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Flight Plan

1 June 1998











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Photo by Bob Gentry ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

All life is imagery, but imagery is seldom life.


We’re now a few days into our 4th year here at A Safe Place to Land. While the site went up the 29th of April 1998, the first Flight Plan wasn’t posted till a month later on June 1st. 

The opening prose section was used in the album “Pastorale” and is an excerpt from “Fields of Wonder.” I like it because of the way the words hang together. The last sentence has been quoted often. 

The poem “To the Memory of Stan Kamen has not been one of my more noticed or praised works but from my own point of view it is one of the most successful pieces of poetry I have ever written. It is about the afterlife of creativity and consists of nine verses of six lines each. It is formal without being formal, has no rhymes but rhymes in the head while being read.

Pastures Green / Pavements Grey 

Fields take cultivation, but it must come slow, unhurried by the tractor tread. Good farmers don't harass the ground until the ground is ready. And just as only experts have the means to teach us hate, farming is an art form too. So whether planting love or lima beans the thoughtful man goes carefully down his furrows. 

- from "Fields of Wonder", 1970

Don’t forget to join Ken tomorrow for his first “This One Does it for Me” as we begin our fourth year.

RM 5/1/2001

notable birthdays John Berardino o Calamity Jane o Scott Carpenter o Steve Cauthen o Judy Collins o Rita Coolidge o Danielle Darrieux o Duke of Wellington o Glenn Ford o Joseph Heller o Sonny James o Joanna Lumley o Tim McGraw o Tad Mosel o Dan O'Herlihy o Jack Paar o Millie Perkins o Barb Porter o Winthrop Rockefeller o Kate Smith o Terry Southern o John Woo
Rod's random thoughts Avoid self-pity. But sorrow can be the school of intelligence.

If faith were enough, we'd all be monks.

I desire to meet God in this life so that I might keep an open mind for the next.


Anton Webern died today.
on the gramophone he fell
in the second measure of a tune
not composed by him or heard
by the multitude who gathered
at the bedside of some lesser man.

Amy Lowell’s been split in half–
first the lightening, then the rain.
Public domain might have killed her
but it never came to that.
Lay a wreath outside the garden
made of wheat and not of chaff.

Unknown soldier falling forward
onto ground still hard, uncracked,
bullets have no names upon them,
their mark is found by accident.
In the nest the mother stretches
but still feeds every open mouth.

George Brassens’ guitar is missing,
don’t set out to find the thief.
Every day some music’s stolen
every hour some muse departs.
What’s the use of wondering whether
art is simple; even art.

Anaîs Nin has ceased to scribble
life and times in common book;
turn your eyes toward horizons
you might have seen but haven’t yet.
The morning’s post is late again,
he letter edged in black, unsent.

Ansel Adams’ shutter’s silent
as quiet as the hills he climbed.
Time’s the winner in all races
even those against the times.
Another log on one more fire
so the torch will stay alight.

Franz Schubert has stopped pacing
schoolyards where his music wafted
from the student bands at practice
on the symphonies he made.
Only March, and here’s the first rose
budding up from frozen ground.

Cheerio Meredith's gone away,
no forwarding address of note.
The actress melts into the scene
and gives the background body parts.
Friends still drop by unexpected,
add an onion to the stew

The end of every day leaves something
if only the promise of another.
Even gates now rusted shut
keep yards behind them safe.
Imagine what might not have been
if those we love had never been.

-from “Intervals,” 1986 

© 1970, 1986, 1998, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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