Thank You, John Lennon: or, Budgies and Bumblebees

I’ve been writing all my life. Well, at least since I was 12 years old. I’ve been published in local papers, poetry and literary journals, magazines, business publications, and I even wrote a couple of film scripts for businesses and was a successful resume writer for a while. Hey, it’s all writing–right?

I’m currently working on my first book. It’s been a fascinating if grueling experience, and I am stoked to actually be doing it. But what I’m most grateful for is the boost up into the writer’s seat. You see, I began writing due to an innocent misunderstanding, and I owe it to John Lennon for the kick start.

I was the typical Beatles fan. Loved them all. Yeah yeah yeah’d all over the place. But when John Lennon published In His Own Write in 1964, I was blown away. And when A Spaniard in the Works came out in 1965, the world opened up for me. One of John’s poems in particular inspired me. The Fat Budgie rocked my preteen world. And I thought, wow, if John Lennon can write like this, surely I can too. I have no idea why I thought I could write as well as John, but write a poem I did.

Here’s John’s poem:

The Fat Budgie
by John Lennon

I have a little budgie
He is my very pal
I take him walks in Britain
I hope I always shall.

I call my budgie Jeffrey
My grandads name’s the same
I call him after grandad
Who had a feathered brain.

Some people don’t like budgies
The little yellow brats
They eat them up for breakfast
Or give them to their cats.

My uncle ate a budgie
It was so fat and fair.
I cried and called him Ronnie
He didn’t seem to care.

Although his name was Arthur
It didn’t mean a thing.
He went into a pet shop
And ate up everything.

The doctors looked inside him,
To see what they could do,
But he had been too greedy
And died just like a zoo.

My Jeffrey chirps and twitters
When I walk into the room,
I make him scrambled egg on toast
And feed him with a spoon.

He sings like other budgies
But only when in trim
But most of all on Sunday
Thats when i plug him in.

He flies about the room sometimes
And sits upon my bed
And if he’s really happy
He does it on my head.

He’s on a diet now you know
From eating far too much
They say if he gets fatter
He’ll have to wear a crutch.

It would be funny wouldn’t it
A budgie on a stick
Imagine all the people
Laughing til they’re sick.

So that’s my budgie Jeffrey
Fat and yellow too
I love him more than daddie
And I’m only thirty-two.

And my gallant attempt at imitating John:

My Purple Bumblebee
by Karen Wright

I have a purple bumblebee
It buzzes round and round.
It buzzes round every tree
and buzzes round the ground.

My purple bumblebee was ill
Until he came to me.
I gave him jabs and a purple pill
To make him purple like me.

My bumblebee is three feet two
When standing on his feet.
Whenever he does something new
I slap him on his seat.

He buzzes every day at noon
And never, ever stops.
He makes the girls laugh and swoon
Someday I’ll call the cops.

My bumblebee is good and fat.
He eats and never ceases.
Once he caught a big red rat
And tore the thing to pieces.

I feed my bee potatoes and pork.
But alas! He likes it most of all
When I feed him with a fork–
That’s when he has a real ball.

My purple bumblebee does tricks
And pretty good, I must say, too.
He picks up purple elm tree sticks
And ties his purple shoe.

He laughs at me every day
And he never, ever fails.
When making honey, by the way,
It always comes out in pails.

My bumblebee’s name is Leroy Sin.
He sits on his perch for hours.
Monday’s he never lets me in.
That’s when he takes his showers.

My purple bumblebee and me
Live in a glass-bottomed shoe.
I love my purple bumblebee
I love him through and through.

Not horrible for a 12 year-old. It got me started, and I eventually discovered my voice, which has gratefully never been heard by any fat budgies or purple bumblebees that I know of. If John hadn’t written those two books, I may never have been inspired to write. Writing has been the mind blowing, chakra melting experience of my life. Thank you, John, wherever you are.

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