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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

The smart tree bends with the wind.



When my name is attached to a piece of work most people expect poetry, a song or prose with a premise (beginning, middle and conclusion.) But, over the years I’ve done a lot of writing that doesn’t fall into any easy category. The following paragraphs have at least two things in common: Each was written to be spoken against music for a particular record album and while they come from different projects in different years all of them were jotted down near the end of a November.

November Resolution

Every living thing runs from the rain. Animals and birds, people, children in the fields with paper kites. I’m no kites are made of paper too...not mandible if they get wet.

I began by loving nobody, then everybody, then... only you. And now I’ll go away and learn to love nobody again.

-from the album “Home to The Sea.” 1969

Come Home

The man looking out of the mirror at me this morning when I started to shave seemed puzzled. Were you expecting John Wayne ?

Looking back, I half expected to see you smiling there. Just as I always assumed that you would be next to me in bed each morning, across from me at breakfast, by my side all day, and with me every night.

The ice is on the river, all the leaves are down, come home.

- from the album “The Seasons: Autumn,” 1979

Deep in the Forest: (Soliloquy from The Black Eagle)

If I leave a trail of bent or broken branches I can find my way back home. If I don’t - there is no sure chance I’ll get back safely - or at all. But why think of the home place? Surly there is mystery in the wood, something different happens here and maybe the deeper in the forest you go, the deeper the mystery, the better the chance of finding something different.

I am not afraid - yes, I am – but only of those things my little mind cannot yet understand. I want to learn, to have life without dying for it. I want life now.

I hear so much but I see so little. I see so little but I hear so much. I must be lost. But it was always so. I was lost before I ventured beyond the village boundaries.

- from the album “The Black Eagle (A Gothic Musical), ” 1976

Tomorrow is the end of the workweek and the end of the month so it’s time to pass along “The Stuff” lurking in the dark corners. Sleep warm.

RM 11/28/2001 Previously unpublished


Today it belongs to Jane Hernandez:

“A new business was opening and one of the owner's friends wanted to send flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card; it said "Rest in Peace".

The owner was angry and called the florist to complain. After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist said.

"Sir, I'm really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting
angry you should imagine this: somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying,
"Congratulations on your new location".

notable birthdays Louisa May Alcott o Peter Bergman o Busby Berkeley o Suzy Chaffee o Ann Corio o Dagmar o Kim Delaney o Denny Doherty o Jeff Fahey o Joe Fischler o Dave Frederick o John Gary o Jon Knight o Diane Ladd o Madeline L’Engle o C.S. Lewis o Howie Mandel o Chuck Mangione o Jess Marlow o John Mayall o Andrew McCarthy o Jody Miller o Cathy Moriarty o Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. o Frank Reynolds o Vin Scully o Garry Shandling o Elmo Zumwalt

And a very special Happy Birthday for “Ranger Dave.”

Rod's random thoughts Love makes the bashful beautiful and gives the awkward grace.

No peace is ever perfect, and no war is ever won.

Change your mind but not your principles.


No one’s moved the road for me
and no one’s found a way
to beat the brush down
         through the woods
or make the brambles
snap back safely and on cue.

No clearing in the woods
awaits my coming,
                     foot or horseback,
except the clearing that I make myself.

But the path to you
was never easy
and the road that led me this far
           had no lamps
        to light it.

So credit me with being
Chris Columbus for ten years
and never giving up till now.

Where once I hailed the mast
that bobbed above horizons
as my sailor kin
I picture them as rafts
in readiness just now,
not even knowing why.

Later ask the first mate of the Nina,
or the Pinta’s engineer
they’ll tell you how I smiled
even as I walked the plank.

And when I rolled upon the waves,
seaweed still between my ears,
ask them if I frowned
even when the friendly sharks
were chewing on what brains I had
before I started loving you.
They’ll tell you no.
They’ll tell you that I let the sea
envelop me as I enveloped you.

- from "Fields of Wonder", 1971

© 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979,1982, 1989, 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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