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A (w)rap to Leonard Cohen

You gave us your words, you gave us your songs

The music lives on, their melodies strong

The Sisters of Mercy, Marianne, and Suzanne Part of our family, these women of Our Man

You moved through life in search of the light

From the family home in Westmount

You found your comfort just off The Main

At McGill you were ready to tackle the divine

Knighted a poet, your words thought sublime

Irving Layton called you Leonardo

A lyrical Da Vinci, he prophesized you’d go

And live forever – you said you’d take it slow

You rocked with your observations

Made us think about limitations

In your quest for

Nirvana, love, a measure of peace

You saw a world needing repair, in its folds a crease

And you sang

“There’s a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in”

Your words a call to prayer

On a mountain or a temple

As you wrote “in the deeper silence, when the crickets hesitate”

There’s no heart as whole as a broken heart

Rabbi Nachman of Braslav told the world where to start

This you understood — you said all that’s left

Is to pray for the possibility of prayer Leonard your roots ran deep

You reveled in being a thoughtful Jew

You wrestled with God

Saw the light in Jesus too

‘Blessed are the poor, blessed are the meek’

Was part of the holiness you would seek

That unreachable state of grace, the divine

In all shapes, visceral and sublime

When enemy cannons forced Israel to retreat

And the cloud of defeat loomed in the October heat

You rushed to offer help, to nurture, to sustain

And they asked for your songs to ease the pain

You were shocked by what transpired

And so you wrote Who by Fire

When the end was near you called out clear – Hineni, Hineni, I’m ready My Lord, I am here Sanctify, magnify chant thy holy name – no voice of fear

As you quoted the Mourner’s Kaddish for all to hear

As you said so well: Let it Be Your Will

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