(for Jayne who inspired me after being inspired by Mr. Cohen)

There is a crack in everything.
There are certainly some cracks in me.

The broken bits, the chinks, the lines,
the marks of failing miserably.
Cracks in my heart, scars on my knees,
the holes left by an absent friend.
The road rash from the falling down
and getting up to try again.

Scars from assaults and accidents
I managed to survive somehow.
Remnants of the lessons learned.

Lines, from furrowing my brow,
squinting in the too bright sun,
and smiling when I see your face.
They get deeper. Let them deepen.

They need no fillers, only grace.
The souvenirs that I’ve collected,
reminders of this life of ours.

Why would I spackle up the cracks?
Why would I cover up the scars?
Each crack lets in a bit more light.
(That is what Leonard says they’re for.)

So I won’t waste time filling cracks.
I need that time to make some more.

I’ll toll the bells that still can toll.
I will not envy you your bells.
I’ll gather rosebuds where I can
before I lose my sense of smell.

I’ll ring the bells that still can ring,
turn up the radio and sing,
no matter what this world may bring,
I’ll let the light get in.

Wrinkling and cracking again and again.
I’ll break another hundred times,
seek out each bell that might be rung,
and make that music mine.

I’ll sound the bells I still can sound,
and f#ck all of those broken bells!
I’ll still put on my combat boots
and dance like holy hell.

These are my cracks, my lines, my scars
Point, laugh, and judge them if you must.

But I will crack into a million bits,
before I crumble into dust.

So this,
my perfect offering.
I’ll ring the bells that still can ring,
embrace the cracks in everything.
I’ll let the light get in,
day after day, year after year.
And the only thing that I will fear
Is that one last bell.
Which I won’t hear.
So this…



Hear Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”


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