Skip to main content

A Poem to Imagine: Instructions on How to Change the World

A former family therapist, Mark is an author, humorist, poet, and short-story writer who enjoys a good comedy.


The Most Underrated Beatle

The most underrated Beatle was Yoko Ono. ( I know what you're thinking. She really wasn't a Beatle, but listen to my logic.)

She inspired John Lennon to pursue his dreams of becoming a solo artist, to be more than just a Beatle. With Yoko's help, he fulfilled this dream by writing the most important song of our generation, "Imagine." Its beautiful words conjure up a world at peace without barriers, divisions, and attachments to material possessions.

It was Yoko's language and vision that he channeled. Her inspiration went into the song "Imagine," believing that peace and love can exist, but first it has to be in our imagination. Check out Yohn & Yoko's documentary "Above Us Only Sky" for more of Yoko's influence on John's thought process.

As a child, Yoko was a war survivor and it was her imagination that helped her and her brother survive Japan's devastation.

I honor Yoko's legacy as a creative who saw the world and ourselves in a different light. What better book to express that than "Grapefruit," which inspired me to pen this poem called "Instructions on How to Change the World."

Enjoy the poem and the video.

Instructions on How to Change the World


Go to grandma’s house on Saturday

Help her make tuna salad

Chop one small onion and allow yourself to cry

Put kindness into the mixing bowl

Wait for the eggs to boil

And dream of giving

a sandwich to every hungry child.


Dust off your bongos

Call a friend

Invite her to walk with you

Keep tapping the hand drum

while she dances around you,

singing “Yellow Submarine”

Pretty soon the world will follow.


Hop on one leg

Switch to the other

Try it while bouncing a ball

Do it until it becomes natural

and have a smile on your face.


Get a bike with a banana seat

that says peace and love

Make sure it has rainbow streamers

and baseball cards on the wheel spokes

Invite others to do the same

And soon everyone will

ride bikes with banana seats.


Imagine your arms can stretch

above the sky,

all the way to nirvana

While your hands are above the clouds,

take pictures of the people

who now live in heaven

and give the photographs to their family.


Dial a random number on your phone

and wish that person peace

Ask him or her to call one other person

and say the same words

Imagine a world full of people

wishing each other peace,

opening up their hearts.

© 2021 Mark Tulin

Related Articles