(for Papa, inspired by Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluiah”)


I’ve heard you had a secret art,

an exhibition of the heart

that pleased the Lord, as He could see right through ya.’

But did you know before the spell,

the cruel curse (a living Hell)

that in your soul you’d painted, “Halleluiah?”

Halleluiah, Halleluiah…

Halleluiah, Halleluiah.


We saw the righteous way you stood

and showed your marbled grain of wood

to all who took a hallowed place next to ya.’

But even we who knew you well

could not imagine or foretell

that in your heart was painted, “Halleluiah.”

Halleluiah, Halleluiah…

Halleluiah, Halleluiah.


The devastation of your mind

and shattered mem’ries left behind

compelled the ones who cared to come rescue ya.’

Then strangely, through an opened door

an artist saw your spirit soar

and helped the hand to paint its “Halleluiah.”

Halleluiah, Halleluiah…

Halleluiah, Halleluiah.


Such beauty we had never known,

created by your hands alone

had power to bring dignity back to ya.’

And though we sometimes saw you smile

we knew the hurt within the trial

had made your art a broken “Halleluiah.”

Halleluiah, Halleluiah…

Halleluiah, Halleluiah.


And now that you have flown away

to where we’ll meet again someday

and stand in awe of One who always knew ya,’

in words and art you’ve left behind

those shattered pieces of the mind,

composing us a healing “Halleluiah.”

Halleluiah, Halleluiah…

Halleluiah, Halleluiah.


I did my best (it wasn’t much),

I couldn’t think, so I tried to touch.

I told the truth, I didn’t come to fool ya.’

And even though it all went wrong

I stand before the Lord of Song

with nothing on my tongue but “Halleluiah!”

Halleluiah, Halleluiah…

Halleluiah, Halleluiah.”

The Broken Jar

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