SOME OF THE BEST
18 February, 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

I never got lost in love, that’s where I find myself.

 

WRITING A POEM

When someone asks me how long it took to write a particular poem I ask what year it was published, and even if I used up only hours to commit the words to paper I add the life I've lived to the point of publication, and give that as my answer.

My poems of ten years ago are different from the ones I write today. The work I do tomorrow will be miles apart from that done yesterday. My seasons in the sun ahead are not as many as they could be. Nonetheless they will be lived out fully - as full as I know how to make them. For me no day is complete unless I've written a few words about it. I trust my notebook more and my memory less each hour.

-TresVidas, Mexico, 1974

- adapted from the Introduction to Seasons in the Sun, 1974. First published in the Flight Plan of August 13, 1998

notable birthdays

Veteran’s Day (USA)
Remembrance Day (Australia, Canada, UK)

Mose Allison o Bibi Andersson o LaVerne Baker o William F. Buckley o Rene Clair o Vince Colosimo o Leonardo DiCaprio o Fyodor Dostoyevsky o Howard Fast o Narvel Felts o Calista Flockhart o Vernon Handley o Alger Hiss o Stubby Kaye o Susan Kohner o Demi Moore o Pat O’Brien o General George Patton o William Proxmire o Robert Ryan o Sam Spiegel o Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. o Peta Wilson o Jonathan Winters o Jesse Colin Young

Rod's random thoughts If you really want something, ask for it. The most confusing thing anyone can say to you is yes.

Life quartered, life divided, is not life at all.

Anarchy is anarchy only from the standpoint of other people's concepts of order.

WHISTLE STOPS

I go out slowly first,
                  tentative,
like a bather testing water,
I scrutinize the night.
Will the dangers this time
outnumber the rewards?

Where I have been
impatient in past lives
I am content just now
to venture slowly, if at all,
into the darkness.

I know that love
is ladled out,
      unloaded
in the market place
     like bananas
and transistor radios
and those things
made to last
were built pre-1940.

And still I look
not necessarily to find
but more concerned
that if I lower
my binoculars
I'll lose my place.

How fortunate
the whistle stops
       and factory towns
elect to keep my secrets
as they hold their own,
though a secret
is little more
than information
too dull to be passed
from ear to ear
                as gossip --
too boring to be news.

Increasingly
if it were up to me
        I'd hide nothing
except my face
in private pillows.
For I have almost no one
                    to protect.
And yet I'm glad
that cities still
continue as our guard
       and guardian.

I've stayed within
                    my rabbit hole
too late, too long.
Perhaps I now enjoy
the solitude
I always fought
so hard against.

What have I learned
as I've gone traveling?
That I'd lie motionless
            forever maybe
or die easily
within some known
            or unknown arms
that wrap me up
and leave me
for the morning's mischief.

One more man, I am,
trying every way I know
to make it through
even one more day.

-from "Coming Close to the Earth," 1977

 
© 1977, 1988, 1998, 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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