Leonard Cohen


First of all nothing will happen
and a little later
nothing will happen again
       – Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing

First you’re told sweet nothings. What you know
of life is what you’ve gathered on your own;
all the evidence would seem to show
nothing will change, the carnival you’ve known
will last forever, what has happened must
happen again. Here’s your plastic cup
and wooden spoon. Perhaps you’ll grumble, just
a bit, before you lap their contents up:
little do you guess! When you discover,
later on, the carnival is over,
nothing will be the same. Losing your lover
will make you wonder: Did your days in clover
happen? You’ll bear a cross, tick off each box
again, put on a mask. The paradox.

Duncan Gillies MacLaurin

If you have any comments on this poem, Duncan Gillies MacLaurin  would be pleased to hear from you.