Catalyst for survival

Image credit, Wikimedia

all these years
my reasoning poet
my rhyming priest
you held me

hid beneath this keening ache
beats the rhythm of your sweet profanity
the shades of your rainbow passion,
the elegant grit of your reality

rivers of words drifted from your lips
inviting me to swim in your vicinity
they caressed my wind-bleached skin
sinking in, making my body sing

you have been
my catalyst for survival
all these years

collect in the cold air

all these tears
I rinsed from your guitar
drip into rippling pools around my feet
radiating Leonard-energy

worlds of love
that will never end

Leonard Cohen.
September 21st 1934 – November 10th 2016.
R.I.P. xxx

Today, I grieve. There is a void where my words used to be.
Maybe tomorrow I will be ready to celebrate his life.

©Jane Paterson Basil

18 thoughts on “Catalyst for survival

  1. I thought of you when I heard the news. We were driving home through a massive thunderstorm in the Adelaide Hills with visibility so poor we could hardly see the road. They played Leonard singing his Hallelluja song – I had it up full volume synchronising with the thunder and lightning. It was awesome and a fitting tribute I thought 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My poem does not do justice to his memory. Perhaps the storm did.
      People are saying to me: oh, he was the bloke who did Hallelluja, wasn’t he?
      I want to describe who and what he was, but I don’t have the words. I can write about sailors drowning in a seastorm, or paint a verbal image of a unique sunset. I can even describe the great romance of my life, but I can’t find the words to describe Leonard Cohen, or my feelings for him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you do a damn fine job of it Jane. I must say listening to him singing Halleluja with that storm as a backdrop had me thinking what a fitting tribute to the man – majestic, visceral, BIG 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’d have liked to have been there. I like to think I would have danced for him, in the rain, but I didn’t take his death well.
          He died while he was still beautiful. He never had cause to feel himself a burden on the planet. That’s a good thing.
          I’m holding back the tears as I write. He must have had words left over, that he didn’t get a chance to use.


    1. Thank you so much for your concern. It means a lot.
      Sometimes when things get really tough, my body becomes kind and forces me to sleep more than usual. That’s what happened this time. Just after Leonard Cohen died I had a couple of unexpected family problems to deal with, and it was all too much. In between trying to sort things out, I slept. Last night I had a complete turnaround, and I didn’t sleep at all. Usually I say I’ll bounce back in a day or two, and I do, but this time it’s harder. I’ll get over it…

      Liked by 1 person

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