Thirty four years ago today one of my generation’s greatest creative minds was brutally silenced by a madman. If one ever needs an example of life not being fair, then the assassination of John Lennon epitomizes the consequences of a life taken for no reason and the absurdity of a nation that places easy access to guns over the value of a human being. This American obsession with guns is simply obscene. And, pathetically, in the ensuing thirty four years we have learned nothing. In March of last year, along with a photograph of John’s bloodied glasses, Yoko Ono tweeted a sad and disturbing fact.”Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on 8 Dec 1980.” And now, almost a year later, that number has grown even larger. And America? America doesn’t care. Americans don’t give a damn. Their right to possess weapons trumps ALL concerns about the safety of its citizens, of its children, of its loved ones, of the millions of innocent lives sacrificed to gun violence. I repeat, it is OBSCENE. A morally conscious nation would rise up and eliminate the obscenity. But, as recent events have made all the more clear, America is morally and judicially corrupt; too many Americans simply don’t give a damn. If more did care there could be hope for change, but power and greed in the hands of the few ensure that the many will continue to be slaughtered. Not even the cold blooded murder of defenseless school children has led to a reassessment of gun laws. America is a diseased, violent society that lacks compassion and the simplest moral comprehension of what is right and what is wrong. Criticize me all you want for saying it, but I am ashamed to be an American in this year 2014. I find little, if anything, to be proud of.

I originally posted this poem here on the blog on January 30th 2014. It was the most viewed of all my blogs to date, attracting 164 visitors and 211 views. That took me by surprise. At that time, as a new blogger with a meager number of followers, I hadn’t reckoned with that kind of response. I wrote the poem in 1984 in contemplation of the tragedy of Lennon’s assassination four years earlier. It’s not a very good poem, just a simple statement that addresses a profound point of view. I wish that I had never had a reason to write it, but then that is the same kind of wishful thinking that Lennon so brilliantly expressed in his song Imagine. We can dream, but realistically, we are not going to have peace and not going to eliminate violence in our world. Not anytime soon. Certainly not in our lifetimes, and perhaps not ever. That realization is also obscene.

In re-posting the poem this time I have added a photo of John Lennon signing autographs in New York sometime in the 1970’s. It is an actual original photo. I bought it, along with eight others in the early 1990’s from a collector of Beatles memorabilia. Unfortunately I do not know whom to credit the photo to as there was no information written on the back. I do believe though that there is a good chance that it has never been published and that perhaps you are seeing it here for the first time, but then I might be wrong about that. At any rate I have never seen it published anywhere. So, I retreat into my European evening here now, sadly remembering where I was and how I felt when I first heard the tragic news on that very black day in December 1980. The world was robbed of a great talent and life once again revealed its intrinsic unfairness. The good all too often die young and for no good reason. Rest in peace Johnny, we hardly knew ya…

000 Guns LennonPhoto taken in New York City sometime in the 1970’s by an unknown photographer.


© 2014 nightpoet all rights reserved

Categories: Music, Perspective, Photography | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “GUNS – FOR JOHN LENNON

  1. It is a terrible thing to feel ashamed of your country, but I applaud your saying it. I am British, but I too am ashamed of the British involvement in the war in Iraq, despite millions of us protesting on the streets of London and other cities. I am deeply disturbed by our attitude to refugees and asylum seekers – it is immoral and inhumane. Everything is reduced to finance. The powerful know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Thanks for the posts. Keep writing.

    • Thanks for your comment and your insights Steve. Yes, it is a terrible thing to feel ashamed of one’s country, even more so because I love what it once stood for. The United States was never perfect, what country is, but it held a hope and a promise that gave millions a chance for a new and more productive life. I left 34 years ago to escape the violence of a society armed to the teeth. I saw then that the proliferation of weapons and violence would never end, only get worse. I went first to England and then to Germany, two places where the population weren’t walking around heavily armed and constantly locked and loaded. I felt safe there. In America I saw the creeping threat of conservative pseudo-Christian intolerance spread throughout a country that began placing its priorities only in greed, power and the acquisition of wealth, not for the benefit of all, but only for the few. I saw the American dream hijacked and then destroyed by Right Wing terrorists whose only interest was and is in themselves, a selfish, compassion-less attitude that throws the poor, the elderly, the needy, the minorities, the unemployed, the uninsured and those who are simply different under the bus. That is not the America that was intended by its founders and not the America that was of the people, for the people and by the people.

      Over half of the citizens of the United States today are perfectly satisfied with the direction in which the Conservatives are moving the country. They are too stupid, too blind and too brainwashed to see that America is no longer a democracy, but a corporate bought and owned oligarchy, a plutocratic theocratic fascist farce that will ground the middle classes into the filth of Conservative pseudo-Christian philosophy, destroy the environment for the sake of a dollar and take education, science and free intellectual thought back into the Dark Ages. My country has become ignorant and obscene. And although I love the principles upon which it was founded and supposedly exists, I am firstly, not a fool and secondly, not afraid to stand up and shout that I am ashamed to be an American. I am glad that my time isn’t long, for I do not envy the world our children will inherit…

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