Poem “It’s Getting Darker” by John W. Leys in Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

It's Getting Darker

I searched for salvation
I yearned for the light,
Looking for the stars
In the cloud covered night.
I fold my prayer like origami
And stuff it in the crack,
A missive to the almighty
Asking if the Flame is ever coming back.
I close my eyes, reaching out
Caressing the cold aging stone,
Trying to touch the ancient past
My soul has come to call home.
The Temple is in shambles
The Mercy Seat is lost,
2,000 years of homelessness
Trying to tally up the cost.
Looking past Mt. Moriah
To the light of the rising sun,
Warming windblown faces,
Dreams of a suffering undone.
The Messiah isn’t coming,
To save this damsel in distress,
It’s an uncomfortable truth to which
We cannot fail to acquiesce.
The clouds are growing darker,
But the deluge will never come,
The promise made on rainbow light
Will never be undone.
I yearned for salvation,
Searching for the light,
Is there nothing here to greet me –
Save the unending darkness of the night?

Bio from 2019:
John W. Leys has been writing poetry since he was 14 years old, inspired by the lyrics of Bob Dylan and the Beatles. In addition to posting poetry on his own blog, he is a frequent guest contributor to poetry-blogs such as Blood Into Ink, Free Verse Revolution, and The GoDogGo Cafe. His first poetry collection The Darkness of His Dreams: Poetry was published in July 2019. He currently lives in Redmond, Oregon with his wife, son, three dogs, and two cats.

Links:
Darkness of His Dreams (Blog) darknessofhisdreams.wordpress.com/ Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eliyahu5733 FB: facebook.com/darknessofhisdreams/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/johnleys/ GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/jwleys Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/johnwleys

I currently have one book published that is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1733364501

4 poems from Robert Frede Kenter in Avalanches in Poetry

(c) Geoffrey Wren

this is how you disappear (for Leonard Cohen)

Going on about the hinge in the door
The monkey and the bow
A suit of plywood etc.
I'll never forget how you sewed
the undone memories of world war
into the inlay of buttons
Fingers in movement towards the cobblestones

Confessions in a window of suitcases
An army-navy store in Halifax
A textile factory on the Plateau

All dressed in black
My lurid nightmare is in red
Cluster the notes in a heart beat

The children will all
wood-shed the tears
of Mount Royal
by record's end

Coughing Up Blood

Your beauty is a sharp razor
A Gershwin ballroom rhapsody
rising to the occasion in revolt
A need to taste defeat in each embrace.
There are smiles on everyone's lips
while neon signage paints the rain
in unmitigated post war hues.
Night is being rearranged
in red and white and blue
a thoroughbred coward
from a window shouting
the cue is turned to snow.
A chorus of iris is a choral choker of orchid clouds
Drop kick the silent cinema's Cossack mezzanine.

Rimbaud at the Paris Commune

I could only hope for the issuing of treason from binding
ground. collecting insurance from the house of whitest 
america is the fortress of gloom. beyond the grace of
transcendence, a white gloved hand carries a banner
a pale bird receding on hallowed ground.   from hallways
from meeting places by train-tracks they are leaving
a careless, a gentle careless caress.  gorged in the
brightest armour, with a wardrobe of wounds, carrying this
banner of wonderment.  i claimed the territory upon which
i stood.
i could only  hope for the hope treason brings,
like a message/ a message of desire

The Healer

I am a healer
I have healed many wounds in my time
with a magic wand
and a black Stetson hat
I healed
the wounds of poets and statesmen
with dark amber potions and herbs
I healed the painters of houses
with canvas bags of secret wines
I healed the scars of hatred
on the back of Montgomery Street
with a needle and thread and scissors
I starved the healer
whose cane was crooked
and dropped him into a pit
I filled the abyss with dirt
and stitched it up with rain
I walked along the avenue
and was prayed to 

 An Interview with Robert Frede Kenter of Icefloe Press 

 4 poems by Robert Frede Kenter published in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Wolfpack Contributor: Robert Frede Kenter

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Avalanches in Poetry 2 entries by Peter Hague : “I Did Not Want it Darker””Between Leonards” “Following Leonard”

I Did Not Want It Darker
(On the death of Leonard Cohen 2016)

When your song first idled in my head,
like something matured in careful words.
I was a student in my teens – exiled – un-said,
with no road for my drowning voice.

Your songs sang out of the influence of poems,
like a threading railway, forged in ruin –
rolling out your passion in Spanish chords
and the black brute of honest dread.

Lorca found his voice stifled by blood –
He, the designated hero of your noble campaign.
It was a blend of the stations of devotion and reason,
and all that lingers in songs and rooms.

You threw your baggage out onto the pavement –
into the anonymity of my least-walked streets.
And that day I saw a founding step –
a revolution, intertwining words and thoughts.

You sang above the abandon of amorous poets,
who closed their lips and proceeded to go blind.
While you, with your Kestrel eye
ranged the glories they vowed to overlook.

The implicit technicalities of love and being
were flicked away and left behind,
as they talked themselves naked, with the spoken word,
immersed in the self-sabotage of liberty’s dissent.

You elevated your poems on the wings of chords,
so a wider audience might comprehend
not only the unfathomed void of a broken heart
but the subtle things you had to sing to mend.

And they were each caught then, by the siren voice,
as all we disheartened sailors were.
And all soon fevered with a charming blend
of patience, love and rapturous doom.

It was the poems though, that spoke to my longing,
from the grey cities of smoke and gold –
out of an avalanche of hidden critics
who discussed your darkness in curtained rooms.

And with an inability to hear without eyes,
they made their own dark song to sing.
It rang in the certainty of eventual prose,
walking through pages of worn-out words.

In time, eased by the celibacy of your charm,
they smoothed themselves with forgiveness and love.
They found a shoe that fit better as a glove –
thus perceiving the so-called ‘Godfather of Gloom’.

It was a dagger through your triumphant heart –
a tenderly savage paper dart –
but washed off – like the crayons they used
to eventually scribble a favourable report.

Your poetry spoke into the mind and the heart –
and always with music, as it lent itself to you.
Always with a resonating chord or two,
strummed by a lost soul, reaching out.

If only for those troubling minor chords
that leave the soul vibrating on
with increased emotion and subdued doubt –
an attempt to set a few words free –

an attempt to capture truth, and smooth it out.
To push the sky beyond a pilgrim’s thoughts.
To stop the clock and make it wait –
to instigate – to celebrate –
those same words in perhaps a less apparent state.

Words we would never really need to own,
or reveal the joke inside their frown.
Or think of as correct, or right –
but simply called upon in the delicate night.

Such words once said, need never be recalled,
they move their meaning, where other’s take flight.
For they have already snapped their core, like flares –
and bathed us in a blesséd light.

Between Leonards
(On the Death of Leonard Cohen 2016)

I saw my son between Leonards –
the living and the darker one.
My son gave me a recording
of Leonard’s latest song.
He sang about leaving the table,
he sang himself out of the game.
He said if we want it darker,
he would extinguish the flame.
This was the light that lit my decades –
the light where perception first shone.
By the time I saw my son again
Leonard’s light was gone.

Following Leonard

This could be the darkness
written in your soul.
An elemental darkness,
without the element of control.
It’s been murder in the city –
there’s plague now, at the beach.
The only goal we truly have
disappoints the reach.

But there’s a crazy road to nowhere,
that branches from your heart.
And it’s a long, long way to get there –
better make a start.

Bio: Peter Hague has written and studied poetry for most of his life and apart from being published in magazines like ‘The Interpreter’s House’ he is now posting some of his work on Twitter. Two books of collected work are in production now and are expected in the coming weeks. He is also working on a new website, dedicated to his writing. He is also associated with the art name ‘e-brink’ and has a gallery of digital art at: http://www.e-brink.co.uk.

Wolfpack Contributor: Peter Hague

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peter Hague

Avalanches in Poetry 2 entry: Poetry by Lisa Alletson

To Leonard

When midnight sheds her stars
I read your poems out loud
to inhabit your beauty
the way I imagine
you would inhabit my body,
in the morning
with birdsong in our ears
and oceans on our tongues

Confession

He takes me to his lake
where our rhythms drop to quarter.

He rhymes me into autumn
loves and lulls me to the water,

removes my summer dress
which was a dedicated season

while we laugh and we confess
for we never need a reason.

Lisa Alletson of Toronto, Canada was raised on three continents. Her poetry uses imagery inspired by the political, geographic and cultural features of each landmass. Born in the Cape and raised during apartheid, Alletson’s writing often includes elements of water and darkness in her exploration of grief, mental health, inequality, special needs parenting, and relationships. Her writing has been published in the Globe and Mail and literary journals including the Bangalore Review, Dreamers, Blank Spaces, Fresh Voices, and Dodging the Rain. Her poems ‘A Passing Oryx’ and ‘Spectrum’ were each published by the League of Canadian Poets as ‘Poem-of-the-Day’ in Poetry Pause.

Lisa writes poetry and prose on Twitter as @LotusTongue.

Feature photo by my friend Geoffrey Wren

Salt by Ethan McGuire poetry Inspired by Leonard Cohen

A rock pillar of salt awaits those looking backward. 
 
As a staunch evangelical American, 
once I epitomized a top-rung Christian. 
 
You have asked me to discuss the future, 
yet we cannot discuss what has not been. 
Leonard saw the future, called it murder, 
the same as our own present and our past. 
 
My upward way is at once my downward. 
The downward path, it rises up likewise. 
God sees all time present for forever. 
I am not God; the night still spreads outside. 
 
I struggled long in lost worldview warfare. 
My weary back I never once unbent. 
Then one night, along the troubled pathway, 
a stranger told me he could build those walls: 
 
The walls between my culture and comfort, 
walls between the foreign and family. 
 
I sold my soul, crossroads, to the Stranger, 
though, true, he did not ask explicitly, 
only asked for proof of my loyalty, 
and my tired soul I volunteered in pledge. 
 
My upward way is at once my downward. 
The downward path, it rises up likewise. 
God sees all time present for forever. 
I am not God; the night still spreads outside. 
 
Once you sell your soul, lightning seals the deal. 
Even when the pendulum oscillates, 
your soul is sold. You cannot buy it back. 
I offer passers futures and my life. 
 
As I lie in the mud of dirty roads, 
even the Stranger mourns my fate in time. 
 
I lie trampled underfoot, Stranger of Gold. 
I gave myself to you, oh my paper stranger. 
 
I become a statue of salt as I stare backward.

TheFlummoxed.com

Twitter @AHeavyMetalPen

By day, Ethan McGuire is a healthcare information technology professional. By night, he is a writer, whose work has been published by Better than Starbucks Poetry MagazineFlashes of BrillianceFoundling House JournalThe Dark Sire Literary MagazineVita Brevis Press, and the West Florida Literary Federation’s project Life in the Time of Corona, among others. Ethan currently lives in the Florida Panhandle near the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico with his wife and their dog and cat, and he is a proud member of the Panhandle’s writing community.

Bio: Ethan McGuire works by day as a healthcare information technology professional and by night as a writer, whose poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Better than Starbucks, The Dark Sire, The Dispatch, Emerald Coast Review, New Verse News, The Poetry Pea, and Vita Brevis, among others. His debut poetry collection, Apocalypse Dance, releases through BSC Publishing in the Summer of 2022. Ethan McGuire, his wife, and their new daughter live in the Florida Panhandle near the Gulf of Mexico. You may connect with Ethan on Twitter @AHeavyMetalPen or at TheFlummoxed.com.

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Ethan McGuire

unsplash photo by Brandon Green

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