A Glass Onion

John B. Lee asked me to write a poem about the Beatles for an anthology. So here is. (it will be published on on upcoming issue of Pirene’s Fountain – A Journal of Poetry And Window Fishing(An anthology in 2014)

Hopefully it could make a song as well


Well, John, you must understand
I was a little girl then
behind walls of silence
in a remote town at the far East.
Skipping stones on a soundless river,
I have missed ripples of the outer world for decades.

Now your loyal fans fill me in with your legends.
They regret that the ruthless bullet took your life.
Yet looking through a glass onion,
everything is still there, your music, your love.
and Hello, Goodbye..
I cannot help but cry.

John, I have arrived-
not only in your songs, but also in your epic world.
Yet thirty years have passed,
I open an enormous clam,
no pearl left, neither Mr. Moonlight.
I cannot help but cry.

Through the strawberry fields,
upon the bent backed tulips
into the other half lives
the long and winding road
across the universe
love me do, love me do
I see a fool on the hill
trying to make a dove-tail joint…

Looking through a glass onion,
everything is still there,
your music, your love…
I cannot help but cry.

italic lines are from Beatles’ songs



(I got a lot of good feedback for this poem… this one, I love the best, so I post it here…


I am really struck by the image of the stone on water as it is mirrored by the glass onion. The surface movement calls up the layers of an onion as if the layers of a world and a self. There was a longing to touch these layers in childhood but a poignant sense of distance from them. Now the ripples go deep. And such his music has, I take it, done for you. That is a rich creative association that will stick with me.