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Flight Plan

6 January, 1999

Photo by Bob Gentry 2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

All men love something....strong men are willing to give all things a try.


"Rod, I have always liked your philosophy, didn't you print a piece of yours on perseverance. If so, I would enjoy seeing it again. Thanks, Chuck Wilmer."


Most of us give up too easily in nearly everything we attempt or hope to do. Designing a bridge takes talent, building it, muscle and diligence. Each of us has those qualities in one measure or another.. Why is it we can identify these talents so easily in others but find it hard to discern them in ourselves? That is not so much a question as it is a fact. Early in our lives many of us (and I include myself in that number) never stick to a plan long enough to fail at it. No one succeeds in everything they try . . . but without failure, how do we learn to prevent failing the next time.

Whether it's athletics, a career or avoiding the bully 'round the corner, down the street: Make a plan. Stick to the blueprint until you're sure it doesn't work. Rethink, come in sideways if front on doesn't lead you to your destination. You will be amazed and strengthened as you discover how many hidden talents you employed in getting from A to Z. 

Perseverance works, I promise you. It built The Pyramids and The China Wall. Apply it. Surely it can do a little something for you. Energy is everything, but without it talent hasn't got a prayer. And, true talent sans perseverance is a long way from anywhere. 

rom a speech on accepting the 1969 Horatio Alger Award. First published 1/6/1999 

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

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays Alan Alda o John Beck o Barbi Benton o Nick Carter o Colette o Joey Fatone, Jr. o Ernst Lubitsch o Sarah McLachlan o Claus Oldenburg o Auguste Piccard o Jean Felix Piccard o Jackson Pollack o Arthur Rubinstein o Susan Sontag o Sir Henry Stanley o Elijah Wood
Rod's random thoughts Success never arrives by accident or on time.

Labor looks to heaven without a blush.

Without hardship and bad times how would we recognize good times and success?



However small this time
let me catch it
        in my teeth
holding it as it holds me
tightly and for now.

If the snow
runs faster than we planned
I'll hold on when you let go
and lead you back again
through that powdered Vermont snow.

A Wind

You could feel the rain
before it came,
       the signals were that good.
At first the wind
then follow the leader
leaves and twigs
until the rain in earnest
smashing them to the ground.


The dandelion hasn't yet
been known to make a choice
between the pasture and the lawn
and love's as blind
       to rank and right
as politicians are to pulse beats.

Only desperation
cuts through everything.

Know that I'm a desperate man
           when in your arms -
and more so when away.
I wind the watch
when it needs no winding.
I puzzle harder puzzles
than my mind can comprehend.
By these simple acts
I manage for a time
to ward off facing
yet another confrontation
         with your absence.

How is it that I've come to this
Unable once again to fill up
Even one more day alone.

Ten By Ten

In ten years
of watching you
and never knowing
that I'd share
      your Christmas bed,
I'd learned to live
with just the want.

Now with no point of reference
but your arms,
I can't go back.

from "Fields of Wonder", 1971

1969, 1971, 1983, 1999, 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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