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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

Love is and always will be the best that we can offer one another, the only thing worth waiting for.


Since I began to publish the ‘unsent love letters’ I’ve experienced a kind of freedom that only comes with letting go of something you care about very much. It’s not that I am overly attached to these un-mailed expressions to one I love so dearly and by necessity have to be absent from, it’s more like I want to share how I feel with everyone.

I suppose it’s sort of a ‘wake the town and tell the people’ syndrome that finds me so happy, at peace and elated with the condition that has sought me out and found me that holding back my feelings seems selfish. Of course in going public with such intimate sentiments I run the risk of being laughed at or worse being ridiculed for the fool that each of us is reduced to by falling in love. 

Worse things could happen to me than being Saturday’s jester, I could lose the ability and need I have to set those feelings down. Notes continue to arrive regarding the past letters and the poem “To One Absent”, below are some of them and Letter #7.


There are so many kinds of love and I've been lucky enough to know that "Once in awhile along the way, Love's been good to me” You describe it and recall it so beautifully. Love and continued thanks, The happy befuddled Sunlover


"...and the pillow you I hold to me throughout the whole of night."
That line is perfectly clear to me. Good night from me and my pillow, Ann


Dear Rod: I have a feeling that every woman or man who reads your Love Letters Unsent feels they were meant just for them. I am a Gay man of 37 and while I have no idea what your sexual orientation may or may not be I look upon each letter as one sent just to me. You don’t know me and chances are you never will but I feel you know who I am from the words I read here every Saturday.

Whoever these words are addressed to I hope they see them and that whatever the reason is you can’t be with the one you love right now it changes soon. If that’s not possible I pray you will have the patience to wait out however long it takes. 

I have read your new book and am now trying to track down all of your words. What I wonder is how I got along without knowing about you until now. Gary Ryan


Hi Rod, Just another note about "To One Absent". It is "ONE" of those poems that wraps itself around the heart and stays there. Several of you works have lived in my heart from the beginning. One of my favorites is "Fiore, 1812" and "To One Absent" sits second in line to it. Actually, I make my own oil scent and for my own purpose, I have named it Fiore, 1812. 

I hope I have your permission, as I don't make it for anyone else. However, if you would like a small bottle I'd be glad to send it along with another bottle of The Tall Blond.

I really loved the letter you published today and that really fits the theme of Sentimental Saturday. I think that having "love" as the theme for Saturdays is terrific.

The fact that you are sharing your talent on such a current level is more than most devoted fans of an artist can ever hope for. This is what makes you more than special, more than an artist. This makes you a friend in every sense of the word. I toast you, later today of course, with a Blond-tini. Love, Jana

Dear Jana, Bring it on. I’d love to know what your scent of “Fiore 1812” is like. I remember the one that inspired it so well. As ever, Rod


Look Darlin' Today's FP made me drool. But my goodness, man you're already 68. So you break the hearts of hundreds of us lowly fans, don't waste time being absent from the one you love. If she knew how you felt, she'd probably say "Have Hoe, will travel” But I can't help but wonder how she feels about having your thoughts expressed so publicly.

Hope you don't have to wait through too many more harvests. Looking forward to Riverton, R.


Dear Rod, This is the second Saturday in a row I have started out in tears, But I love the poems...they hit so close to home. I'm a (very) old fan (almost as old as you lol)...we met years ago at one of your concerts in Boston. I was so very happy when I stumbled across your web site. Thank you for all the beautiful music & poems. Joanna


Dear Rod, I loved your Saturday flight plan. I'm hoping that you will continue posting more of these beautiful love letters.

I'm still reeling from To One Absent. As you said, this poem meant different things to different people. For me, it reminded me of someone dear to me that I had lost. I gave a copy of it to my daughter (15). She has it hanging on her desk. She had to have her pet put to sleep in March and is still grieving inside. Immediately your new poem made her think of Dusty.

Again, thank you from the both of us for sharing To One Absent with us. Hope you are having a "warm, sunny day." Back here in Schaumburg (not far from Aurora, IL) it is rainy and only 51 degrees .... ! Janice


Dear Rod, Once again you fill the void of my ordinary life with words that speak what I cannot say.... Whether in or out of love, your "letters unsent" strike a chord to each one of us who have loved someone deeply and I thank you for the overwhelming emotion of that feeling. Thank you for being, thank you for coming back into my life, and thank you for sharing the beauty of your words. ASPTL is my lifeline. As always, Nancy

Tomorrow night I’ll be in Redding, California at the “Celebration of Life and Diversity” and I hope many of you will be there with me. Sleep warm. 

 - RM 06/29/01

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

Rod McKuen Biography

notable birthdays Florence Ballard o Harry Blackstone, Jr. o Glenda Farrell o Nancy Dussault o Rupert Graves o Susan Hayward o Lena Horne o David Horowitz o Cynthia Karpa o Martin Landau o Tony Musante o Stacey Randall o Buddy Rich o Ralf Schumacher o Ron Swoboda o Mike Tyson o June Valli o Dave Van Ronk
Rod's random thoughts As long as we have children, we are of independent means.

A few more summers is all that any of us has the right to ask for.

All of us have an appointment with death; I intend to be fashionably late for mine.


Dear You, 

I admit it and I apologize for all of us, men are beasts. By the time we know how to treat our lovers it’s too late or we offer too little for what we wish to take. As a kid I used to carry a rubber around in my billfold – that’s what you did if you were a male kid. Wishful thinking. I doubt that any of us made out, I didn’t. If the occasion arrived I wonder if we could have risen to meet it. 

As the years leapt on I never figured myself as a prize and I have frowns, indifference (rejection slips) to prove it. Luckily love has spent some time with me and I hope I’ve always given as good as what came back to me from unexpected lovers and strangers willing to share a night or whatever.

Why is it I want to confess so much to you about my past or what went before? Perhaps I want for us to start afresh. I need you not to expect too much of me or see me as what you may have dreamed of or always wanted in a lover. Be warned. I am not that man and never could be. What I am is one who loves you with all his heart just as you are. I expect nothing more from you than you.

I fell in love with you selfishly, not for what I thought I might bring to you, but what I knew you could give to me. Of course, as love would have it, now all I want is to please you, ensure that you are happy, offer you what peace and what contentment can be had within what life that’s left for us to spend together.

Beside me you are me. I lie in your arms real or dreaming, licking my own cum off your belly and depositing it with deep kisses down your throat. We are so mixed and mixed up with each other that we have no beginning and no end. We are us, not reflections of what we are or could or should be, just us. Nothing threatens us, no one, no millions will ever change that. We are us. I love you, I love me, I love us. 



28 June, 2001 3:31 PM Previously unpublished.

© 1965, 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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