A Cold and a Broken Hallelujah

lyrics by Leonard Cohen

artworks inspired by this song are simmering away inside me, waiting for the right time to be released – for now:


I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah



Nyumbani – Swahili for Home

East Meets West – Last weekend, at the 5th Annual Grafton Arts Fair, in Grafton, Illinois, I shared a tent with Pat Syano, – a delightful young man and extremely talented artist from Kenya.
We collaborated on this piece – my fused glass, his paintings. I told him to draw whatever he wanted, and he drew pictures of village life at home. (He has been in the U.S. about a year so far.)  This started out as a glass plate – I got the kiln too hot and it cracked – so I re-fired, recycled it, and with Pat’s help, redeemed it!

Nyumbani – Swahili for Home
Half a world away
the shining stillness of home
golden memories

If you would like to contact Pat, you may reach him at patrophers@yahoo.com.
Photo credit: Pat K. Moore – thanks!

Confessions of a Glass Fuser: I am a Work in Progress


Even if I get it too hot, too fast, and shock the glass.

There’s a big mess –

The glass cracks, breaks, shatters, pops, and bubbles.

If you touch the glass then,

In the aftermath of its state of shock,

You can get burnt or cut.

Pain is part of my work process.

But if you calm down, be more careful, give it some time –

Let it cool gently, sweep up the cullet with care,

Glass lets you try again,

Using what you’ve learned,

(take it easy, take it slow,

think it through, plan ahead,

Let the process work for you this time):

The broken pieces can be recycled,

re-used, remelted, reformed,

Made into something new and beautiful,

With clarity and character,

And a story of survival to tell.

By Kerry Ellen

Broken but beautiful – transformative power of art


Let’s make a pretty simple glass dish.

Cut one 5 inch square of pretty green & teal & white & aqua System 96 COE glass.

Cut another square.  Pick the prettiest side. Oops, I goofed – now I will have to piece it.

OK, use up the black stringer, since you are piecing things now.

That looks good – fire away!

500 degrees, 1 hour

 1000 degrees, 1 hour

Get sidetracked – uh-oh, 1800 degrees –

Glass is bubbling like lava –

Shut down the kiln, close the lid, walk away…

Peek next morning – no surprise –

Everything is in bits & pieces.

Great, colorful, curvy swirls of color –

Just recycle, reuse, repurpose…

Put bits on a black base, arrange,

Try it again.

Watch temp carefully – wait –

Open the lid & it’s breathtaking & beautiful!

Let it cool slowly, gently, wash & display.

Admire my work.

Next day, a big crack runs through –

Stress fracture in the glass.

I’ll glue it & clamp it, fix it –

It’s still so beautiful –

Like people, even a bit cracked,

Beautiful nonetheless.

We all have scars,

Stress fractures,

Even with a fairly solid base to build on.

Life is sometimes hot, hard work.

We are tried in the fire and made strong.

Not perfect, or without damage,

But beautiful in ways never imagined

Before the blaze.

By Kerry Ellen, 2009