A serie of poems I had written in tribute to John Lennon. Remembering this day.


John Lennon sang,
“All You Need Is Love”;
died from hate.

John Lennon sang,
“Happiness is a Warm Gun”.
Sadly he learned.

John Lennon sang,
“Come Together Now Over Me”,
and people did.

John Lennon sang
to “Give Peace a Chance”.
Rest in Peace.

John Lennon sang,
to a generation that believed.
Living through music.

© – Walter J. Wojtanik


Once behind a milk maid bleary,
I beard a Liddypoolian surly,
sing-song pop/rocks, yeah, yeah, yup,
with good dog Nigel, me soiled pup.
Richie-ringy, drum, drum, drum,
whilst Petey lands upon his bum,
Paulie wally doodles all day,
and Georgie puts pied pudding away.
Meanstyle, Yokie loudly bang she slaved,
a New Yorkshire in me final daze,
avant garded must too grately
amongst the scruffy beat alls lately.
Banded four we combed to stage Ed,
we was all the bloody rage, Ed.
Maniacal, the screamies fainted
as were the mused sick; badly tainted.
Writey, writey, Bob all-mighty,
pose’em, storied; all humoured slighty.
From me pen me wordies stumble,
in me own write does muzak crumble.
Go salve the Queen!

© – Walter J. Wojtanik


His glasses were round
and he fostered a profound way
of seeing the world as it should be.
It was he who gave passivity
a fighting chance. At every glance
he saw possibility; a hope for futures
bright. It wasn’t hard to see in clear vision.
It was the division of ideologies
and theologies that put up barriers.
That was clearly visible. The problems
were not hidden; solutions were obscure.
It was for sure his legacy languishes
in rose-colored number nine dreams

© Walter J Wojtanik


I ruled the world, you see,
and then the world ruled me.

A singing jester, a bloody fool;
one of those lads from Liverpool.

We came to America, land of the free,
our music grew, but it stifled me.

My choice of partners made a stir,
and the world had come to ravage her.

But we made a home and found our place,
without all that screaming in our face,

to settle into a life of seclusion,
and perpetrated this fantastic illusion.

So a glad househusband I became
while Yoko worked to make a name.

And I, a Beatle, husband, dad,
was happy in the life I had.

But music, still my love and passion,
had lured me in a rhythmic fashion,

to feed this “Double Fantasy”
and brought the world right back to me.

But, a yellow bastard made his name
by stealing someone else’s fame.

Mark my words David, he was a mean chap man,
crouching there with a steady hand,

I sang that, “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”
“Mr. Lennon?” bang-bang, shoot, shoot. I was bloody done.

© Walter J Wojtanik


December 8, 1980

A busy night in the jungle,
it seems every bungled
suicide attempt and
accident picked today
to play out their dramas.
Street punks and pistol
packing mamas and pops.
Everything stops when they
wheel the shooting victim in.
It’s a sin, they got him in the back.
His jacket soaked in the outpouring
of his life’s force. In the course of such
events, life takes a front seat,
we meet it head on. That Beatle
guy was dead on. But, “Happiness is a
Warm Gun”? Tell that to this guy…
He looks like… Lennon?

(C) Walter J Wojtanik


I remember that it snowed that day.
     Don’t you remember? 
I remember it was on
     a Monday night in December. 
I remember I picked you up at a half past three, 
     and you were waiting by that old maple tree. 
I remember the wind was blowing rather strong, 
     and I had you waiting out there far too long. 
I remember you thought you should have stayed in bed, 
     but came out with that horrible cold instead. 
I remember we had some dinner, we saw a show, 
     and we made some angels in the snow. 
I remember I drove you straight home to get some rest 
     and offered to rub some Vicks® on your chest. 
I remember we finally got there a bit after nine, 
     and I remember you said you had a really good time. 
I remember we chatted briefly watching the snow 
     and we listened to music on the radio. 
I remember the announcer broke in with some bad news, 
     and that shroud of sadness covered you. 
I remember. Don’t you remember how you cried 
     that night we heard that John Lennon had died?

© Walter J. Wojtanik


He had the paper,
pressed, preserved; reserved
to read when the pain was less
palpable, and he’d be able to grieve.
He couldn’t believe that twenty years
stood between this heinous act, a fact
he had struggled with greatly. But,
lately he felt closure. He was sure
that John was near, it was clear that
in the music and moments of release,
his elusive peace was just a piece of the puzzle.
His New York was empty without his big spirit,
the heart of this metropolis beat
in the stately brownstone Dakota.
Back to bring song back to the maniacal
masses. A cold December to remember,
Central Park aglow, and the World Trade Center
continued to tower tall twenty years since his fall.
They’ve killed John, and life went on.
He had the paper, pressed, preserved;
reserved to read when the pain was less
palpable. Maybe tomorrow!

© – Walter J. Wojtanik


He stood in amazement
so much had changed.
It was a strange epiphany;
his once stoic symphony
had been knocked to its knees.
The Central Park trees failed
to hide the absence of
the majestic twins. The brownstone
once home was a Mecca for
tourists and purists who needed
closure. The exposure wrought
could not be bought; a recluse,
a self-abused; self proclaimed
Caulfield in search of fame
and a name to remember.
That cold December, he could
not see past the last place
he had seen in life, leaving
a young son, a wife and
an adoring nation that came
in adoration of his journey.
Seeing it again was hard,
in the Dakota courtyard
a stain remains. Reliving it
again and again he hears it.
“Mr. Lennon?” Bang, bang,
shoot, shoot. A warm gun
and a Double-Fantasy.
New York City gone wrong.
His city was gone.

© Walter J Wojtanik






“Burn not thy fingers to snuff another man’s candle.”

~ James Howell

What purpose does it serve to extinguish another man’s flame?
Why would you deny another woman’s light?
When the world needs the brilliance of many, how could any candle
be allowed to go silent? A dark mind will find nothing but violence
and a desire to burn uncontrolled to destroy all in its path.
No bold declaration of one’s own self
can provide the conflagration that many a candle
can offer. One candle will augment all other candles
when used to ignite their glow. A single match
can light a multitude of candles. Know there is truth in light.
Know that it is darkness that lies.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC BLOOMINGS Autumnal Poem-A-Day Exercise – Day 13: Candles


There are two ways of spreading light:
to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~Edith Wharton

We are surrounded by the brilliance of others
who shine their light unto the world.
They become the candle that illuminates our darkness,
the glow of humanity in the flicker of flame.
We warm our hands on their fire,
we warm our hearts on their glow.
We know that by adding our light, we allow theirs
to burn more bright in the cold, dark night.
We can choose to be a reflection of their light,
or we can be the beacon of the right light.
A bright light so shared.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018



You know you shouldn’t, so don’t.
Some things just aren’t right.
There are commands to guide you,
but they won’t hide you from
doing the wrong thing.
It rings of disobedience if your
expedience gets you in dutch.
It’s much to much to chance.
So thou shalt not dance on the edge.
And don’t hedge you bets.
Go the straight and narrow,
or it’s straight to hell you get!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience


I couldn’t get it through my head
that Dad’s tools were his trade and it made him mad
when I had used his implements.
He’d get bent out of shape and went ape
sure as I tell you. But he knew…

As sure as I tell you, he knew
that I had an affinity for fixing things
just as he had all his life. So the new rule became this:
If you use it, put it where you found it!
A lesson ground into my head from the start.

A lesson ground into my head from the start.
It didn’t take me long to take it to heart.
Leaving a hammer out didn’t bring the wrath of Thor.
He was more disappointed than mad.
He had a way of teaching me his trade.

Dad had a way of teaching me his trade,
and it made me more well equipped to handle
any problem that came along.
Put your tools where they belong.
That message has always resonated loud and clear.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience


Respect came in various lessons,
and messin’ with Ma was one learned early.
The old man went squirrelly when we dissed
his missus. He truly went nuts,
no ifs, ands or buts.

No ifs, ands or butts
would not be spared if we dared sass back.
A swift smack on the behind
would find you and remind you,
“Don’t talk back to your Mother!”

Don’t talk back to your Mother.
But, giving Dad the lip with a slip of the tongue
would have also “brung” the wrath of Dad.
He wasn’t bad, but he had a fuse you needed not light.
We had to fight the urge disobey.

We had to fight the urge to disobey.
We’d say what he wanted to hear,
and wait until we were clear of earshot
before we got our frustrations out.
It wasn’t about what we said.

It wasn’t about what we said.
Instead, it was how we said it.
I’d live to regret it that my last words to mom
came from a dark place. The hurt on her face.
stays with me to this day.
It was too late to watch what I say.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience



“What did I tell you?” my father said.
Swimming in the creek was dangerous.
He made a fuss about how the steel mill
would dump slag and waste (you could taste it
in the water.) “I ought let you suffer.”
He continued his tirade as he swabbed
my left eye. I’d cry if it didn’t hurt so much
to his gentle, but angry touch. I swam
in the creek with some friends.
It is all fun and games until someone
throws a handful of creek bed silt
in someone’s eye. My eye. Disobedience
is a teachable moment. It sent me to bed
early, eye patched and irritated.
I was elated that I hadn’t lost sight in it.
It had more fight in it than I’d have thought.
I ought not swim in the creek again.
I didn’t. A great decision!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

POETIC ASIDES with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #457: Disobedience


I sit listening to the wind,
that’s the way each day begins.
Some may think it is a crime
all because they know that I’m

here with my feet on the ground.
No thoughts become so profound,
that they mire my thinking,
and if my eyes are blinking,

it’s because I can see things
in all that poetry brings.
My words present like a song
and there is nothing that’s wrong

with these expressions of heart.
That’s the way these poems start,
devotion to emotion
without all the commotion.

In the quiet of the night,
everything I write feels right.
There is nothing I’ll rescind,
I sit listening to the wind.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018



     “Well, we all have a face
     That we hide away forever
     And we take them out
     And show ourselves when everyone has gone.”
          ~ Billy Joel from “The Stranger”

We all wear a mask.
To hide our fears, insecurities,
our anger and hate.
Identities obscured as if
voices unheard were really silenced.
Violence and the aftermath
are dispatched, plans hatched
in a tragic sense are forgone.
It’s almost funny in a sick sort of way.
We play it for comedic effect,
to protect our hearts and minds.
We come to find that Comedy and Tragedy
walk a fine line, separated by a breath
of laughter or tears of great sadness.
The madness never ends, my friends.
Unmask and be free.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer – Prompt #456: Tragic