REMEMBERING LENNON

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

JOHN LENNON SANG

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

LEAVING LENNON MARKS

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

VISIONS CLEAR

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

MEAN MR. MUSTARD

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

EMERGENCY ROOM

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

DON’T YOU REMEMBER…

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

THEY’VE KILLED JOHN

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

IMAGINE IF: HIS CITY WAS GONE

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

 

 

 

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DADDY’S FLOWER BLOSSOMS

She has spread her cheer every year
for twenty-five. Her, alive with joy
and her heavily dimpled smile.
One of the sunshines of my life
and she, the sunflower of same.
Her name is Andrea, and her bloom
brightens every garden
she sees fit to visit.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

THOU SHALT NOT

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

DON’T TOUCH MY TOOLS / PUT MY TOOLS AWAY

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

DON’T TALK BACK TO YOUR MOTHER

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

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO A WILLING HEART

I started writing at thirteen,
lyrics for a song I hacked out
on the old organ we had at home.

Melody first, a little loop
of sound full blown into a
song, my first attempt.

Looking at the words
scratched onto a page
of spiral notebook paper

tattered and lined
random thoughts
of a future love long gone.

It had form and meter,
it had rhyme, my reason,
a poem of sorts on my page.

A poem never to see
the light of day for years,
dead ended in a rusted file cabinet,

along with every other lame attempt
of poem and prose that
had me believing I had talent.

Maybe talent, but nary a whiff
of confidence to show the
work that was even at this early

date, very personal, a glimpse
of my inner self, the now me
in miniature, immature,

but with a dream.
To see my words light up
the pages of this book of life.

The flesh was willing,
but the spirit was weak,
my ambition was a wishful thought.

I wanted to write in the worst way,
and that was what I did,
in the worst way.

As the years passed,
I still tried to convince myself
that I was a writer, a poet

a composer, an untapped
resource in a disconnected
reality, a dreamer

working for his hearts desire.
Hard work, hard words
mired in the muse of my mind.

But determined to live
according to the dictates
of my nightly mystic visions.

I dusted off my file cabinet,
shooing the dusty webs from the
hidden treasures long buried.

I sent my words into the world
unsure of their worth,
afraid of their power.

Given to the eyes of
others of a write minded bent,
sharing similar uncertainties

of their own. They labeled me,
tattooed me with an identity.
They called me poet.

The name I wanted;
the name they offered.
Nothing is impossible.

THE TRUE NORTH

by Walter J Wojtanik

I grew up very near the border with Canada,
and at times I feel Canadian by osmosis.
The influences of their media
had a profound affect on my upbringing.

I remember singing “O Canada” at hockey games
(I grew up very near the border with Canada.)
Or when the games were televised on Saturday night.
At the end of day, I sang both anthems when they’d play.

Many shows would entertain and remain to,
long after I had grown. You would have known
I grew up very near the border with Canada,
by the True North knowledge I would amass.

Now, my attraction is due to my daughter.
She married a Canadian gent and went
to live in Ottawa in the Great True North.
She grew up very near the border with Canada.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

SUMMER DISAPPEARS TO SLUMBER

The days are getting shorter still,
the summer fades away,
we’ll say goodbye from on the hill
on some late summer’s day.

I hold you near and we can hear
Fall waiting in the wings,
the colors warm will soon appear,
with all that autumn brings.

Moments of love’s long embrace
sustain me through the night,
and glowing starlight on your face
makes everything feel right.

Prepare to dream of Summer sun,
a restful sleep ensues,
with memories of Summer fun;
the ones we’ll never lose.

The kiss we shared upon that shore,
the picnics in the park,
the magic of this life and more
will greet us after dark.

And there my dear, I’ll hold you,
and whisper love’s entreaty,
as summer sets, when day is through
to rest in autumn’s beauty.

So, go to sleep and have your rest,
I’ll wake you come the Spring,
just lay your head upon my chest
to see what this night brings.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

SECRETS KEPT AND HIDDEN

No one knows.
And the best kept secret remains as such.
How much is it worth to know things
that your heart can confirm,
but you can not communicate,
this declaration of fact lies hidden.
Distance spanned and water
under the bridge between then and now.
How do you live a life with this burden?
They couldn’t know; you gave no indications,
your stagnation and debilitating fear
brought you here with nary a lead.
But indeed, you have known.
You will carry it until you’ll have grown
feeble and cold, just an infarction from
the chill’s permanence; it hides in residence.
Do you declare to the world and hope the rooftops
can handle your exuberance,
your happy dance long buried?
This fact prompts you to wonder
that if under this guise you can reprise
what your heart conceals; the real feel of its mystery,
your history until now untold and you let the story unfold.
Touching secrets with probing fingers,
the memory lingers. You held the best vantage point
in the room to see all before you,
a chance at a glance always revealed.
Though you were in close proximity,
you chose to let fear dictate and seal your fate.
Never a clue did you expose. You chose to fade,
finding comfort in your invisibility. Indignantly,
you held your nerve and your secret this long.
It can’t be wrong to release your burden and breathe again.
No one knows.
You wonder if your existence evaded detection then.
You are certain that it does now.
Unseen for all these years, no one could know.
Your memories melt flowing onto a page
as you engage your feelings.
Poems written of your smitten past,
and at last you come clean.
I mean, really, it’s not as if these poems will ever be seen.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018

IN THE LINE OF THREE

I was born the third child on the third day, the third Walter in the line of familial redundancy. Not a junior, not a numeral, and after my father’s funeral, the last Walter standing. No three-star General commanding multitudes of minions. Just a man with a penchant for poetry, be they tercets or haiku, I am true to the test of three.

A third birthday was ushered in by the death of three, rocking my world at an early age. Holly, Valens and Richardson – mother’s sons all, taking the fall in a stormy Iowa sky. I don’t remember if I cried, but the music died all the same. Later the same year we saw the first of three Walter’s perish and a cherished name was diminished by one, survived by two “sons”. Three seems to be my number, lucky or not, but it’s gotten me this far in the line of three.

The trinity guides
and provides me a purpose,
three steps onward

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2018