FLIGHT FROM THE PAST
5 September, 1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rod in action at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001. 
Photograph courtesy Jay Hagan.

A Thought for Today

Hedonism is humanism on drugs. 

 

Rod is on the road for a couple of weeks and will be back with you sometime during August.

PLAN FOUR

It rained today. All day. Everything was the sound of rain. Children laughing in the streets, police whistles, cars splashing mud at one another - even the music on the radio sounded like the rain.

Tonight the stormís fatigued enough to stop. Or itís resting only long enough to catch a second breath. Earlier I walked down past the railway station. Sometimes on rainy nights I forgot Iím in a foreign country.

Itís about twelve thirty now, nearly everybodyís gone to bed. The rainís a barrier. A good excuse for going out, a better one for staying home.

How odd it is that we need make excuses to ourselves for odd behavior, like staying home and in one room. Or walking straight ahead into the stormís most inner eye.

Often I think rooms are the only safe places left. Garret rooms, changing rooms and bedrooms as opposed to ballrooms and waiting rooms and auditoriums. Rooms to climb into, change in and finally rooms where sleep comes easy. A room within a room would be the safest place of all. An interior hiding place where only those with proper maps and charts could find you.

Loving sunshine, I have lately been as satisfied beneath skylights as I have beneath stars. Only the rain worries me. I worry that it wonít come. I worry that it will.

I am not a rainmaker. For shaping rain or making it, I have no plan. But I promise you that silent rooms are much preferred to those that jog and jostle you to boredom and to death.

- from "Celebrations of the Heart", 1973

Rod McKuen concert and appearance details can be obtained via the link below.

Concert & Appearance Details

notable birthdays Lucille Ball o Peter Bonerz o David Campbell o Leo Carrillo o Paul Claudel o Sir Alexander Fleming o Soleil Moon Frye o Hoot Gibson o Geri Estelle Halliwell o Becky Laird o Sir Freddie Laker o Abbey Lincoln o Andy Messersmith o Robert Mitchum o Chloe Nel o Louella Parsons o David Robinson o Daryl Somers o Ella Raines o Jon Benet Ramsey o M. Knight Shyamalan o Alfred Lord Tennyson o Andy Warhol o Michelle Yeoh
Rod's random thoughts Prayer works.

Talent without perseverance is a long way from anywhere.

Security can be an invitation to indolence.

RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

The horses would run
down the field
                and scatter.
Let out to pasture
they’d frisk like children
when the bell rings three
and the school doors open.

At night
they’d all be back again,
coming to the barn
slow and single file.

When I didn’t
chase the horses
           out to pasture
I’d go swimming in the reservoir
off beyond the other side of town,
or sit above a certain pond
tossing pebbles at the water
just to see the circles form,
                        widen
and then disappear.

One day coming home
I saw a farmer
pissing by the road.
His balls hung down
          below his hand
and looked so heavy
that I began to run
for no apparent reason.
I didn’t stop
until I reached
the safety of my room.

Home again,
I pulled the shade
and got down from the bureau
my Sunday School coloring book.
Having chewed my brown crayola
just the day before,
I had no choice
but to color Jesus Christ’s hair
                                       yellow.

I made his robes all green
and having no green left
to paint the shrubbery
outlined black
against the stark white sky.
I left it as it was.
The same held true
for all the fishes
and the bread.

On Sunday next
my painting
was the best in class
and to this day
it’s still the best one
that I ever colored.

That Sunday
and afterward as well
I started taking
a different road home
bypassing my favored pond,
not even going near
                 the reservoir.

Some time later
I learned to paint
          by numbers
but no one ever cared
as much for anything
I ever colored up
as the first
yellow headed Jesus Christ.

"Inspired," the Deacon said.
Even now it’s hanging
in the rectory.

                                - from "And To Each Season", 1972

 
© 1972, 1978, 1998, 2000 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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