I even dreamt lines to this WOW, so caught up in Cohen’s words (as I often am by his lyrics). Offer up two of the four/five I wrote. Not on the caliber of other submissions, but need to get some of these lines out of my head.

There is a series of micro-bursts buried inside these lyrics, too. They are brewing, like my morning coffee, strong, dark, lightened by cream and streaming dawn.

Original chosen by Black Cat for WOW #4. Thank you for hosting this intellectual, creative prompt. This choice has my mind racing – writing new versions as I sip coffee and contemplate.

You All in White by Leonard Cohen
©Leonard Cohen

Whatever cities are brought down,
I will always bring you poems,
and the fruit of orchards
I pass by.

Strangers in your bed,
excluded by our grief,
listening to sleep-whispering,
will hear their passion beautifully explained,
and weep because they cannot kiss
your distant face.

Lovers of my beloved,
watch how my words put on her lips like clothes,
how they wear her body like a rare shawl.
Fruit is pyramided on the window-sill,
songs flutter against the disappearing wall.

The sky of the city
is washed in the fire
of Lebanese cedar and gold.
In smoky filigree cages
the apes and peacocks fret.
Now the cages do not hold,
in the burning street man and animal
perish in each other’s arms,
peacocks drown around the melting throne.

Is it the king
who lies beside you listening?
Is it Solomon or David
or stuttering Charlemagne?
Is that his crown
in the suitcase beside your bed?

When we meet again,
you all in white,
I smelling of orchards,
when we meet —

But now you awaken,
and you are tired of this dream.
Turn toward the sad-eyed man.
He stayed by you all the night.
You will have something
to say to him.

 

poems

sleep-whispering

and

songs flutter

washed

in smoky filigree

melting, listening, stuttering

awaken

dream

something

to say

II

sleep-whispering

passion

lover’s lips like fruit

on fire

in each other’s arms

smoky, filigree

melting

lies beside

listening, stuttering

again

awaken

this dream

all the night

(c) Lorraine

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