On hearing Leonard Cohen’s new album, ‘Popular Problems’

Popular Problems

Popular Problems

 

Reconcile yourself with the past

Buy some music from the mouth

Of a man who knows

Whose words rode over you decades ago

When even flesh wounds were deep

Tears were squeezed out of innocent pores

For the loss that the future already knew

Weighed heavily on that version of me

 

I could taste the void

The useless beauty

That would be the gulf

Between now and then

An ocean of lies

The dark passing echoes of closed doors

A concertina of blurred emotions

Emerge now

 

To his voice which sounds embalmed

Dark, grainy and spiritual

Stripped of peripheral notes

Unnecessary harmony

Just carrying flesh on articulate bones

Stretched to near the end

And still he makes sense

Of the solitary in me.

I am better than that

I am better than that.

 

My mind is dismal

Sloth. The cloth that hugs at the fabric

Of my being

Squashes hope like bleeding fruit

A skein of flesh ready to go off

Corrode and seep

In danger of losing faith

 

Let me rise from this sepsis

Slough away the harmful cells

And burn just a little

Just a small gleam will do

For faith and reason

Must occupy minute spaces

Where lies and envy

 

Connive and corrupt in quiet assembly

With thieves and cowards in alleyways

That are dark and smell metallic

Like spilled blood

And yes, spare me the ooze

The leaking away and stench

Of a naked, hopeless thought

Request Stop

fragments linger

fragments linger

 

The summer folds. Light fades

All those tourists. Now, office bound

So the to and fro of carefree feet

Are roosting. Anticipating change

Culture, fun and sun

The extremities that leisure permits

Will be put away until the pot

Permits another jaunt

Another tilt toward the far-side

Where mind, memory and hope

Are teased by vainglorious innocence

Force us in our fidgeting existence

To run risks with charlatans

And have our hard won dreams

Run aground and ruined

Or, and with this hope we persist

Our time abroad

Leaves a glow. A welcome stain

To carry home

And hope that there is more

To squeeze from the tube

Marked FUN

A film on The Green

Night visions

Night visions

 

What does the night evoke?

A placid moon

Raptures on The Green

When atmosphere surrounds the scene

And this man made detail

With sounds and vision

Is a shared spectacle

Gathering a charm under stars

To do outside in the elements

What we mostly do in theatres

Where the mind is cocooned

And comfort comes with a ticket

But here they go Al Fresco

And the better for it

Because community breeds peace

So we may all return

When the vision has been packed away

Grass remains

A communal space to play

Casual thoughts and foot-prints

On familiar soil

On wanting more than there can ever be

 

conscience cannot escape

conscience cannot escape

There is nothing more to do

‘cept listen

For trouble is all around

And I, in family

Strive for more

Yet nowhere find

Ears that listen

So I can communicate my gifts

All I seem to get is noise

Those far off echoes of collisions

I dimly know of

Those histories of lost opportunities

Dying breaths so low on smiles

And I, in oneness

Am smaller always in adversity

Fog-bound in night time scenery

Inept it seems

Still, now. A parent adrift

With cautious tales

And care on a drip

For so much feeds resentment

And so much will slip away

Without my knowing it

And then somehow

In the face to face

I shall sense

An opportunity to shine

As sorrows fade like their grim cousins

Those shrouded minds alert to sparks

Amid the rancour and vapours

That spent hostility lays’ down

Forgetting. Rapturously forgetting casual pain

Injuries inflicted. Left to freeze

So only history will unearth the truth

To speak well of victims

And all the quiet ones

Who came along and died.