John Lennon’s “God”


“What can I say”––this song Lennon wrote is 

For bodies returned from wandering

Underworld forests, invisible cosmic seas.

The “Don’t believe” command riff,

The “I don’t believe in ... ” confessional lick––

I’ll cop it for you right now.


Don’t believe in coastlines. Don’t believe in Google.

Don’t believe in FISA. I don’t believe in Al Qaeda.

I don’t believe in the irrelevance of the many for the few.

Don’t believe foul-garbed mystery, cheeky haggard vagary,

Slick talking certainty, unclean knavery.

Don’t believe gridlock. Don’t believe in data.

I don’t believe in stagnation. Don’t believe in torture.


And then there was the parade of selves carousing

Through the “now I’m John” section.

Then came the “dream is over” coda, it’s

Proclamation of holy sentience––


“God is a concept by which we measure our pain”––

A sentence some deny makes any sense at all,

Yet that most naked & penetrating voice is there––

Ferryman John––soul carrier across the river

That splits off the worlds of the living,

Cutting off any last excuse to not finding yourself.



2 November 2013



[Published in The Groundless Ground: Poems 2010-2014.

© 2014 by Jim Cohn.]




The Groundless Ground: Poems 2010-2014
(MAP Publications, 2014)