Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001
Stanyan Entertainment Group
A Thought for Today
Love works best when we don’t work at it.
I’m sure today’s Flight Plan
will be a bit different than what you have come to expect from me on
Saturdays. Based on the number of hits this Website receives Saturday is
one of our slowest days and that makes it an ideal day to introduce what
might become a new feature.
A LOVE LETTER UNSENT
Last Saturday when I published
a new poem entitled “To One Absent” I had no way of knowing the kind of
mail it would generate. It was taken very personally by many and they read
into it different things. That’s, of course, the way it should be. A poem
is only what each reader believes it is, nothing more.
It did start me to thinking, however. Lately the same situation that
inspired ‘To One Absent” has caused me to begin writing love letters that
may never be seen by the one for whom they are intended. It’s all too
complicated to get into but I thought if the poem could touch people in
ways that are meaningful to them perhaps I might let go of a few of the
not too personal to be printed letters I’m writing. You’ll find one such
letter at the end of this flight plan.
But first, here are excerpts from some of the e-mails I received
concerning “To One Absent.” Since many letters were very personal I am not
including the names of the authors I’ve quoted.
“My husband was a POW for four years in Vietnam. I
wish I could have sent him your poem then, but we shared it over a glass
of wine tonight. Better late…”
“In your poem, are you talking about this life, or the next one?”
“In “To One Absent” you have told the story this woman is going through at
this very moment. It started in a chat room, soon we were IM’ing and
finally exchanging telephone calls. I love him and I am sure he is in love
with me. Both of us are in unhappy relationships and your words said it
all for us.”
I am a 21-year-old man going to college and I am in love with another man.
This is the first time I have said it out loud or written about it to
anyone. “The One” I love is gay too, but nothing has happened between the
two of us. I am pretty sure he knows my feelings but is afraid to become
involved in case someone here at school finds out. Your poem “To One
Absent” made me realize that time is passing and I don’t want to miss the
chance to get to know this beautiful man better.”
“Oh My God. This verse, almost entirely, is one so fitting. Just spent the
evening with The One. The One and his wife. Before ya' think the 'usual',
we're all friends...in friend terms only. I've known him since I was 5.
Her? Since high school when we all met. "He" was never "him" to me, we had
one date in all those years. They've been married "forever".
She's an invalid; though bright/alert, she's always been an inspiration to
me. Her spirit, her wit, her being. Her health has worsened recently. She
now has the use of only one arm. He is devoted to her/cares for her daily.
She asks me to come to dinner to visit. Her "friends" have abandoned her.
Most of her family has died.
He and I see each other in an entirely new light...guarded, but deeply
into each other. Yep, I'm setting myself up for heartache, but, they both
need a friend. I've not had such good fortune seeking my own intimate
friend for any length of time, and I'm not
giving up. But, for now, He, The One Absent, has my heart, and doesn't
even know it. This situation is about as complex as it can get.”
“Your poem that is in today’s Flight Plan is really beautiful and has a
special meaning as I read it. At first I thought it an extension to an
“The One” lives next door. She doesn’t know I love her and although we are
both widowers I am afraid to let her know my true feelings because I don’t
want to ruin our friendship. Occasionally I think she understands, but the
closest we have come to a date is a weekly Bingo game.”
“She” sits two seats in front of me in HomeRoom. Last year I knew she was
flunking out so I figured out a way to stay in the same grade too. Call it
“puppy love” but it is love. I printed out your poem and let her think it
was from me. She smiled a very big smile and so maybe there is a future
for us. If something more develops, I’ll let you know.“
"I just wanted
to tell you what a beautiful poem To One Absent is. It reminds me of
someone dear to me and I know I will read it many, many times. Thank you
for sharing your new poem with us.”
“Dear Rod, I
just read your flight plan for today and had to comment on the beautiful
poem "To One Absent". It had special meaning for me and is truly one of
your best. I have followed you for over 4 decades, have seen you in
concert 4 times, most recently in Aurora. Don't know what I'd do without
ASPTL to look forward to each day.”
“I read with
much interest your flight plan of today and the new poem blew me away. My
first thought was that it was unbelievably kind just as was your poem
almost a year ago about (name deleted). I'm not sure if you meant the poem
for --- or not. Of course every woman you hugged that Sunday morning in
Aurora can also imagine that the poem is for her.”
“Oh Rod, this new poem is so beautiful. I don't ever recall that you have
written a love poem about being with and loving some one *always.* ....
*always* means forever ”
met once Rod and it was a Iong time ago. I have always wondered if you
remembered me but after reading your poem today I am satisfied that you
wrote it especially for me”
From Jay, of course I got a more practical and useful opinion.
“I liked the poem for today. Very simple and
straight to the heart. But you need to have someone proofread your stuff
for you. To think of you and know that one day' (comma) some day, some
and the pillow (you I) hold to me (is this right ?) throughout the whole
Thanks Jay, I needed that.
the Lensic" benefit appearance in Santa Fe just announced.
Booking for "An Evening with
Rod McKuen" at the Riverton Rendezvous is open! Click below for
Concert & Appearance Details