The Light Shines, Over and Over


By LacZ (Own work), “Sunlight through Pallisades,” [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

–Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”


We pause now to gather strength

to fight for justice

over and over

to strive for courage, hope

lost and then regained

over and over

change happens for good, for bad

thoughts and actions

over and over

two steps forward, one step back

over and over

through the ages

we find the crack

to let the light shine in.



I wrote this poem yesterday afternoon before I heard of Leonard Cohen’s death. I guess it was of those strange coincidences in life that I had been thinking about him.

This poem is for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were: Pause/Over/Strength/Age/Change



20 thoughts on “The Light Shines, Over and Over

  1. Pingback: The Light Shines, Over and Over — Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings – Why Do I write?

  2. I love this poem and your thinking of Leonard Cohen. I had heard he passed and think of “Alleluia,” but my second favorite will be this “Anthem.” He deserves a peaceful place possibly among angels singing and soaring upon swift wings. Thank-you for this ode to L.C., Merril.

    • Thank you, Robin. He wrote many songs, and you might find you like others, too. I’ve been meaning to get his last album that just came out a few weeks ago. Your comment made me think of his “Dancing to the End of Love.”

      • As soon as I saw the choice of the song featured in, “The Scent of a Woman,” I could remember how romantic and deep this song was. I like the husky voiced L.C. in so many ways better than smooth voices of other song artists.

        It reminds me of how when you listen to the more recent (ten years ago) version of “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell, it means more. She has a “world weary” voice, what some may call whiskey voiced. It makes the real meaning of the song sink in, “I’ve looked at Love from both sides now. . .” not the light- hearted beautiful, younger voice of Joni, but like she really “knows” how love is now.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s