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A Thought for Today

As animals should not be caged so love cannot be legalized or legislated. It must be able to run free.


Hi Ken,

I would like to see one of my favorite poems printed. It's the one about the woman in England who died and left in her will for her animals to be destroyed. The fate Rod wished for the man who carried out her wishes sounds fair to me. I can't find the book this poem is in because although I have all of Rod's books I'm here in Ca. helping with 4 grandchildren and sometimes I forget where the kitchen is.

Anyway, back in Ohio so many people tie dogs to boxes, winter and summer, and that's their life. Since a full grown dog has an I.Q. of a 6 yr. old child can you even imagine the despair they feel? Not to mention the capacity they have for giving and receiving love. I kind of wish the same fate for their humans. Maybe a month of this would teach them compassion.

Rod, keep speaking out for our friends who share our planet and can't defend themselves against people who should know better.

Love your web site!

Dolores Cooper

The poem you refer to is "Joy To The World", Dolores, and it appears in the book "Lonesome Cities". As I write Tyra, the four- footed love of my life, is sitting on my lap and we both agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed above and in the poem.

One of the low points in my life occurred a few years ago while tuned in to one of our local talk radio stations. The presenter, obviously trying very hard to be controversial in order to attract a larger audience, stated quite boldly that in her opinion dogs were put on this earth to be kicked!

You can imagine the controversy this created and I like to think this particular presenter lost a lot of listeners as a result. May she and Peter Hall-Patch get their just rewards!

Thanks for a great contribution, Dolores, and for reminding us to keep looking out for those who give such unconditional love.

Next Wednesday, in response to my column of last week, Rod drops by to tell us about his unusual typist and how the San Sebastian Strings came to be so named. Don't miss it!

If you have a favorite McKuen song or poem you'd like to share, drop me a line at and I'll make sure your contribution appears right here one Wednesday.

 - Ken & Tyra, Johannesburg, May 30

"Live at the Lensic" benefit appearance in Santa Fe just announced.

Booking for "An Evening with Rod McKuen" at the Riverton Rendezvous is open! Click below for more details:

Concert & Appearance Details

notable birthdays Frank Blair o Mel Blanc o Kitty Carruthers o Keir Dullea o Stepin Fetchit o Benny Goodman o Howard Hawks o Christine Jorgensen o Wynonna Judd o Ruta Lee o Meredith MacRae o Peter the Great o Michael J. Pollard o Gale Sayers o Cornelia Otis Skinner o Irving Thalberg o Clint Walker
Rod's random thoughts A cat too is an extension of God.

If a cat has nine lives then donít forget theyíre his to do with as he wishes.

Iíve never known a cat who couldnít calm me down just by walking slowly past my chair.


A certain Mrs. Pickney, sixty-six,
died in London Christmas Day.
It took the R.S.P.C.A.
less than a week
to carry out her final will. Kill.
How speedy probate comes in England.

Two donkeys dead, three cats destroyed.
Mr. Peter Hall-Patch, who fired the shots,
told the evening papers
"let's face it
donkeys and horses
don't worry about tomorrow
just about their next meal."

Not a very romantic quote
but poetry is lost on animals
though for an instant every dying thing
understands the language of his bullet.

May Mr. Hall-Patch find a death humane
under horses' hoofs
             unloved in the rain.

- from "Lonesome Cities", 1970

© 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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