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A Thought for Today

Lies fly like butterflies but cannot stand the sunlight.


Tomorrow the last month of this summer comes to an end. While autumn officially began a week and a half ago there is something about Septemberís end that makes it official.

Over the years Iíve written a lot about autumn; hereís the authorís forward from my 1984 book ďSuspension Bridge.Ē The last paragraph of it seems particularly apt today.


Some seasons stall or do not come. They dawdle
past agreed appointments becoming useless to the nature need and thus unnecessary hooks for memory. Spring stays spring so long it passes summer in a lazy relay, becoming fall or one more page of spring.

New Yearís Day will oft-times entreat the summer to arrive - the man who came to dinner stays and fills the first six months of a given year with sunlight hard enough to make each twig a Diamond safety match awaiting tinder-brush and hard rock August flint.

Who forgets the winter out of season, gone mad inside Americaís middle ? Flood and twister, fist hailstones in Denver June, Oklahoma redesigned as lake, Montana ten months digging out in hopes commencement exercises can be held on light green field... New York with alternate complaints of Frigidaire and turned-up microwave. California one-year haywire from a winter insurance carrierís blot from memory, followed by a drought confounding television weather personalities.

For me, the fall, however ill or well it comes, is paramount. I relive / re-enhance first romances, glory in blue blossom trees that never fail. Ever I entreat the white azaleas in the back garden to blossom, dry and bloom again. I am at home in autumn, rain and dour countenance accepted. Autumn is the time when seasons merge because of bare necessity. It is a time of coming to and going from real reality.

Every poem out of me, choosing poem cycle then stacking high enough to be a book, has square root in seasons. Nature is not the always arbiter - there are those seasons of the heart, the groin, dreamed vacation, and that damp day not coming often when the mind and tongue decide to merge.

One season is guised in nature and titled Winter in America. The other chapters are soul seasons and less structured. They are the hard parts: the meat in them remains inside the bones. Yet like the quartered year is a bridge to neighbor.

I have come across my country again in all four seasons. I found it to be healthy enough... its people resourceful, big friends in good humor. We are all of us working toward the same ends.

R.M. / June 1984


"I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said,
'Thyroid problem?" -Arnold Schwarzenegger

Do something nice for yourself and somebody else this weekend. Sleep warm.

RM 9/28/01

Details of Rod's next appearance can be obtained by following the link below.

"Tap Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman

notable birthdays Michelangelo Antonioni o Gene Autry o Megan and Nicola Blackie o Miguel de Cervantes o Anita Ekberg o Steve Forrest o Jolie Gabor o Greer Garson o Elizabeth Gaskell o Bryant Gumbel o Jay Hagan o Trevor Howard o Madeline Kahn o Stanley Kramer o Jerry Lee Lewis o Betsy Little o Ian McShane o Admiral Nelson o Jean-Luc Ponty o Lizabeth Scott o Natasha Wagner o Lech Walesa
Rod's random thoughts Few of us are given the good fortune to know when and where weíll set sail for the next life.

I could be saved by hearing you say no as surely as salvation lies on the velvet forehead of yes. Not knowing is a nod toward damnation.

Total honesty places a man under a terrible responsibility, but itís the truest defense against sleeping pills.


Send me
one more summer
in the hills.
Pack it neatly,
arrange it so
that opened up
the whole of it
will spread around
a half a dozen
months or more.

Make it full
as any picnic basket
packed up tightly
with the things I love.

Every day
need not be warm.
Light rain should thread
could thread some days

Let me spend
those summer days
within my own country.
A citizen not of the world
               but here.

In my land
in my place
in or near
some town Iíve known
or lived in.

Perhaps -
but dare I ask ?
Inside, beside
some face or arms
Iíve been inside before.

God of our fathers
if youíre there
send another summer
please before I die.
The winter months
go on too long.

My great coatís
been on the rack
just inside the hall
near half a year now.

Too long. Too long
for one whose bodyís
       only healed
by summers color.

White I am and ready
for another summer.

Hurry up
and in exchange
Iíll spend the winter
just ahead and coming up
on my knees and praying.

-from ďSeasons in the Sun.Ē 1974

© 1974, 1979, 1984, 1988, 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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