“I am ready to die”

“Look”, he said, “look among the garbage and the flowers”

“There are heroes in the seaweed”.

And then, beauty. And the question. One, two, three and eighty questions. He smiles. His eyes shine. He carries an infinite kindness. You can see it, there, on the tip of his eyelashes, on the corner of his mouth.

Wrinkles on his face. As if full of cracks.

Wrinkles like cracks.

And his face shines. That light, almost unbearable. Pure, white. That white that carries all the colors, at the bottom of its heart. A light that spilled, lightening rooms, scenarios, stages, caves, green lilac parks.

Parks where Marianne “hold on to him like he was a crucifix”. With the peacefulness of knowing she walked by the messenger.

How does a poet die?

How does a prophet die?

How is it, when eternal verses talk, now, through a dead man’s voice.

Scar.

But a scar… “A scar is what happens when the world is made flesh.”

The world, thus, made flesh. The world shaking. The world withstanding shocks. The world, weak, tired.

“Do not be afraid to be weak.” He said to the world. With that paused voice. With those universe eyes. “Do not be ashamed to be tired.”

The world lifts up its head. Eye bags and dry hands and filthy nails and cold feet.

“Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look like you could go on forever.”

And the world smiles. It feels powerful.

And he speaks to eternity in front of a microphone that, at first, scared him. Resistance outcry.

But he wants no battle.

“I wanted a revelation in the heart rather than a confrontation or a call-to-arms or a defence.”

The love. Love, love, love.

Wrinkles on his face. As if full of cracks.

Wrinkles like cracks.

And his face shines. Where does the light come from? Where does so much light well from?

Love. It is love. Not a battle, not an overcoming. A labour, hard, true and pure and delicate and gelid.

But. But “love is not a victory march.”

How to find the perfect song. He says to Dylan that it takes him years to write a song that speaks with enough urge.

All of that, like love, “is not a victory march. It’s a cold
and it’s a broken
Hallelujah.”

Wrinkles on his face. As if full of cracks.

Wrinkles like cracks.

And his face shines.

He is poetry. All of him. Is poetry.

“I am ready to die”, he says.

But he is poetry. And “poetry is just the evidence of life.”

Prophet, father, messenger, light-carrier.

Light-scar.

“If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”

You are burning, Leonard. You are burning. You have burnt. And there are tears, like yours, that 1972 in Jerusalem, when you thought you did not feel enough to sing to the public and you left, for a moment.

You were poetry and beauty that day. At that moment.

You have burnt, Leonard. But you are still here.

Wrinkles on your face. As if full of cracks.

Wrinkles like cracks.

And your face shines.

 

Because “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how light gets in.”

 

 

Dedicated to Omar Talhouk.

 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons; By Rama (Own work)
Spanish version here

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