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Photo by Bob Gentry 2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

Ego should contribute to life, not override it.


"Dear Rod, Would you please print your Flight Plan of November 4th, 1998 again? Thanks, Bill Carmichael."


And we go on
still we go on
and we go on
you can see us go on . . .

April Fifth, 9:22 A.M.
Just now an earthquake moves beneath me. Even as it ends, another shudder shakes the ground. A California fact. An anniversary almost of that quake two, three years ago that jostled me from bed at six and set the dogs to howling and caused a crack to run eye level down the front room stairs.

I cannot be shaken up. If I could I'd sway more willingly than most and go whichever way the earth or some mover of the earth thinks I should go.

I've had my first inside the world and felt for sure I was it's axis. I've seen the kings go by, though I'll admit my vantage point was from some distance. For derring do I've sailed through clouds more easily than I once floated on a pond. However jerry built my life has been, I've felt there was solidity of sorts. In truth there is, however little. I built what I thought needed building - some would say security, I'd still say solidity for some one.

There must have been a blueprint once. Now, no trace of any master plan remains, as nobody stops or stays here still.

I do not brood. I am not malcontent. I am not. Where once I had opinions good and bad of what I'd done. Even to myself. I have no opinions now.

It, whatever that should be or is, is over, never started or never was. What I do have is this life, half built - unfinished. Selfish though I can be, it was never made for me. There are takers, just that. But, as I go out, there is no one here or up ahead that I can give it to.

I wonder how long I can move, go through the motions, knowing what I know. How many years or days are left. Why go through the motions anyway? I don't know.

- from "Moment To Moment" 1973, 1975 First published on Flight Plan 11/4/98

notable birthdays


Hoyt Axton o Bela Bartok o Bonnie Bedelia o Ed Begley o Anita Bryant o Frankie Carle o Howard Cosell o Wes Fish o Aretha Franklin o Kelly Garrett o Paul Michael Glaser o Bonnie Guitar o Elton John o Nancy Kelly o David Lean o James A. Love II o Sarah Jessica Parker o Simone Signoret o Gloria Steinem o Sheryl Swoopes o Arturo Toscanini

Rod's random thoughts The wicked are the first to decry other men's vices.

As a country we are too eager to forgive our politicians.

Nobody steals something original and winds up producing more than a carbon copy.


No matter when I start
that first day's walk
along the tide's white ragged edge,
someone's been ahead of me.

I went at noon the first day,
               ten the next.
Finally at sunrise
I started out
and on this very morning
I was up before the sun
guided by the whitecaps only
luminous in the dimming starlight.

When at last the light
began to rim the far horizon
I saw beside my own, new footprints
in the Monday sand
a larger imprint trailing on
                         ahead of me.
And beside the wide stride
on this quiet beach
the soft impression of a dog
who must have trotted
by his master's side.

I've but one more morning
left to me
before I trade Tres Vidas
                 for the city,
but if I have to start out
down the beach at midnight
                           or before
I'm determined to confront
the brown beach man
who dares to think
he loves my ocean
more than me.

And anyway,
the ocean's all
that I have left.
There won't be anyone again,
but there will always be
sea water and sea things
to wash the memories
            into one another.

That's a comfort
not to be taken lightly,
considering the sea
                 is all I have.

from "Moment To Moment" 1973, 1975
1973, 1975, 1984, 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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