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Photo by Bob Gentry 2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

Love includes knowing when to keep your mouth shut even if it hurts.


No man wants the hidden hand of anything to be his pilot. He should set out on some journeys with only maps of his own choosing; no compass but the one he carries in his head. Should he then sail beyond the earth's edge it will be his business only. 

At times I try to chronicle my life with the sea. I am not in love with any one ocean - it would be hard for me to decide whether I like the light blue water off the coast of Greece, the deep azure color found along the coast of Mexico or the blue-black water off Fire Island best. Oceans are oceans and they draw me. 

         - adapted from the introduction to "The Sea Around Me", 1971

Details of Rod's upcoming concerts and appearances can be obtained via the link below:

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays Tom Arnold o Elizabeth Barrett Browning o Marion Barry o Sarah Caldwell o Gordon Cooper o Lou Costello o Candy Darling o Jay C. Flippen o Alan Greenspan o Murray Head o Rochelle Hudson o Karyn Kupcinet o Ring Lardner o Ella Logan o Lorin Maazel o Gabriel Garcia Marquez o Ed McMahon o Michelangelo o Joanna Miles o Ben Murphy o Hal Needham o Shaquille O'Neal o Rob Reiner o Julius Rudel o Stephen Schwartz o Willie Stargell o Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Rod's random thoughts Women young or old need liberation from men's conception of them.

Every year should have an extra day, just to throw away.

The laws God made for us mean nothing without application.


It's only the rope
finally uncoiling,
the glacier melting at last.
It's only the wind
licking its fingers.
The bird in silent prayer.
The mudlark down
by the rivers edge
helping to build the farm.

Only the boatman
crossing the river,
passengers arriving
at The Isle of the Dead.
The derelict hanging out
at the station
thinking God lives
in package stores,
grocery shops.

It's only the boy
who promised forever
losing you in his
soft blue eyes.
Only the dustman
emptying cans.
A little band
at the corner playing
beautiful, difficult lullabies.

Only the miracle
you always prayed for
but certainly didn't expect.
It's only the lovers
down in the park
giving their summer performance.
Only the girl
with blood stained eyes
saying the song is over.

It's only the roadway
still unpaved
with holes the size
of empty pockets.
Only the locket
you lost or pawned
with nobody's picture
still inside of it
struggling to get free.
Only the spout
of the teakettle whistling,
holding the cup
and saucer hostage.
It's only the cats eye
fixed on a hen
with spangled plumage,
a red hat on
and no party to attend.

It's only the artichoke
pealed by experts
dropped in the gutter
and sailing beyond
the neighborhood corner,
the edge of the world.
It's only the sound
of the head exploding.

It's only erosion
having its way,
invisible algae eating the sea,
having The State
for bed and breakfast.
Only the melon
being recalled
back to Detroit for repairs.
Nothing but Armageddon.

It's only the shadows
turning to substance
as darkness shudders
and closes its hand.
The eye of the hurricane blackened.
Only the beast
you keep in the basement
coming topside for air.

A messenger only
coming from heaven
to shore up our dreams
and take us away.

Speak in a softer language.
Smile without showing your tongue.
It's only me
on a Thursday evening
coming to you
with a bright smile on..

                              - from "Valentines," 1986
1970, 1986, 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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