Hydra, April 2019
By John L. Holgerson
– for Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
I stood outside
your old home today
as Iíve done in years past.
Tangled ivy vines from the roof
terrace stretched down the wall
toward me, a thin green leafy rope,
inviting me to grab its strands with
both hands and pull myself up.
If I were a younger man perhaps;
but my wall scaling days ceased long ago.
Instead, I looked for the wire and the bird.
I saw the former: a tightrope, taut and thin,
pole-tied between red-roofed white houses.
There was no sparrow, but Iím still here
listening for what cannot be heard.
I put my hand on the wall of your house
hoping the lingering remnant of a once
strummed guitar riff or the clickety-clack
of your old, olive green Olivetti would
course through my fingertips, run the
maze of jagged lines on my smooth palm,
up my willing arm to the area of the brain,
or whatever part of the soul, sends messages
to the Muse assigned to a scribbler of verse.
But it doesnít work that way does it, Leonard?
That singular Muse here for you then isnít mine.
Although Iíd like to think they may be sisters
or, more likely, cousins once or twice removed.
At Douskos Taverna, I dined on fresh xiphias
under the huge old pine tree where, once
upon a time before fame and fortune fell
upon you, you sat, sang and played guitar
for Marianna and all your Hydriot friends.
Iíll come by tomorrow. You never know,
someone or something might be at home.
Copyright © 2021 by John L. Holgerson.