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Leonard Cohen Poetry


    As the mist leaves no scar 
    On the dark green hill, 
    So my body leaves no scar 
    On you, nor ever will. 

    When wind and hawk encounter, 
    What remains to keep? 
    So you and I encounter, 
    Then turn, then fall to sleep. 

    As many nights endure 
    Without a moon or star, 
    So will we endure 
    When one is gone and far. 

      Leonard Cohen - The Spice-Box of Earth


    You worry that I will leave you.
    I will not leave you.
    Only strangers travel.
    Owning everything,
    I have nowhere to go.

      Leonard Cohen


    The flowers that I left in the ground,
    that I did not gather for you,
    today I bring them all back,
    to let them grow forever,
    not in poems or marble,
    but where they fell and rotted.

    And the ships in their great stalls,
    huge and transitory as heroes,
    ships I could not captain,
    today I bring them back
    to let them sail forever,
    not in model or ballad,
    but where they were wrecked and scuttled.

    And the child on whose shoulders I stand,
    whose longing I purged
    with public, kingly discipline,
    today I bring him back
    to languish forever,
    not in confession or biography,
    but where he flourished,
    growing sly and hairy.

    It is not malice that draws me away,
    draws me to renunciation, betrayal:
    it is weariness, I go for weariness of thee,
    Gold, ivory, flesh, love, G-d, blood, moon-
    I have become the expert of the catalogue.

    My body once so familiar with glory,
    My body has become a museum:
    this part remembered because of someone's mouth,
    this because of a hand,
    this of wetness, this of heat.

    Who owns anything he has not made?
    With your beauty I am as uninvolved
    as with horses' manes and waterfalls.
    This is my last catalogue.
    I breathe the breathless
    I love you, I love you -
    and let you move forever.

      Leonard Cohen


    Loving you, flesh to flesh, I often thought
    Of travelling penniless to some mud throne
    Where a master might instruct me how to plot
    My life away from pain, to love alone
    In the bruiseless embrace of stone and lake.

    Lost in the fields of your hair I was never lost
    Enough to lose a way I had to take;
    Breathless beside your body I could not exhaust
    The will that forbid me contract, vow,
    Or promise, and often while you slept
    I looked in awe beyond your beauty.

    Now I know why many men have stopped and wept
    Halfway between the loves they leave and seek,
    And wondered if travel leads them anywhere -
    Horizons keep the soft line of your cheek,
    The windy sky's a locket for your hair.

      Leonard Cohen

A Leonard Cohen Web Page


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