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A Thought for Today

The minute man walks into war he starts into a tunnel with no end.


Dear Ken,

Since tomorrow is "This One Does It For Me" day, perhaps you could post one of Rod's "anti-war" poems--because I feel, as a U.S. citizen, that some as yet unknown group has declared war on my country.

As I watched the horror in New York this morning and grieved for the victims of this tragedy, my thoughts kept going to Wade Alexander who lives and works in New York, and I've been praying that he was nowhere near the Trade Centers. Perhaps you could let us know if he is all right. I, for one would greatly appreciate it.

Love and Hugs,

Carol Widel

Carol, know that millions of right-minded people throughout the world share your grief following the tragic events of yesterday.

I haven't had any word on Wade and I too, have been concerned for him. I'm sure Rod will keep us posted in the days to come.

May God bless all those affected by this senseless act.

 - Ken, Johannesburg, September 12

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 Ben Blue o Miguel de Cervantes o Maurice Chevalier o George Chuvalo o Linda Gray o George Jones o Alfred A. Knopf o John Mauceri o Frank McGee o H. L. Mencken o Dickie Moore o Ella Mae Morse o Maria Muldaur o Jesse Owens o Peter Scolari o Paul Walker o Rachel Ward o Dave Washington o Barry White
Rod's random thoughts Love, the veteran of all wars, wins more battles than the sharpest word.

Most wars are the wreckage of diplomacy.

Let him who shouts the war cry first stand in the front of invading armies.


1 - Fort Ord

You, my brother,
donít say you kill
in my name
or in the name
of kind mankind.

If you swing the scythe
or fire the pistol
do so in your own name
mankind has guilt enough
              to shoulder.

You who send the letters
do not issue even once again,
in the name of government
              and justice,
numbered cards to those
       now leaving childhood
asking them to wait in turn
           to fight and die
for those things none of us
have yet been able
              to explain
even to ourselves.

if there still be
those among you
willing to commit to war,
eager to do battle
for whatever reason
let him who signs the paper
in the poolroom
              or the Pentagon
be the first to shoulder arms
and the only one to feel the bullet
on this side or the other.

No longer must there be
a time for warriors
in the skies
           or on the street.
Too little blood is left
and too much spilled
and no one thing
has yet been proven
that would tell us truly
war is helpful
war is not without
      an element of mercy
war is the convincer,
the credo that as people
we should live by.

The common cause.

War is not the rally
that provides
        a formula for truth.
It is a telescope
whose other end
is always fixed
                on darkness.

The minute man walks
               into war
he starts into a tunnel
               with no end.

promise to yourself,
that if you die for God
you will do so
kneeling with a rifle
propped against your own head

If you commit yourself
to yourself, your brother
and your country -
          as well you should,
commit yourself to live.
The only battle
that you might perceive
is one where one day
you might be called upon
to war on war.


Please tell the boys
you send away
to fight my battles for me
that I have no quarrels
off on foreign shores.

Send them home.

I miss their smiles
                   on subways
and their gathering
                     on corners
to leer at passing girls.

Conservation oriented
                 as I am
I hate to see
tall trees,
and especially saplings
cut down and sent off
                  to the mill.
No man
is my captain
nor would Whitman
let himself be led
by men of war
if he were living now.

                                - from "Beyond the Boardwalk", 1975

© 1970, 1975, 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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