Melbourne, 2020

For Bill A

Reading Cohen on Christmas morning
Poems of love and loss and yearning

The book a gift
From my elder son
Given on Christmas Eve

Poems of love and desire
And mourning
For flesh, for touch, for skin
For heart, for meaning.

“As soon as I saw it,” said my son
“Knew it was the one, the only one.”

Reading Cohen on Christmas morning
The house asleep
The visitors coming
But not for hours

On the page
The words are as sparse
As in song
But no sounds
No guitar, no singing, no chords
Minor or otherwise
Ink, black ink
On space, white space
Space to ponder
Space to wonder
Space to wander in ignorance

Like millions of others
I’m a fan, not a scholar
No expert
No insights
But still a sense
That there’s something
In the way he moves words
Doesn’t need many
Three or four to a line sometimes

Reading Cohen on Christmas morning
House quiet
Visitors still distant
My son two hundred miles away now
With his partner and her family
You can’t be in two places at once.

Reading Cohen on Christmas morning
Poems of love and loss and yearning

 

Stereo Story #647

This poem was previously published in Canada by The Miramichi Reader

The Flame by Leonard Cohen

Seven more Leonard Cohen pieces

Vin is founding editor of Stereo Stories and director/MC of Stereo Stories In Concert.