Flight Plan


  13th - 19th November, 2017











Photo by Eric Yeager 2009 All Rights Reserved

A Thought for Today

Have the courage to be yourself and not somebody else's echo.


Interval Between

In the interval
between bed sitting chair
                     and bed
your silhouette
is growing fainter
shifting as it moves
through distance.
I lapse into a momentary dream,
too soft for sustenance
                    too hard
for mere impression.
And still you are
               the landscape
all of it.

These quiet minutes
                      with you
before and after
what should have been
or could be making love
are firmer than
what arms encircle
as the vaulted premium
in the act itself.

Earlier a petal fell
from off a dying rose.
It hit the table
with such thunder
I thought the neighborhood
             would be aroused.
You didn't move.
And down the street
no lights came on.
The darkness turns upon
Your breathing
is the only music left,
its rise and fall hypnotic.

There is something delicate,
in the interval
from breath to breath
as there is in between
bed sitting chair and bed.

The stars
have started coming out,
like Christmas finery,
unhurried and unstoppable.
In the tree outside
the same owl croons
                     the same song
this one time more.
His call is loonlike
and still no tune comes back
from crossblock tree.
Not far off another owl
and rows of lesser birds
                  sit quietly
in rapt appreciation.
And now a cat has gotten up
to stretch and drink
               and paw cymbidium
overripe and sleeping in its pot.
Your breathing takes
                      a new direction.

There is something,
                     if not everything,
loose and wandering about
each breath you take
            and then give up
as there is an interval between
half empty bed
and bed sitting chair.

The flame released
is never in proportion
to the fire quenched.
The way a photograph
a moment after being taken
drops the subject caught.

Your shadow moves from you.
Up against the wall it goes
then arching out
                   across the ceiling
down it comes
to settle on another wall.

Stars now strafe the room
                    with starlight
enough to close the gap
around your shadow
coming back to you/us.
Enough to fill the interval
                    that separated
bed sitting chair from bed.

                                            - from "Intervals," 1986

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notable birthdays

Monday 13 November

Hermione Baddeley o Nathaniel Benchley o Edwin Booth o Justice Louis D. Brandeis o Linda Christian o William Gibson o Whoopi Goldberg o Richard Lucus o Joe Mantegna o Dack Rambo o Bruce Samazan o Alexander Scourby o Jean Seberg o Robert Sterling o Robert Louis Stevenson o Oskar Werner

Tuesday 14 November

St. Augustine o Travis Barker o Stephen Bishop o Charles, Prince of Wales o Aaron Copland o Rosemary De Camp o Chris Demetral o Johnny Desmond o Mamie Eisenhower o Robert Fulton o Nina Gordon (Smashing Pumpkins) o King Hussein of Jordan o Barbara Hutton o George S. Kaufmani o Brian Keith o Veronica Lake o Marya Mannes o Senator Joseph McCarthy o Claude Monet o Jawaharlal Nehru o Jim Piersall o Dick Powell o Leonie Rysanek o Harrison Salisbury o McLean Stevenson o D.B. Sweeney o Martha Tilton

Wednesday 15 November

Edward Asner o Howard Baker o Daniel Barenboim o Joanna Barnes o Jorge Bolet o Petula Clark o Beverly D’Angelo o Felix Frankfurter o Bill “C.W. McCall” Fries o W. Averill Harriman o John Kerr o Curtis Le May o Frida Lyngstad o Whitman Mayo o Clyde McPhatter o Bill Melendez o Marianne Moore o Georgia O’Keeffe o Erwin Rommel o Judge Joseph Wapner o Sam Waterston

Thursday 16 November

Oksana Baiul o Lisa Bonet o Daws Butler o Gene Clark o Eddie Condon o Dwight Gooden o Clu Gulager o William Christopher Handy o Paul Hindemith o George S. Kaufman o David Leisure o Mary Margaret McBride o Fibber McGee (James Jordon) o Donna McKechnie o Burgess Meredith o Trevor Penick o Joanna Pettet o Martha Plimpton o Guy Stockwell

Friday 17 November

Mischa Auer o Peter Cook o Danny DeVito o Daisy Fuentes o Rock Hudson o Lauren Hutton o Hershey Kay o Gordon Lightfoot o Sir. Charles MacKerras o Dean Paul Martin o Bob Mathias o Lorne Michaels o Myra Montezuma o Bebe Rebozo o RuPaul o Martin Scorsese o Tom Seaver o Lee Strasberg

Saturday 18 November

Hank Ballard o Imogene Coca o Dorothy Collins o Louis Daguerre o Linda Evans o George Gallup o David Hemmings o Jim Mennick o Johnny Mercer o Mickey Mouse o Kevin Nealon o Eugene Ormandy o Graham Parker o Jameson Parker o Sinbad o Susan Sullivan o Brenda Vaccaro

Sunday 19 November

Roy Campanella o Dick Cavett o Tommy Dorsey o Jodie Foster o Indira Gandhi o James A. Garfield o Savion Glover o Dan Haggerty o Dorothy Jetter o Larry King o Jeane Kirkpatrick o Calvin Klein o McCaughey Septuplets o Jose Molina o Bob Richardson o Meg Ryan o Keri Strug o Ted Turner o Clifton Webb o Alan Young

Rod's random thoughts
Romance your friends and befriend your lovers.

Discretion only requires a lowering of the eyes.

Habit is our worst enemy until we learn to make it our friend.

Manhattan Beach

I've taken a house on Manhattan Beach
working the summer into a book.

Eddie came last weekend
and brought some girls and some books.
The girls were pretty but the books stayed longer
and now they menace me stacked up on the floor
              staring back in unread smugness.
Otherwise I've had no visitors.

It's hard to sleep
though I try breathing with the waves.
It only makes me think
of our own breathing counterpoint.

At first I missed the traffic
   then the telephone.
Finally I call back
a hundred more familiar rooms
and sink down past the pillows eye.
It makes me think I ought to try to buy
Songs and safe surroundings I know best
and keep them in a half-packed suitcase
for sojourns such as these.

Katie keeps me company
and brings back fantastic things
from her daily runs along the beach.
A weathered stick
             a bottle with no note
                           assorted other dogs.
She has, I fear, bad taste in canine friends
(the kind you say I've lately had in people.)

Still, lying by my bed at night
she smells like all the seas I've known
and that's a comfort to the sailor in me.

Will I see Capri again?
Hydra is just a name now
though once the big boats
              filled the harbor
and young Greeks made me dance
while up above the Suco-Suco
a boy of fifteen stretched himself
and caught me thinking ten years back
regretting not the gone-forever mornings
but wondering only how I'd live
                    another afternoon.

I nearly died that August.
Some fever made of lamb no doubt
or nightly walks along the harbor.
I stayed alive on summer squash and Coca-Cola
                  and wrote no songs.

No letters came that summer either
and I was down to eighty drachma
when I left the island.

Still I would go back
but not to Athens with it's tear gas for the masses
                     and bayonets -
              the buckshot of the upper classes.

Naples is the asshole of the world
       (ah, but there's Capri.)
Majorca still has buggy rides
that take you to the sea.

Outside Katie's barking on the beach.
She's found a seal
             that wants to play.

- from "Lonesome Cities," first published by Random House in 1968


© 1970, 1986, 2002, 2010, 2013, 2015 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Webmaster: Ken Blackie • Media Consultant & Sound Supervisor Eric Yeager • Birthday Research by Wade Alexander • Poems from the collection of Jay Hagan • Editor at Large: Bruce Bellingham • Emeritus: Melinda Smith

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