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A Thought for Today

I have always been a man of elements, feeling that the best ideas and the nearest thing to knowledge have to spring from the most real of all realities the sea, the earth, the sky rather than from history or philosophy books.


Hi Ken,

My favorite poem was "How many colors of blue make up the sky, seven, ten maybe?" 

Those poems from his album "The Sky" stuck with me thru my flight school up to now. I was drafted in the army in the late 60's during the Vietnam war; at that time everyone knew Rod McKuen. 

To this date I have not been able to find a CD or Cassette but I'm still looking and will be till I find one so that my kids will enjoy it as much as I did. 

Thank you. 


My memory isn't what it used to be, RD, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've featured a poem from "The Sky" in this column. Thanks for a great choice.

Rod has previously explained at some length the difficulties involved in releasing "The Earth" and "The Sky" on CD. We're all pretty confident that it will happen eventually though putting a date to it just isn't possible at this stage.

Here's what Rod had to say in the liner notes of "The Sky":

"Six years ago I conceived "The Sea". I hadn't met Anita Kerr, nor had I thought of sharing my work with anyone else. It was to be an extension of myself and my feelings about love, using the sea as a canvas.

The many false starts my "Sea" project had, and the events that led to my meeting Anita and asking her to compose music for my words, have been detailed on the jacket of "The Sea" album, so I won't go into them again here. The collaboration did take place, producing for the two of us a best selling album, a sequel entitled, "The Earth" and now the final set of the trilogy, "The Sky" all in the space of a year.

The year has ended as has the collaboration. For Anita and myself there are many memories left. For you, three shiny, black records... they are filled with a woman's feelings about how music should be written and a man's ideas about life."

Rod McKuen, January, 1968

Got a favorite McKuen poem or song? We'd like to hear about it so drop me a line at ken@mckuen.com and I'll make sure it appears here one day soon.

 - Ken, Johannesburg, June 27

Updated McKuen biography just posted! Click below for more details:

Rod McKuen Biography

notable birthdays Isabelle Adjani o Elton Britt o Pam Burns o Audrey Christie o Paul Conrad o Gary Crosby o Julia Duffy o Emma Goldman o W.T. Grant o Bruce Johnston o Bob “Captain Kangaroo” Keeshan o Helen Keller o Laferdio o Lorrie Morgan o H. Ross Perot o Doc Pomus o Samuel Sanders o James Smithson o Madylin Sweeten o Hugh Woo
Rod's random thoughts Love wears the rainbow on its cheek as sure as any high sky does.

Never fear the night sky, only clocks unwind. Who comes forward to define meantime?

Grief in its passing leaves but little light... the night sky mantel with a single star, the roadside just across the street, blurred like the hedge grown wild without the trimmer’s shears.


How many colors of blue make up the sky ?
Seven... ten maybe.
Funny thing to think about while lying next to you
           but I was wondering about the sky.

If you look beyond blue
         what do you see ?
                    Blue... then blue again.

We are what we are
                      in love
          or so we tell ourselves.

If something up above the sky is watching us
                     we ought to make love well
as best we can
            so as not to disappoint the voyeur watching
through curtains made of sky blue
                                blue on blue.

- from the album "The Sky", 1968

© 1968, 1970, 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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