Saturday, 16 February 2013

If I Have Been Unkind


                 Leonard Cohen - Bird on the Wire (live performance 1972)

Cohen dirges on,
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by. …
And drink in hand, tears in eyes,
his mournful song does naught but deepen my distress.

It is the knowing that cruel words
spat out with such finesse,
so delicate in aimed precision,
so skillful,   artfully used to cut nerve deep,
pierced your very being, rocked your self-esteem,
keeps you away from the want of me.
I first well with this, triumph-filled -
but then derision framed in sweet revenge
for such a meagre sin,  rebounds,
mocks me from within,
conscience pricked sword turns in upon itself.

I have to ask myself –
is this self-pity or self-contempt,
do I exempt myself from all but perfect love,
am I hurt for you or am I hurt for me?
(But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.) 

Is slight for slight worth all of this? 
God how I long for you,
yearn soft kisses lip on lip,
bodies moulding hip on hip. 
Forgive me; forgive me please.
Please, please take me back
as I do so love you so (heart and soul)
and I have saved me, saved me,
saved all my ribbons,
saved all my ribbons for thee. 

I am so sorry.

Anna :o]

Mary’s prompt tonight at dVerse is that of Leonard Cohen and Place.

I was first introduced to Leonard Cohen by my (ex) brother-in-law and immediately fell in love with his words, his gravely voice and all that was him.  As teenagers do I would play him at full blast, after opening my bedroom windows, so that the entire world could take a share of him, know of him.

The above poem is a true story and relates to a time when I (publicly) said hateful things to my handsome one – the man I was eventually to marry.  It was slight for slight – but my venom was totally uncalled for and he ‘broke up’ with me and for ten awful days we were apart.

After much pleading with his mother (on the phone) he agreed to speak to me and we met up again.  During these ten days he had grown a hairy caterpillar above his top lip and later a full beard followed and he remains my hairy handsome one to this very day.

Although I love Leonard – I would not recommend anyone listen to some of his songs if depressed and in charge of alcohol – for tis true you will become more depressed.

PS Not quite happy with the final stanza – will probably tinker with it on a daily basis.


17 comments:

Brian Miller said...

nice verse anna...and i appreciate your background story as well..ugh...i wonder if we all havent had a time we opened our mouthes and let something out that we should not have...or let our emotions get the best of us...i am glad it worked out for you though...must have been a hard couple days there....your verse has a really nice lyrical quality to it...

Mary said...

You know, seeing your poem alone makes my 'prompt' worth it, as I know you wouldn't have written this poem otherwise. It's depthful and real, tugs at my heart. I appreciated the poem and the back story. I like "Bird on a Wire" as well. I never listened to Cohen as a teen, but was introduced to him later on. I think the first I knew of him was after I learned the Judy Collins sang many Cohen songs, and I liked Judy Collins a lot. Lately I have been listening to Cohen everyday again...as I walk the track.

Laurie Kolp said...

I really enjoyed this, Anna... the poem and background info. I especially like the way this sounds:

I have to ask myself –
is this self-pity or self-contempt,
do I exempt myself from all but perfect love,
am I hurt for you or am I hurt for me?

Manzanita said...

I like Leonard Cohen too, although I only became aware of his mostly "love lost" singing and strumming, in recent years.
That was a good lesson that your husband gave you. I think my first husband did that to me once too. My mother was rather a nag to my father and as a role model, I think I copied her. Then I realized I had to show respect for the one who loves me. Tough lessons.

Grace said...

I like the heart felt share with the Handsome one ~ How lovely to be reunited again, forgiving and starting over ~ There are days when its easier to say unkind words, then thoughtful ones ~ Lovely retelling ~

manicddaily said...

It's so hard to look back on these things. Really difficult when one suspects the fault lies within. I have this problem all the time! You describe it very well. k.

Jyoti Mishra said...

true... words of Cohen has the power of enhancing your feelings... sometimes it is bad..

Sometimes out of stupidity or unawareness we do things only to regret that for a very long time..
you beautifully expressed those intricate situation where we keep on struggling about who to blame or who to not to..

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Yes, you have to be in the right frame of mind!

Bodhirose said...

I can so relate. I've gotten fearsome at times with my venomous tongue...sometimes felt remorse...sometimes not. This has such depth of feeling in it...thanks for sharing. I'm glad you still are with your "handsome one".

pandamoniumcat said...

A lot of truth in this...I think we've all had moments when we've said things that are dreadful, so glad that you could make up after only 10 days...I bet it felt longer...would have been torture and now all is happy. Some songs just tell it how it is.

. said...

My "handsome one" is ever so jealous of Leonard ... hmmm, I wonder, why ...

Brudberg said...

Wonderful poetry that goes directly to my gut. So nicely compensantade with a fairy tale at the end. And keeping a beard as reminder. I'm happy for you.

Claudia said...

your poem sounds like a song itself anna...could almost hear the melody..and glad that everything turned out well and you were able to get things sorted out..

Dave King said...

This is a clever response to the prompt, but more than that it is a FELT one. Excellent.

lovemorestudio said...

Greatly enjoyed this! And a clever respnose to the prompt as an added bonus. But moreso, I can truly relate. Glad for the happy end! ~ peace, Jason

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your welcome comments folks and apologies for not getting back here before now, nor visiting many links and still need to twiddle with the last stanza - which still irritates...

Sometimes life gets in the way...

Anna :o]

kkkkaty said...

..late in getting to the Cohen posts..you did a great job...just the right touch of musical and underlying sad tones..nice ;)