Monday, January 01, 2018

The Sunday Poet: Tom Daley ( Poem for the late poet Joe Cohen)

Poet Tom Daley







"I wrote this poem after visiting Joe Cohen, a poet and photographer who suffered a stroke and died at the age of 100 in December. Joe had just attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah and was explaining to a young friend the inner workings of a Beethoven piece the night the stroke hit him. He lingered for quite a long time, clinging to the life he so loved and enjoyed.

I knew Joe through the Bagel Bards and worked with Joe briefly in my capacity as poetry writing coach. He attended a one-man performance of my play Every Broom and Bridget—Emily Dickinson and Her Irish Servants and took some fabulous photographs. I will miss him."

For Joe Cohen, On His Way Out
Tom Daley

You seem to shudder
when I hold your hand, 

seem to rustle up a cough
of recognition,

seem to say, with the half moons 
of your eyes,

I am almost
with the animals now,

placing my trust
in that dark lair

where breath doesn’t count
itself in or out,

where ripeness is slower
than a century,

where all the surprises
are shedding their fur.

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