18th & 19th June, 2013
Ken & Rod, Johannesburg, 2009
A Thought for Today
Love will always give us reason, if not
means, to exist.
One Does It For Me!
In recent months I've received a number of requests to re-post Rod's
series of "Love Letters Unsent." Far too many requests to feature here
in a single column.
So today herewith a random selection and as time and space permit I'll
post more in future columns.
-Ken, Johannesburg, South
Africa, June 18
A LOVE LETTER UNSENT, V
The phone will ring within the hour and you’ll be there. How have I
divined this with no prearranged signal from you, no flag raised, smoke
signal sent? I know it to be so, that’s all. Our minds are so in sync
across the miles that I can feel and see you moving to the telephone as
I preoccupy myself with foreplay on the page.
I finally got a haircut, did some mail, paid a bill or two and cleared
the way for real work this weekend, so the morning has seen some of
life’s business shuffled through removed from mental list. The cats have
trapped and tease a spider, excuse me for a minute while I save the day.
I am listening to a new recording of music from “The Cardinal,” I miss
the lyric “Stay with Me” that is not included. Come home and I will sing
it for you, meaning every word. Carolyn Leigh wrote the words to Jerome
Moross’ music. I don’t know why this song affects me as much as it does
but I can hear the Sinatra recording of it and weep. When I sing it at
concerts I approach it as equal parts love song and inspirational
anthem. I can seldom get through it without my concentration faltering
so I don’t perform it often.
I closed an album (Early Harvest) with a recording of “Stay with Me”
that had never been released. Even though I didn’t write it, it seemed
to me to sum up everything that had gone on in my life to that point.
That was seven years ago and before you came into my life again. I am so
humbled by the experience of loving you and knowing this is my final
lasting love that I have the urge to perform it again. I’m sure if I do
it I'll sing it differently now.
Paragraphs like these last two don’t belong in a love letter but I
suppose I’m trying to provide you a crash course in getting to know me.
And who else but you can I talk to about such things.
I get frightened only sometimes now, scared I might not finish all of
what I’ve started, worried circumstances might keep us from one final
embrace – one long, last encounter. Then I remember how much memory of
you I squirreled away against such times and that’s enough. Although I
draw from it often there is always plenty.
The afternoon is ending here and the telephone is ringing. Before I
answer it, ‘all that I can do is pray, stay with me, stay with me.’
RM June 8th, 2001 5:40 PM
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TO ONE ABSENT
|I do not have to
be with you
In order to be happy.
Knowing you are there,
where ever there is, is
To think of you and know that one day’
some day, some when,
we’ll be side by side for always
Is all the always that I need just now.
I do not feel this way because
we are apart this moment
I feel the way I do because
I waited for you all my life and so
a few days, years, whatever more
is less than all the years I spent
hoping you would finally come
until you did.
And when you did
however brief the time
we spent within each other’s arms
was time enough to see me through
this absence of you
however long this absence is.
Do I believe you love me?
I never doubt it. I found security
the Sunday I saw love
look back at me from you.
Then is when I knew
it would be you for always. Then
is when the courage came
that will sustain me
until whatever time has passed
until the time is right for us.
You are who
I think of every morning
and the pillow you I hold to me
throughout the whole of night.
I can wait with patience and I do.
I will, until . . .
- first publication 5/25/2001