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Photo by Bob Gentry ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

One of the surest signs of growing up is forgetting and forgiving old quarrels.

 

Long before the trees begin to bud, before the new grass starts to roll with the curvature of the hill and spread out evenly on the common, a certain uneasiness, a kind of insecurity arrives one morning or maybe just at dusk. It presents itself, moves in and settles in. Not unkind, not troublesome, this uncertainly is more an itch - a harbinger that finally scratched enough boils into the apple blossom.

The thrower of the seeds lets go his kernels in mid-March. The early April rain cooperates. Later on the lilac trees are all so heavy that their boughs bend low and nearly break. The prairie dog sits up and calls from mound to mound... a high pitched squeak that all his brothers answer. New pinafores for Sunday school. New patent leather shoes for Easter.

The May pole dance. Lost balloons begin to decorate the inside branches of trees. The song of the Wandering Angus is lived out and sung. The plainest of us begin to feel beautiful again... and the fever deepens.

-from "A Book of Days and A Month of Sundays," 1981

Forty-four years ago I was part of an album named after a poem I wrote called “The Yellow Unicorn,” one of the other selections in the album was entitled “Third Avenue.” It’s a riff I wrote that was never meant to be read, only heard. I keep getting requests from those who ask for it in print and so for better or worse I’m publishing it today. 

Don’t forget to drop in tomorrow for Webmaster Ken’s "This One Does It For Me". Sleep warm.

RM 5/7/01

It's taken some time but finally we're delighted to announce the posting of a selection of photographs from both the Thousand Oaks and Aurora concerts. You can reach them via the link below.

Concert Photographs

notable birthdays

Victorie Day (1945) France

John Anderson, Jr. o John Attenborough o Agustus Bakos o Lex Barker o Peter Benchley o Sybil Brand o Fernandel o Romain Gary o Melissa Gilbert o Gary Glitter o Carolyn Horchow o Enrique Iglesias o Salome Jens o Sonny Liston o Rick Nelson o Thomas Pynchon o Don Rickles o Roberto Rossellini o Bishop Fulton Sheen o Theodore Sorenson o Toni Tennille o Harry S. Truman o Sloan Wilson

Rod's random thoughts If your passions enslave you, expect to be governed by them.

Vanity is much preferred to laundry scrubbed in public square.

We are today – tomorrow, not what tomorrow brings.

THIRD AVENUE

At long last... the rain is over
                              and a little wind 
is blowing across Third Avenue
and whoever lives above me
              has stopped pacing around.

I never knew much about Third Avenue 
                                              before.
Only that there was once 
an overhead electric train
              that gave a element of mystery
and too many taxis
and more young men procuring on the street
                      than women.
And on every block...
       at least one old lady or old man
leaning bored out of a third story window.

I never knew too much about Third
but now I live here...
       above a delicatessen
       up the street from P.J. Clark’s.

And every night about this time
       New York is a summer festival
of drunks and cabbies 
and pretty girls and bums
        and assorted night people.

A big giant meat rack
running through the city
                               like a great acne
running over a young boy’s face.

Lots of little adventures going on.

Me? Oh... I’ve had New York 
type adventures.
When I first came here
I thought it was groovy to ride subways...
               only I never got anyplace.

One time I met a girl 
feeding birds in the park.
She was a real pretty girl.
                                     but...

I’ll bet you think my first purchase
       when I came to town
              was a copy of Q
              or a subway schedule
              or the In and Out book.

Uh-uh... I bought a book of crossword 
puzzles and a portable radio
               and tried to get to the beach.
        Only... it’s sorta complicated.

One time I went to this bar in dungarees
and when I finished my first beer
the waiter put another one in front of me.
He kept buying and I kept on drinking
till he told me if I left...
        so would a lot of his customers
               who’d been eyeing me.

I took a look at some of the customers
        and got the hell out of there.

Boy... sometimes 
it really gets hot in New York.
You gotta sleep without sheets
        and drink lots of water
and keep your mind off the girls 
in the doorways.

Tomorrow I’m going to join a gym
and start taking guitar lessons
and try to find somebody.

I wonder what’s going on back home?
Sometimes I miss California.

Only... there’s always something 
happening on Third Avenue.
I live here now... this is home.

-from the album “The Yellow Unicorn,” 1957

© 1957, 1981, 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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