Just Starting Over
In Memory of John Lennon
Lennon lay low with Yoko Ono.
Lennon lay low with Sean. Gone
the Lennon hitting women,
the Lennon sleeping around.
Could family now go down as the new muse?
To see, lose five years of the fame-game.
Amuse the stunt-waiting cynics.
Go quiet as a house-husband. Quiet as a mouse
to gain a settled soul.
The old rank critics who cry “yoked to Ono”
know nothing, mean nothing to the family man,
turning his life over again and out to a treacherous ocean
where alone on the deck
the spectacular stars stopped spinning
and the songs began to flow down
like the rivulets of recent rain on the mast pole,
wheels going round and round in a reawakened soul.
In the cold archway of the Dakota
the self-proclaimed protector of Jesus
crouched and fired, fulfilling his fantasy
of a Phineas shooting spree, four shots
in the back of Lennon lay him low in the grave
with no one to save him from the irony--
he who imagined a world with nothing to kill or die for,
meeting his end at the beginning of just starting over.
Another artist tribute poem and painting from our May 2019 Panoply show in Walnut Creek.
Sean was Lennon’s only child with Ono born October 9, 1975.
“Lay low” refers to the 5-year hiatus that Lennon took between 1975-1980 to fully invest in his family and see if family life could fuel his art.
“Out to a treacherous ocean” refers to Lennon’s long boat trip from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda in June 1980 in which many of his songs for his final album Double Fantasy were imagined and written.
“Wheels going round and round” is a nod to the song on the Double Fantasy album titled Watching the Wheels.
Dakota was the name of the apartment complex in Manhattan where Lennon lived and where he was shot only two months after the release of Double Fantasy.
“Self-proclaimed protector of Jesus” refers to Lennon’s murderer Mark David Chapman who was a religious fanatic and in part was angry at Lennon for having once said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
“Phineas”: see Numbers 25:1-9.
“Imagined a world with nothing to kill or die for” is a line from one of Lennon’s most famous songs Imagine.
“Just starting over” refers to the first released single from the Double Fantasy album on October 1980 titled (Just Like) Starting Over.