A poem for John Lennon

                                                     WHY WE NEED JOHN LENNON

Years earlier, I hated the Beatles.

All girls I longed to kiss screamed,

The Lads smoked (I was a good boy),

they played loud, and that hair!

Daring me, you dragged me to “A Hard Day’s Night.”

Defiant goofiness hooked me for life. Years later,

we listened to John again and again –

As soon as you’re born, they make you feel small…”

like a mantra.. We shared Ruffles

with sour cream onion dip and Cokes.

“Yeah, after the Air Force, I’ll be done with the Draft,”

you matter- of- factly said, your eyes softly screaming.

I, safe with a student deferment found no words,

life long friend.

                         

                                   We’d chased Germans and commies

out of town with cap guns and toy tanks,

guzzled buttered popcorn and watched King Kong

smash Godzilla again and again.

After all the summer nights we spent on a porch

wrapped in soft sleeping bags, lullabied

by crickets and woken by work bound high heels,

after all the marshmallows we burnt to a gourmet ash,

and the nights we blammed rock’n’roll

on amplified ukes and bongo drums

driving my poor mother mad, after the make out parties

you described to shy me. I hid in pacifist dreams and had no words.

“…they hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool…”

Reach him, John, I wished, opening more Cokes.

 

One New Years, I bought your Air Force weed.

We sat, stoned, motionless, and scared in a slow car

full of old pals while some cop followed us

three miles and shrugged us off. “…’til you’re so fuckin’ crazy

you can’t follow their rules.” That was our last time.

You wrote my mother from Vietnam

and survived. I had no words when the Air Force

released you to that long planned canoe trip

where white water threw you helmetless

to boulders. I was helpless again.

Maybe our brother John caught you,

helped you dance and howl.

.                                    for Mike Gruber       C0pyright 2013 Paul Belz

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About pelicanguy6

I'm an environmental educator and writer currently based in Oakland, California. I plan to include a hiking/nature journal on this blog, along with articles on environmental education, travel articles, poetry, and spontaneous thoughts. I am a passionate hiker and camper and a world traveler. I really enjoy cooking vegetarian feasts, and specialize in veggie German meals for Oktoberfest.
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