To me, one of his most profoundly spiritual songs is Southland of the Heart. Actually, I've always regarded it as a modern, updated equivalent of Abide With Me. Cockburn's imagery for the abyss is the arid, shadeless, remorseless desert -- the southland -- to which we are driven by our own experiences and our own demons. There the only sanctuary and peace is to be found in the Divine, the "help of the helpless," who gently invites us:
In the southland of the heart . . .
Take your rest with me.
And yet, the genius of Cockburn's songwriting skill is that it's entirely possible to interpret this song in a purely human, non-spiritual way as well. It can easily be seen simply as a dialogue between two people, one of whom is comforting the other and offering them a shoulder to lean on during difficult times. That's why Cockburn's music is so universally appealing -- no one's experience is alienated or excluded.
Southland of the Heart is found on Cockburn's 1994 album Dart to the Heart. The whole album is fabulous. Hard to believe it's been 20 years since it came out. (Man, I really have to stop feeling so old about every little thing, LOL!)
P.S. -- Watch for the photo at the end of the video of Bruce Cockburn's own Canada Post stamp which was issued a couple of years ago!