
to thank his audience for their applause,
it is like he is on a ship,
sailing to other shores,
and he waves his hat
to the watchers on the harbour wall,
who could see his waving hat,
but not hear his call,
as his ship sails out further, to cross the sea,
maybe that is a glimpse of what it seems to me,
but who knows what others dreams may be?
I bought his new album, Popular Problems,
to hear how he dealt with being old.
I was comforted, my spirit lifted,
his songs did not leave me bony cold.
I sang one chorus in my seat.
It told me where I am, now I am sixty three.
I know the circle will never be complete,
I knew what he meant when he sang to me:
“The party’s over,
but I’ve landed on my feet.
I’ll be standing on this corner
where there used to be a street.”
Yes, I understand those lines.
I liked the sure and simple rhymes.
We can hear the gods,
even though we cannot share their wines.
I am still here, surviving beyond my times.
I know that corner, remember that street,
recall the party, but I still smile,
for I am certain I have landed on my feet,
and though the circle will never be complete,
I know there is something more beyond,
and to these words my spirit can respond:
“And even though it all went wrong,
I’ll stand before the lord of song,
with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah.”
So Leonard Cohen on Various Positions sang,
and other voices have sung it, too,
because somehow they knew,
the tune was good, the words were true.
It depends on what it all means to you.
Desmond Morris said we lived in a human zoo,
he studied us, he knew what we do,
but I doubt he mentioned what the spirit moves
or what sacrifice and endurance proves.
The world dwells on the body and the brain,
no wonder few are saved and sane.
The forgotten spirit seeks to be clothed in light,
to heal the hurt, the wounds of pain inflicted by the fight.
Though it itself is torn and tied,
broken and denied,
it will endure,
if there, it will take flight and reach the long yearned for shore.