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Photo by Bob Gentry 2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

Nothing is arbitrary. Everything happens for a reason.


Those who claim to know my poetry claim to know me; although the reverse is seldom true. I am more a man of habit now than perhaps I was some years ago. Living nurtures eccentricities and paves the way for pattern to emerge that friend and critic alike discern in a glance, a smile, all of a face and the whole of ones work. I have always been a man of the elements. 

Whether practicing in private or posturing in public; feeling that the best ideas and the nearest thing to knowledge for me has to spring from the most real of all realities the sea, the earth, the sky, rather than history, philosophy, or geography books. And so, my work and life are riddled through with references to sea shells and ocean voyages, living close to the ground, ballooning, by-planing and hiking heavenward.

   - from the introduction to the British Edition of" We Touch The Sky", 1979

Join Ken tomorrow for "This One Does It For Me". Sleep warm.

Details of Rod's upcoming concerts and appearances can be obtained via the link below:

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays Marion Anderson o Joan Bennett o Chelsea Clinton o Peter DeVries o William Demarest o Lawrence Durrell o Mary Frann o Mirelia Freni o Reginald Gardiner o James Leo Herlihy o Howard Hesseman o Lotte Lehmann o Henry Wadsworth Longfellow o Ralph Nader o David Sarnoff o Irwin Shaw o Grant Show o John Steinbeck o Elizabeth Taylor o Franchot Tone o Van Williams o Joanne Woodward

And, again, a special Happy Birthday to a personal hero, Elizabeth Taylor.

Rod's random thoughts Love comes at unexpected times - and that's enough.

Experiments should be thought out, tested, thought out once again - repeated till they're right.

To see yourself as superior or inferior is preferable to knowing you are mediocre.


You turn a corner and things change.
Like wrinkles changing into dimples
and nighttime changing into day.
And love changing back again
to whatever it was before it came.

Let it be.
It is a kind of something
we don't know much about
like Pere Noel or magic.
Don't even dwell on the good times-
they only make you think.

I went back to look for you.
          Not understanding the language of hello,
I thought I'd speak it just the same.

I bathed,
left the window open
and one light on.
The heat was off
and as we warmed each other
I knew that you'd make up
for all those dark indifferent backs
that turned from me these many months.

The room sat waiting,
premeditated as a concierge's smile.

In the lobby
there were some roses on a table.
I looked at them so long
I thought the buds had drained
the color from my face.
Finally I went up the stairs
to bed alone.
I've drawn your face
on tablecloths across the country,
tracing your smile
with my index finger,
making your hair just so,
till now you're more
what I want you to be
than what you are.

I can paint your eyes and say
this is where I lived
for twenty minutes and more.

I order grapefruit
and pay for ruined napkins.
And between the morning and the evening
I draw your face a little fainter every day.

from "Lonesome Cities," 1967
1967, 1979, 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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