The legend from the tower of song and verse
Now seventy-six, maybe still five-feet-eight,
With the limber long legs of the lover he is
And storied long face of the friar he was,
Began most songs on his knees.
That hat: a sartorial punctuation mark, cool
Tipped down, shaded twinkling eyes, then raised
Up to dance 'midst three light beams spotting
Just him raising his hat against the bright shafts --
Just to see us high in the third tier, to thank us
Just for being there, and to caution his fans in
Steep places not to lean too far forward,
Else we set in motion "an avalanche."
Later, before the third encore would see his
Final bow, unable to contain his gratitude, he
Pressed that hat against his chest and dropped
To his knees, bowing fully to the floor.
Then the limber long legs of the lover and
Expressive long face of the mountain friar --
Tucked serenely in child's pose with
A child's kind of soaring joy --
Rode an avalanche of applause.
MLydiaM ~ December 2010
Written for Poetics — Leonard Cohen and Place at dVerse Poets, hosted this week by Mary, whose prompt post asks us to consider the poetry of Leonard Cohen, and our memory of a place such as his memory song about The Chelsea Hotel. I hope you will forgive me for republishing an older post, which was my tribute to Leonard Cohen ...but is also a memory of the place where I have been fortunate to see him twice in my life.
Note: I first published this post in December 2010 in response to the photo prompt (image of sled at top) provided at Magpie Tales. It was written following the first time I saw Leonard Cohen in concert, and it was the best concert I'd everever seen.......until he returned to Portland in November 2012, and he eclipsed the 2010 concert!
That second time our seats were were about 20 rows back from the stage and not in the "nosebleed section" near the ceiling as described in this poem. Among other memorable moments from the second concert was Leonard Cohen and Hattie Webb of The Webb Sisters singing their tour debut of his old song "Joan of Arc" that night in Portland (see video recorded by someone in audience here). I sat there and wept. I adore this man, his poetry and his music.