The Tower of Song


My wife is playing Leonard Cohen,

the live album, the one for which

he repeated the business with his trilby

untold times in Concert Halls

around the world.


Sometimes she plays these songs

when I have hurt her,

hurt her life and marriage.

I have not (I don’t think)

done this recently so,


is it a good or bad sign that

my wife is listening to

the best live take of

Dance Me To The End Of Love

alone upstairs?


You get any number of takes

at a marriage, one or more a day

for years, the same melody though

the backing changes, fast slow hot cool,

sometimes a new string and a re-tune,


and yes after a bit you do

try to recall the best music

in the best place,

when the violin’s slim throat

sang round the cell’s column


and lifted them both

to the empty sun-lit room

where music shut the door

on what was to come

and what had been.

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