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A Thought for Today

God makes giants not just because he can but as examples for all of to emulate.


Let us pause today to reflect on the third anniversary of the passing of Frank Sinatra, the inventor of popular singing. The voice in a hundred million.

And on Saturday the loss of the irreplaceable Perry Como.

Hello Rod, just thought you might be interested in knowing you were mentioned on the radio today. This Sunday morning, as with all Sunday mornings in my house, I was listening to The Sounds Of Sinatra with Sid Mark. He commented that this weekend marks the third passing of Frank, and perhaps it was Rod McKuen who said it best: "He who made all of us, only made one of him". Well said.

Also, the world will have a little less Christmas with the passing of Perry Como. I still hear your song ,"I Think Of You", every day at 11:45 AM, on WHLI out here on Long Island. Take Care. John Olsen.

Dear John, and you said it best about Perry, “The world will have a little less Christmas with the passing of Perry Como.” Yes, John it isn’t beginning to look a lot like Christmas any time soon. We can ill afford the loss of yet one more champion and practitioner of the great American popular song.

I was fortunate enough to spend all of yesterday with someone I care about very much. It helped make an otherwise unbearable day memorable for all the right reasons. Love, friendship, the warmth of one to another and a better trust in time making all things right than I have ever had. I am in love and in love with life.

The passing of friends is difficult but I am determined more than ever to remember those who have gone ahead for the lessons they taught me and the pleasure they gave to so many while they were here and not for my loss when they left. Luv, Rod

RM 5/14/01 Previously unpublished

Booking for "An Evening with Rod McKuen" at the Riverton Rendezvous opens today! Click below for more details:

Riverton Concert Details

notable birthdays Cate Blanchett o Jack Bruce o David Byrne o Jose Da Silveira o Bobby Darin o Richard Deacon o Billy Dove o Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit o Thomas Gainsborough o Otto Klemperer o Laszlo Kovacs o Norman Luboff o George Lucas o Patrice Munsel o Sian Phillips o Tim Roth o Danny Wood o Robert Zemeckis

And a special Happy Birthday to Sister Mark Sandy.

Rod's random thoughts Passion makes its own perspective.

Love finds beauty in the plainest smile.

Better to discover a soul than a continent.


Muriel Rukeyser

She is there still
fighting for roses,
pruning the suckers
that battle new shoots
for what energy
       the taproot offers
the way she pruned
             unnecessary words
from sentences that strangle
               poems in their crib.

She continues lurking,
where language hides
and night winds listen.
The two of us joined end to end
with Charles Ives crowded
               in between us.
Death did not carry her
anywhere but everywhere.
She springs with spring
and causes all of us
to fight for roses.

Folio No.28 - Fall, 1980

Picture Postcard

She stands beneath a tree
               that blossoms,
apple blossoms, I suppose.
A smile, that on first viewing
doesn’t seem correct -
but then you look again
an inner smile is somewhere there
a laugh half opening, then gone.
So thin and shy she seems,
so in her own world
               out of ours.
               But she only waits
                       to lead you in,
that is if you dare or care
                or want to come -
and who would not come running,
sneaking past the gate
and down into this orchard
she’s made richer
by her dallying this day ?

If I am passing by
or find some good excuse
               to do so
I never miss the chance
to pause or stop within
the doorway leading to
               Meg’s office,
just to reassure myself
that it’s still there.
It always is.

A picture postcard
of the shy Edna Millay
               reaching up,
or is it my imagination still,
to touch an overhanging bough
of plum or apple blossoms.

No drenched and dripping apple tree
not in this tinted photograph
only the bough that sunshine
bursts from bud to blossom.

The figure of a girl
slight and of no certain age
standing still before the camera
                of a friend
and not some lover, I suppose.

For had it been a lover
who cocked and clicked the shutter shut
the smile that was imprisoned
down these years
       for me to see
would have been much wider.

My appreciation
of the camera’s blink
has never been so strong,
nor have I marveled more -
even standing in an orchard
               my own self -
at the beauty of a tree
so filled with blossoms
it might lean and fall.

Meg bent over piles of words
that crowd her desk
        like double anthills
and on the bookcase just in sight
               a picture postcard.

Now softly in the whisper
                of a whisper
you can almost hear
the girl inside the postcard say,
I will be the gladdest thing
                under the sun !
I will touch a hundred flowers
               and not pick one.

Folio No.28 - Fall, 1980

James Wright, 1927 - 1980

He heard the earth
        grumbling and rejoicing
because his inner ear
was fine tuned to a fraction.
Plain or fancy he always saw the sky
because he could not be induced
to wear a set of blinders
no matter who came forward
with the bit and harness.
Given the choice to set his sights
      far off on posterity
or near and now on people.
For him it was no choice,
people won the day
       and his attention.
And the ground became richer
and the sky grew wider
and those people he trapped in a pose
gained posterity by being trapped
       inside the poet’s eye.

He promised us
the branch would never break
and even at his death
the strongest wind does not start
        the tree to swaying.
Why? Because not even God
would aid in breaking
an honest poet’s promise.

- from Folio No.57 - Winter 1987

© 1980, 1987, 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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