- MY SUITE OF LOVE POEMS TODAY was prompted by Leonard Cohen's
- LIGHT THROUGH A CRACKED MIRROR
- (For Leonard Cohen, RIP)
- “Ring the bells that can still ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in” ~ Leonard Cohen
- 1. Her Questions
- How far have you gone from all that you were,
little chipped stone from a hidden tributary,
little pebble that has yet to reach the bottom
of the well to hear its thunk and come to rest?
How far, indeed, that you must finally beg
to be taken home? Where, what place, what
troubled spaces have you been all these years?
Bitter years, you say almost in descant candor.
Take you home? But where do you belong?
If I knew, if I could follow that map long
faded in your doleful heart that has dogged
every fickle chord from every pied piper—
If I could find every pied-a-terre you’ve been
that I might collect the shattered life pieces
left of your gypsy heart so I could remould
them to our heart’s desire, I would. I will.
Take you home. Prop you up, start you up
once again from whence you came, where
your heart is not merely a sieve for sorrow
or pain, but where it is a fortress of care.
- 2. His Ardent Offer as His Plea
I am back, but I have nothing new to say,
nor anything that I can offer save myself.
Unchanged, undefined, unshackled, free.
There is no other way you would have me.
- Would you rather I had lost my insouciance?
Would you have me speak only one language,
that of fear, and would not risk this loss again?
Sing only your song? Part my hair another way?
- At the edge of the woods, I have mastered wiles.
You’d think I had changed and now just a shadow
of a broken man come home to lick old wounds
that were left unsalved, cankered when I lost you.
- I am the same, and this sameness will make you
want to look again even if the thousand faces
that you behold are those from a shattered mirror
through whose cracks some light must still slither.
- 3. Looking Back to Coming Home
- Trek back to the church belfry and be the deft
hands of the carillonneur you wished you were
when you were young, malleable, and oh, so free
to dream, to laugh, to thumb your little nose
at the carousing lads vaulting over rooftops
to call your name, to sing your name like
perching sparrows lined on some errant wires
at sunset warbling: sweet-sweet, sweet-sweet!
Take me back. Take me back. And we will retrace
those letters carved on some saplings grown tall
beyond our reach, and sing with carillon clangor
those old evensongs, brave songs. Old love songs.
We will outdo the bell choir master on the belfry,
ring them all, sing them all, hum them all until
sundown overtakes us and we hold our tremulous
voices like our stuttered promises of coming home.
- ---ALBERT B. CASUGA
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