POTD: “Beneath My Hands” by Leonard Cohen

young-cohenDamn, dudes … just damn.   RIP, Leonard Cohen (9/21/1934 – 11/10/2016).  I have been in love with Leonard since I was a teenager in like 1990.  He was an inspiration, a mentor, and possibly the target of some off-the-cuff plagiarism when I was out chasing women. I got to see him live at the Roxie in Atlanta, and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended, and that is saying something. 

Being a Cohen fan in the days before the internet was not an easy existence – we had to use libraries to track down his books and his albums and mostly had to order them from Candada and other foreign lands.  It took a few years, but eventually we tracked down all his albums, both novels, and his poetry.  I’m really glad his stuff is easier to obtain these days, and I hope he remains popular for many generations to come.  Having one of his songs in the first Shrek movie doesn’t hurt. 

I could go on and on about our love for Leonard, but this is a POTD post and really I just want to share one of his poems.  This one was always one of my favorites.  Enjoy:


Beneath My Hands 

Beneath my hands
your small breasts
are the upturned bellies
of breathing fallen sparrows.

Wherever you move
I hear the sounds of closing wings
of falling wings.

I am speechless
because you have fallen beside me
because your eyelashes
are the spines of tiny fragile animals.

I dread the time
when your mouth
begins to call me hunter.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want to summon
the eyes and hidden mouths
of stone and light and water
to testify against you.

I want them
to surrender before you
the trembling rhyme of your face
from their deep caskets.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want my body and my hands
to be pools
for your looking and laughing.

— Leonard Cohen (from “The Spice-Box of Earth”)


Special thanks to leonardcohenfiles.com for having this one online.

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