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

A Thought for Today

The wolf that stops to measure the distance goes hungry.


Rod is in his producer mode today and working at the studio. He’s mastering two new CD’s for Stanyan that will be released by Varése Sarabande in time for Christmas.

Details of Rod's next appearance can be obtained by following the link below.

"Tap Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman

notable birthdays David Arquette o Ann Beattie o Hillary Brooke o Sid Caesar o Patsy Cline o Christopher Connelly o Denise Darcel o Peter Maxwell Davies o Howard Dietz o Christoph von Dohnanyi o Antonin Dvorak o Euell Gibbons o Alfred Jarry (Uba Roi) o Grace Metalias o Claude Pepper o Pink o Richard the Lionhearted o Jimmie Rodgers o Harry Secombe o Peter Sellers o Robert A. Taft o Heather Thomas o Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Rod's random thoughts What I want is not to be held accountable for what I said today, or yesterday, so that my tomorrows can stay open. Fat chance.

Don’t go yet, there’s got to be some seacoast we’ve not seen. Hold on to me and we’ll go flying through the spring.

I presume that International Harvester can take its proper credit for bales of straw and wheat. But man must not forget who fostered love and fed it. He did.


Boardwalks run, turn,
zig-zag, rise and fall
all across the island,
not connected town to town
starting somewhere,
      ending somewhere.

            within each village
but never wide or long enough
to span the island
            end to end.

If you would travel
that long island’s length,
a surer roadway
           is the sea’s edge.

One boardwalk
threading through the Pines
stops abruptly at a thicket
made of gnarled oak
                     and pine
              and unnamed vine.

Beyond the boardwalk
lies the meatrack
where no auction
           can be found.
A give-away’s in progress
                    day or night.

On afternoons
the seekers are at liberty
to choose the right one
first time out.

Not even moonlight
penetrates the trees
when evening comes
as each man
gropes his way to heaven
slowly, stealthily -
silent till he’s finally free.

Beyond the meatrack
there’s the Grove,
houses clustered like
the meatrack men.

A little friendlier
these citizens
within the grove,
certainly not as circumspect
as all the other villagers
in all the other villages
take care to be.

The Grove displays
the only palace made of ice
that doesn’t melt in summer
and yet the skaters
on the dance floor
melt into each other
like proud disappearing puddles.

I haven’t gone
beyond the Grove.
My daily trips for mail
between the Pines and Grove
are walk enough.

I’ve all the shells
and hard round stones
that I might need
and yet I look each day
for starfish dead and dried,
colored glass when Juan
or Eddie walk with me.

Edward’s lately taken to Juanito
so I continue on with Juan
or go at sunrise on my own.

Next year I’ll travel
to the sunken forest
and maybe farther still
for now I stay content
on my one mile of beach.

Larry’s clamming on the bayside.
Laura meets the ferry
and fetches for both of us
the New York Times,
I camp still beside the sea
devoid of any rhymes.

As September starts to shrivel,
and the island closes up,
I’m content to search the seaside
taking colored glass to Juan,
long thin shells to Larry,
round flat stones for Eddie
and for laughing Laura
love within the plainest shell
that missed the scavenger
and sea scout’s eye.

-from “Beyond the Boardwalk,” 1975

© 1975, 1979, 1991, 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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