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A Thought for Today

Friendship is not a substitute for loving, it is an amplification.


For some time now I've been concerned that certain elements of "A Safe Place to Land" have become difficult for readers to find. As Rod mentioned in the Flight Plan on Saturday, we've added a number of new sections over the past few years and getting to them quickly, without having to dig through various menu items, has become something of a problem.

Starting today, readers now have the option of getting an overview of the site via a Site Map. This is merely a list (together with links) of almost all the pages on the site, condensed onto one easy to read page. I use the word almost advisedly because it's pretty difficult listing nearly three years worth of daily Flight Plans on one single page but at least you'll be able to get to the top levels of the Archive section a lot faster than in the past.

I'm not convinced I've remembered to include everything on the map but as Rod would say, it's "a work in progress". Please drop me a line if there's anything obvious missing and I'll add it straight away.

Check it out here - Site Map - or you can use the new link on the home page.

Dearest Ken,

Happy New year to you and yours.

Yes, I love those poems you mentioned last week, and almost better than any I adore "The Art Of Catching Trains" which Rod printed this week.

But there is one poem which leaves me breathless and I guess it is because it is such an open declaration and celebration of love.

So much of Rod's poetry is about losing love, and is introspective. Maybe that is why we all relate so much to him. Rod speaks our pain for us. He says what we would say if we knew how. He is the voice of our secret heart ...our deepest yearning.

Then, when a poem appears that is so joyous, that is a celebratory hymn, well... for me it simply takes my breath away..... though I am on record as saying I have never liked the last line *smile*. This poem, more than any other, is the one I would want to have the man I loved write for me. It's a mystical experience.

I don't recall you printing it before so please........ for the first reader's choice for the new millennium, could you please print
"Morning, Three" ..... I rise up singing from your belly.


Ah, Coral, trust you to come up with one of the best and a very Happy New Year back to you!

Pulling out the words for "Morning, Three" was an interesting exercise. I originally turned to the book "Seasons in the Sun" only to discover that, as is the case with a number of McKuen pieces, this version had been re-worked and was presented here in abbreviated form.

"Lonesome Cities" gave me the full version which I'm pretty sure is the one you're referring to. And for those who think the best way of experiencing Rod's poetry is to hear him recite it, you'll find a terrific version on the album of the same name, only this time entitled "Church Windows". 

Thanks for a great start the the new year, Coral. If you have a favorite McKuen song or poem you'd like to share, drop me a line at ken@mckuen.com and I'll do the rest.

                                 - Ken, Johannesburg, January 10

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

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays Ethan Allen o Pat Benatar o Ray Bolger o Francis X. Bushman o Shawn Colvin o Jim Croce o George Foreman o Paul Henreid o Robinson Jeffers o Linda Lovelace o Giselle MacKenzie o Willie McCovey o Sherrill Milnes o Sal Mineo o Johnnie Ray o Max Roach o Craig Russell o Frank Sinatra, Jr. o Rod Stewart o Rodger Ward
Rod's random thoughts If there is panic in my eyes, it is surrounded by curiosity.

In feeling there is recognition and resignation.

Believe in everything and you know nothing completely.


I rise up singing from your belly,
like some glad keeper of the palace swans
content to serve your navel
as an acolyte would serve his unseen God
and take your perspiration as communion.

Rolling now together in our bedroom world
we'll map out elbows and each other's backs.
There are some parts of you
              that have no highways.
Hairy forests cover even well-worn paths
but every forest has it's own surprises
and the hiker coming through the glade
can only marvel as Columbus would
at sailing past the old world's edge.

Volcanoes now erupting
down below your belly
are saying that your breakfast
                is past due.
Orange juice then
or coffee brioche
or one more gentle feeding mouth to mouth.
I'll wash the sleep from off your eyes
and rub myself in shoulder smells
and touch your back from top to bottom
too happy to remember other backs.

Back into the forest
to lose myself and find myself
and fall back dying once again
in your arms only,
and wound your breasts
with new hands one more time.

The day gone or going
we'll bus from room to room
and I'll protest the eyes of furniture
             or flowers
or everything that looks at you but me.

I like the bed unmade.
It smells like each of us in turn
and each of us together.
I know the telephone
is crying for attention.
A minute more.
It's not the telephone at all
but celebrations of a brand-new kind
ringing from the watching walls.

Look at us.
It doesn't matter any more.
You like my weight and too fast breath
              and smile in disbelief.
I'm smiling too.
I've yet to think of last week's friend
or Julie Andrews' face. 

                                 - from "Lonesome Cities", 1967

1967, 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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