Wednesday 13th April, 2005
A Thought for Today
God meant none of us to live without
loving and being loved.
One Does It For Me!
Long time not writing. How are you, getting ready for winter? We have a
beautiful April spring time here.
I like your Flight Plan choice for today, of course. Maybe some time you
can follow up with his beautiful poem "When I was Nine."
As always your email friend,
Winter is very definitely on
it's way, Elsa Marie. April is a magnificent month here so we're
enjoying the champagne days before the really cold weather sets in.
A lot of people agree with you about "When I Was Nine" as we've featured
it here on a number of occasions. It's such a great piece of writing,
though, that it certainly deserves a repeat appearance along with Rod's
forward to "And to Each Season."
Author’s Foreword - And to Each Season
The Japanese poet Takubuku said, “Every man keeps a prisoner groaning in
his heart...” This book is an attempt to free such a prisoner - or more
than one - from mine. I am not sure if it succeeds. No one of us, I
think, can name, let alone free, those demons - friendly or otherwise -
that keep us from being the kind of men we’d like to be.
My childhood, before eleven, remains elusive. I’ve yet to get it down on
paper the way it was. New York is easier to write about and San
Francisco writes itself, but Elko, Alamo, Ely and Caliente hardly come
at all. Even when my memory has a favored day, some prisoners refuse
My mother, though her death was recent, is hardest of all to fit into
words, though she’s crowded my head and heart more than anything or
anyone this past year. Physically, in later years she got heavier,
mentally, she became - even at the end - more alert. Emotionally, we
touched bases without admitting there were bases to be touched. I could
paint her, but I cannot yet frame the way she was or is for me in words.
I believe, increasingly, that man is now essentially alone. Irrevocably
so. Whether that is good or bad, or can indeed be categorized other than
for each case individually, I’m not prepared to say.
For myself, I am grateful for the transients in my life, whether they be
Sundays when the phone’s not ringing or the odd stranger who happens by
and leaves behind more pleasure than my concentration on my own needs
Some of the lines in this book were written nearly twenty years ago and
never published; that I loose them now means I find them true today. I
am more and more concerned with truth, having lied my share within my
life, and lately having been a good deal lied about.
I am not convinced the truth can make men free, but I believe it a
beginning and a final resting place. Tomorrow, though, I might believe
in lies. What I want is not to be held accountable for what I said
today, or yesterday, so that my tomorrows can stay open.
Poetry is fact, even in its imagery. This is a work of fact. Any
disguise, is a defense not known to me as yet. Clouds where clarity
should be were not intended. I have not written for every man but I want
to write for Everyman, because I wish to be one and the same with all my
brothers, yet remain an individual.
That I write so much on love must mean that it is paramount to me. It
is. I have come back from a long tour just now, having loved nobody and
everybody. This is for me a new beginning, or at least an end.
Rod McKuen, June 11, 1972
Thanks for your
contribution, Elsa Marie.
Got a favorite McKuen song, poem or story? Drop me a line at
email@example.com telling me all about
it and I'll make sure it gets an airing right here one Wednesday soon.
- Ken, Johannesburg,
South Africa, April 13
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