(Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”)
For Papa, and in memory of Mr. Cohen
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 “Hallelujah?”
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 “Hallelujah.”
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 “Hallelujah.”
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 “Hallelujah.”
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 “Hallelujah”.
“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 ‘Hallelujah!’