Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
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mat james
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Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

Post by mat james » Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:02 am

...she steps on the Moon
as she paws at the sky...


I'm going to take a fresh look at this haunting song; and as Thoreau would say, "saunter" awhile.
"to saunter" according to Thoreau, is to walk the "sacred ground"...saint-terra or santa-terra...
and it seems to me that most of Leonard's songs are... sacred-ground.

I never noticed this song until a year ago when a friend of mine who I had only known for a few months, sadly, was killed in a motorcycle accident; a tall strong guy on a beautiful big Harley. He was an ex-rodeo rider, bushman or cowboy, if you like and Johnny-come-lately by his own admission to the quest for Divinity. His was a low key, practical approach, full of sincerity and humility and simplicity. He was a cross between John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Chips Rafferty (https://www.google.com/search?q=chips+r ... e&ie=UTF-8)

The moment I heard of his death these words echoed in my mind, "...say a prayer for the cowboy..." for he was a true Cowboy.
Strangely enough I wasn't familiar with this song of Leonard Cohen's and was genuinely surprised after some internet searching to find that Leonard was the author and singer of the song...and I fell in love with it...the mood, the vista, the search, the "longing to be lost", while mourning my ..."absent" friend.
My position/perspective will be from the vantage point of the Soul of the lover and the Lover himself/herself, seeking out the track to and the pastures of Divinity.
Here is a link to an informative, previous discussion thread on this Poem/song, Ballad of the absent Mare.
https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... 4&start=15

There are a few beautiful versions of this song on the web, but I think Jennifer Warne's version hits the mark, for me. She sings as though she is my soul ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BD7CFwiIsI )

I love the poetry of Basho and I hear Basho speaking from the lyrics in a phrase or two; I have walked along one small trail he wrote about, near Kanazawa, so when I discuss this poem later, I will write from my soul as a friend of Basho ;-)

In the mean-time, read the link above if you are inspired by the song to do so...and I'll see you later back here with Basho and friends.

Mat.
Last edited by mat james on Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Ballad of the absent Mare

Post by anneporter » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:46 pm

Looking forward ti your reflections, Mat.
I have been “sauntering” through it for decades...
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Re: Ballad of the absent Mare

Post by mat james » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:07 pm

Hi Anne,
Why don't you lead the way with your take on things, regarding this poem/song.
If you could summarise, that would be great.
No pressure, only if you enjoy that verbal saunter!
I am not quite ready... :)
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Re: Ballad of the absent Mare

Post by mat james » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:16 pm

... and below are the words of the song.


Ballad of the Absent Mare
(Leonard Cohen)

Say a prayer for the cowboy His mare's run away
And he'll walk til he finds her, His darling, his stray
But the river's in flood And the roads are awash
And the bridges break up In the panic of loss.

And there's nothing to follow There's nowhere to go
She's gone like the summer Gone like the snow
And the crickets are breaking His heart with their song
As the day caves in And the night is all wrong

Did he dream, was it she Who went galloping past
And bent down the fern Broke open the grass
And printed the mud with The iron and the gold
That he nailed to her feet When he was the lord

And although she goes grazing A minute away
He tracks her all night He tracks her all day
Oh blind to her presence Except to compare
His injury here With her punishment there

Then at home on a branch In the highest tree
A songbird sings out So suddenly
Ah the sun is warm And the soft winds ride
On the willow trees By the river side

Oh the world is sweet The world is wide
And she's there where The light and the darkness divide
And the steam's coming off her She's huge and she's shy
And she steps on the moon When she paws at the sky

And she comes to his hand But she's not really tame
She longs to be lost He longs for the same
And she'll bolt and she'll plunge Through the first open pass
To roll and to feed In the sweet mountain grass

Or she'll make a break For the high plateau
Where there's nothing above And there's nothing below
And it's time for the burden It's time for the whip
Will she walk through the flame Can he shoot from the hip

So he binds himself To the galloping mare
And she binds herself To the rider there
And there is no space But there's left and right
And there is no time But there's day and night

And he leans on her neck And he whispers low
"Whither thou goest I will go"
And they turn as one And they head for the plain
No need for the whip Ah, no need for the rein

Now the clasp of this union Who fastens it tight?
Who snaps it asunder The very next night
Some say the rider Some say the mare
Or that love's like the smoke Beyond all repair

But my darling says "Leonard, just let it go by
That old silhouette On the great western sky"
So I pick out a tune And they move right along
And they're gone like the smoke And they're gone like this song

(Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Leonard Cohen
Ballad of the Absent Mare lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)
Last edited by mat james on Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

Post by mat james » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:01 pm

Jarkko posted this Jennifer Warnes "saunter" many Moons ago.
After being away on a silent retreat, Leonard Cohen came over to my house wearing an old beige MacGregor jacket, and his face was radiant. There was a little leap inside him. It's impossible to be sad around Leonard when he is filled up like this because his smile comes from deep places. He came over to share a brand new song, called The Ballad of the Absent Mare. Not every day this happens.
I was sitting at my little rented piano, (the same piano where David Shire finished the beautiful Theme From Norma Rae; where John Cale destroyed perfectly decent melodies...) as Leonard's twelve elegant, spartan verses unfolded. I remember thinking......something miraculous is happening, right this minute, in my stupid little living room.
In 1972, Leonard was the surprise God sent me, to wake me up. Our friendship has disturbed my sleep for a good many years, but now I feel a great peace and fulfillment knowing he is out there, never too far away, like a lighthouse.

Leonard had found some old pictures somewhere. They were called The Ten Bulls, old Japanese woodcuts symbolizing the stages of a monk's life on the road to enlightenment. These carvings pictured a boy and a bull, the boy losing the bull, the bull hiding, the boy realizing that the bull was nearby all along. There is a struggle, and finally the boy rides the bull into his little village. "I thought this would make a great cowboy song", he joked.

There are moments when in Leonard's company, doing something otherwise boring and simple, like sharing a cup of coffee, when I am struck by the possibility that ordinary life itself is also art---- art not something we do, but something that we ARE, and then the "product" we create flows outward from this place. My conservative upbringing and the lawless recording industry had taught me to become diligently fragmented.

Leonard taught me how to unlearn the fragmented part. "Embrace the life of a singer and all that this requires" he advised. (MORE of what's already happening might be another way to say this) Commit yourself, get off the fence, he was saying. My music changed rapidly after I got off the fence.

After Famous Blue Raincoat was released, bass virtuoso Rob Wasserman invited me to make a recording for his album Duets. This new recording was intended to be empty, except for Rob's bass and my voice. Leonard's gentle cowboy story, that "old silhouette on the great western sky" had haunted me from that moment I had first heard it in my living room, with all those visual images, and twelve slow verses. We hadn't included this song on Famous Blue Raincoat because the narrator was a cowboy. But this elegant song was too beautiful to bypass, so I asked Leonard if he would bend the lyric in a couple of places, for a cowgirl, and he sent me this new version, now titled The Ballad of The Runaway Horse.

Rob and I didn't discuss an arrangement, we just "got in the boat and started rowing". As sometimes happens when I step inside Leonard's verses, I got lost out there, midsong. I got drunk on the scenery, and "left the building". A clue to recognizing great music is that a third element or event .....not just one's personal feelings, not just interesting material, but a third magical element starts happening. Like a marriage, not just two anymore, but a third magic begins shimmering. What is that? Grace or intoxication or alchemy perhaps, or something that must remain nameless. Like when you're in an airplane looking out the window at a city below, and you know that two people must be making love down there, and God is with them, and God also with you and your airplane in these very clouds, and oh yes, everywhere else too. These complex thoughts feel quite natural in one's heart but we need poetry, song and prayer to accurately express them.

Leonard lyrically opens the fearful boundaries of my heart, so that the big natural thoughts can blow around within me like leaves on an autumn day, so that the beautiful nameless thing enters me. I wonder sometimes if he has learned how to harness GRACE. No I guess not. But he does position himself with open arms. Whatever spiritual positioning might be required to write like Leonard does, it is probably better left unsaid. Most songwriters allow their songs be born prematurely, before the songs are fully ripe and fleshed out; before they are accurately complex, like the human heart is complex. They let the old cat out of the bag too soon. Impatience causes this slippage. Leonard will set a song aside until it grows deep roots and huge wings. Ten years maybe. To sing these songs is a great privilege.

I was recently asked to write something about Ballad of the Runaway Horse. "Tell them it's not about a horse," a friend advised, tongue in cheek. But Leonard was a member of a teenage band called The Buckskin Boys. Maybe his song is about a horse, I don't exactly know. Best to ask Leonard.

But what makes me feel drunk, why I get lost and "leave the building", is because Leonard's spacious and roomy point of view, his understanding of the alchemy of words, surpasses any songwriter alive today, and a whole bunch that are dead, too. Leonard looks at life from far away and up close at the same time. He stands above and below, looking around and through, opens his arms and sometimes that nameless grace enters. Find lyrics for THAT if you can. Leonard finds them. Rumi, Lorca, and Rilke find them. Not without sweat, though. Don't be fooled by genius, sweat is as unavoidable as labor pains.

As a singer, I bring my complicated heart to his well seasoned lines and all my various parts have been given something to sing. "Non-Cohen" songs often leave me wanting, unless their simplicity is quite profound. Leonard refers to Blueberry Hill as one of those great simple/profound ones. During those many long hours in silent retreat, Leonard must have refined his understanding of the power of little things, how these fit into the big picture, and how the delicate timing of words can release this understanding to others.

My admiration for Leonard happened in my life alongside my devotion to my mother, my beautiful charismatic "significant other".
I phoned Leonard on the day that my mother died, wanting to talk.

"Was that somehow strange, giving one's life to one's mother?"

Leonard's response was impeccable:
"Jenny, never question where love comes from. We have no control over these things.
From a stranger, a mother, a dog, or that perfect mate, it comes from wherever it comes. You were lucky in fact , everyone hopes to find love in the place that you found it."

"I have a concert coming next week, but there's no way I can sing without her."

Leonard replied,
"Absolutely do not cancel.
Show up and let the grief inform your throat.
Remember Jenny, everyone has a mother, and audiences love the truth".

Leonard is in good health, and his new writing rises seamlessly above previous peaks. I am no longer that young girl who fell in love with him on the cobbled streets of Dublin. I'm grown up now, and his influence has taken root in my life and work. Rather than treat him like a saint, I just say thanks and leave it at that. He's busy. Thank God he's busy, his is a life lived in service to the work. Send him a flower. He's busy showing up for his life. That's what we all must do. All the legendary stories we hear about him, end at that solitary road which leads to his "day job." Who else is going to investigate the messy corners of the heart, to sweep out a little twinkling clue? Lest we assume this stuff falls out of the sky onto his lucky desk, remember, great writing is hard work, even for the gifted.

Jennifer Warnes,
October 25, 2004
Venice, CA
(https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=4410)

Wow!
Please respond if you feel like having a say. 8) :)

Mat.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

Post by lizzytysh » Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:03 pm

I'm looking forward to when I feel I have time to read these commentaries. It's great to see you here, Mat. I'm so sorry for your loss of your friend, who seemed so absolutely invincible.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

Post by mat james » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:24 am

hi Lizzy,
yes, he did seem "invincible"...but there you go...
Jennifer Warne, as you probably know, was instrumental in re-energising Leonard's career by releasing an album of Leonard's songs. That is why the post above written by her is so interesting. She knew him well for a long time...so it is worth taking the time, as you suggest, to read that piece. I was tempted to simply "link" to it, but it is so informative that I gave it the space it deserved, above.
As always, I will be looking for the mystic connection that I feel Leonard had with the authors of those poems who influenced the creation of this song. "influencers", unfortunately, is rather an egocentric, shabby word these days ;-)

The main poems/poets I will be looking at while I react to the song (heading back in reverse from now-time) are,
    Other poems/songs by Leonard, for example, "Back on Boogie Street"... :razz:
      Basho
        San Juan de la Cruz
          Ox-herding (10 bulls),
            Solomon
              Genesis

              It may sound a bit over the top :roll: but so many things happen in a Leonard Cohen song that I can't help myself from "sauntering" around a bit. Blame Leonard...
              It may not be where he came from, but it is where he took me.
              That is the burden and the pleasure of poetry, I suppose.

              Mat.
              "Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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              Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

              Post by mat james » Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:20 pm

              ...means and meaning?
              Most of us already know:
              It is not so much what a song or a poem means;
              but rather that a song is a means to...
              and for me, it is a means to saunter through our collective
              search for meaning.

              As always, of course, you hang onto your own understanding of the song as I usually get caught in a storm and blown into unchartered waters and knowing my ignorance of proper sailing techniques, like Odysseus, I strap myself to the mast, ...and sing along with whatever half-conscious-archetypical-Siren hums alluringly enough; but always with the sound rudder of Cavafy in tow:

              "...And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
              Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
              you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean."

              ( https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/ ... 22eef917ec )
              ...and so, following wise advice, I set sail sauntering towards sunset, as we all are, for my own Ithaka.



              I suppose this is the place to begin my journey into this song.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Bulls

              It has been said by Leonard himself that the (Kuòān Shīyuǎn's) Ten Bulls was the inspiration, the apparent launching pad for this song, but really the origins, the genesis of this cow-boy song goes way-way back in the psyche of our song-writing poet, Leonard as Jennifer Warnes states above.

              I would usually move into The Ballad of the Absent Mare, one verse at a time and see what there is to discover, but having found this unsatisfactory, I will take a more gestalt approach...Leonard's poetry is always "other"...and more than the sum of its parts.

              "Say a prayer for the cowboy His mare's run away
              And he'll walk til he finds her, His darling, his stray
              But the river's in flood And the roads are awash
              And the bridges break up In the panic of loss."

              The first line is packed full of meaning. The word "cowboy" is a play on "oxherd", the boy who looks after cows and oxen as a shepherd looks after sheep. No doubt Leonard was delighted by the intuitive connection between his search for enlightenment, the freedom seeking Cowboy/Oxherd/ox/horse, ...but then quickly moves back to his own tradition, to Solomon's Songs and turned the beast of burden from an Ox into a feminine entity, the "Mare" representing perhaps his soul, as Solomon's girl wanders off looking for her lover among nature.
              What a great opening for a song! Ox, Mare, Solomon's songs of the soul and a something that is lacking in his life; a new beginning, prayers need to be said, he is almost lost, vulnerable and alone....so Leonard!

              To be continued :)

              Mat
              Last edited by mat james on Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:02 am, edited 3 times in total.
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              Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

              Post by mat james » Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:12 am

              ...and there are two "positions" that the seeker finds, no matter what tradition they are grown in, nurtured and exposed to, and these two positions are;

              1) follow the mothers, fathers, masters and traditions and do as they advise me, or
              2) break out, follow my own nose and see where it takes me.

              For many people the first "position" is the chosen path, but for others this first path is unsatisfying and limiting, so they head, like Robert Frost, along the road less trod.
              Interestingly, the original Indian sutra (Maha Gopalaka Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 33) in my opinion, belongs to the first path or position and the derivative Chinese version of Ten Ox belongs to the second path.
              Leonard plays in his mind with both paths in much of his writing and he poses the question later in the song, do I go "left or "right"? Do I do as I'm told and play it safe...or do I ride into the night of unknown...?
              ...am I orthodox or liberal?
              ...am I Theravada (orthodox) or Mahayana (Zen) ...?

              Either way there is a journey to be had and an aspect of being to be discovered...choose your weapon or method!
              ...and also, either way we are tracing and tracking the footprints of our mind (the Ox) and the footprints of our respective cultures.
              Perhaps one path or the other or even both;... will lead the Rider or the Mare from that old apple Tree to the Tree of Eternal Life.
              Buddha, by the way, sat under a fig tree to achieve this.
              (The Bodhi Tree was a large and very old sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa).
              ...reminiscent of Adam and Eve?

              a fig called "Religiosa"! don't you love it! 8)

              to be continued, ;-)

              Mat.
              "Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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              Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

              Post by mat james » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:07 pm

              The Ten Ox pictures and poems took Leonard directly to these opening lines of Solomon;

              Her
              "Tell me, you whom I love,
              tell me where you graze your flock..."
              Him
              "If you do not know, most beautiful of women,
              follow the tracks of the sheep and graze
              your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.

              I liken you, my darling, to a Mare harnessed..."

              ...and Leonard sings
              "...So he binds himself To the galloping mare
              And she binds herself To the rider there..."

              I think it was Jarkko who, in a post long ago, mentioned the Universal "motifs and symbols" in this song,
              ...of the lovers out there in the wilderness, lost in love and grazing.
              It is very Solomon, very Cruz, very Leonard and apparently, very Buddha and very Zen...

              With regard to the motif of "union" and the symbols that lead one in the direction of that union/Union, there is much more to be said or explored in this song and indeed most of Leonard's work.
              We have cow-boy, mare-girl, roads, bridges, loss, gold and nails...and that is just the beginning! This is not to be shunned or ignored or skipped over in my view as the use of symbols are the very essence of divine poetry...and the poetry of the Divine; no matter which culture, as Leonard is musing here.

              ...and what is the point? why bother to look deeper into a song, deeper into a poet's mind, deeper into a universal myth?.......?

              You tell me... :neutral: ;-) 8)



              ...to be continued,

              Mat
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              Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

              Post by mat james » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:30 am

              Ten Oxen can be understood, apparently, as steps in the meditation process towards stillness.

              "And the bridges break up In the panic of loss
              ...There's nowhere to go
              ...the night is all wrong"

              ...the mind is in a bad state, can't switch off, worries about life, death, meaning and every day horrors like love and work etc...so something is lacking in the life of our Cow-boy. So one day he thinks to himself and wonders if he ever had an original thought; is he just the product of his up-bringing, his culture, his schooling...so much was promised to him but it all turns to meaningless drivel...
              Our cowboy's horse (mind) is running away from him.
              ...so he takes a break and re-traces his meaningless life and lets one thought after another pass by, as the bridges crumble and the night of unknowing is going nowhere and for awhile he knows that he doesn't know...anything.

              he doesn't "know"...but sometimes he "feels" something..."And although she goes grazing A minute away" he still can't find what he is looking for.

              "Then....on a branch In the highest tree
              A songbird sings out So suddenly
              Ah the sun is warm And the soft winds ride
              On the willow trees By the river side"

              ...out amongst nature, sauntering...something leaves him sighing; and the sense of "loss" and lacking , like a tide, turns back on itself somehow and refreshes him: refreshed; the sun is warm and the soft winds ride on the willow trees.
              Maybe he is beginning to tame that ox ...whatever it is that has happened, his mind is slowing down, going on a holiday, relaxing...becoming receptive

              He slips through a gap between two thoughts...

              makes a break for the high plateau...beyond the reasoning mind. And the willows whisper,
              "Whither thou goest I will go"
              ...or was it he who whispered?
              or was it she?

              am I the whispering?

              "...and they turn as one and head for the plain."
              "Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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              Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

              Post by mat james » Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:06 am

              ...it may be the broken bridges and tall grass or longing to be lost;
              ...it may be about meditation practice or traditional prayer or non-theistic indulgences;
              but ultimately it's all about the "high plateau", no matter where you are coming from.

              The High Plateau

              ...Tomorrow, I'm going on a road trip for a week, (we still have the luxury and the pleasure of doing such a thing in most of Australia, even during this covid plague)...
              ...and when I get back from the red dust and wine regions, and have turned... red dust into red wine! I'll have plenty to say about this "high plateau" and how Leonard enters it via his wounded and broken Dawns, his Babylons and Boogie streets.

              Until then, why not add a few lines about what your "high plateau" might be and how you sometimes seek it out.
              I know I rave on a lot and sometimes it is over the top, but you could rave on a bit too whether you're an atheist, agnostic, a happy-whale or just a frightened and determined wonderer. You are all good for this thread.
              ...your opinion is as valid as anyone else's.

              I'll check back in a week, I'm off to some "high plateau" ;-) ...booze-infused perhaps, but still breaking the bread and drinking the vino-...
              ...adios amigos ...

              MatbellybuttongazerJ
              "Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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              Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

              Post by mat james » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:40 am

              ...The Clare Valley was vino-sumptuous with its rolling vineyards, productive valleys the ever-present spray of gum-trees and the River Murray's "Riverland", a few hundred kilometres away, green and lush and overflowing with grapes and other fruits... and nature walks, also with massive Gum trees, water-bends, birds and 0ver 20 thousand years of history... almost ever present; Aboriginal-old and European-new epicurean pleasures.
              Well, I suppose these are the universal experiences that poets sing about; the brush with nature that sometimes takes us to that "high plateau" in our own mind....via our own rich and enduring culture,

              "Did he dream, was it she Who went galloping past
              And bent down the fern Broke open the grass
              And printed the mud with The iron and the gold
              That he nailed to her feet When he was the lord"

              ...
              "Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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              Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

              Post by mat james » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:10 am

              ...let's move onto and into that High Plateau...

              ...so it is, according to our songwriter, Leonard, possible to go...or be taken to some place beyond theory.
              ...we find ourselves at times lost in experience...

              There is a real difference between understanding something and experiencing something.
              Literature takes us to the water, thirst causes us to drink...
              and experiencing something we may call spiritual (born of the spirit)...changes that water into wine.
              ...we experience the great cosmic dance in some otherworldly form...through some otherworldly sense;
              ...lift-off...to some high plateau...as our poet terms it.

              There are many forms of this strange experience and that is why it is clarifying to read the myriad poets from around the world who write now or have written in the past, obliquely, about this "something".
              One way or another they suggest that the "flesh" only experienced earthly experiences...
              ...and the spirit experienced "something" divine, something other than earthly, yet beautiful still;
              ...like a star gazer lying on his midnight sand; a mind who has learned much about the cosmos...who one day falls into some galactic hum and tango...
              ... and experiences the now and eternal "dance" of energy and movement and belonging...without and within...
              and flies like Hopkins' kestrel, Windhover, to a "here buckle" moment...

              "So he binds himself To the galloping mare
              And she binds herself To the rider there
              And there is no space But there's left and right
              And there is no time But there's day and night"

              ...
              "Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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              Re: Say a prayer for the Cowboy....Ballad of the absent Mare

              Post by mat james » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:07 pm

              ... My heart in hiding stirred for a bird,

              Hopkins and Leonard, like other cosmic cowboys, cowherd, ox-rider, mystic Sufi or she-Solomon-soul
              "make a break for the High plateau", and saunter from their loss and wounded dawns, toward another way of knowing...

              "... then off, off forth on swing,

              as a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend:
              the hurl and gliding rebuffed the big wind.

              ... My heart in hiding stirred for a bird,

              Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume,
              here Buckle!

              ...and the fire that breaks from thee then,
              a billion times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!"

              (Gerard Manley Hopkins, adjusted) ( https://www.bartleby.com/122/12.html )

              "...And he leans on her neck and he whispers low
              "Whither thou goest I will go"
              And they turn as one and they head for the plain
              No need for the whip Ah, no need for the rein..." (Cohen)



              ...and my "heart in hiding" is also "wounded" once again in their words...wounded by beauty... To roll and to feed In the sweet mountain grass...forgotten and "lost among the lilies" (Cruz).

              Mat.
              "Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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