Flight Plan


  18th - 24th September, 2017











Photo by Eric Yeager 2009 All Rights Reserved

A Thought for Today

Autumn is the underbrush of winter.


FIVE POEMS FROM " . . . and autumn came"

september 30

the lake is quiet now
not a boat
not a swan
or the circle of a breathing fish
disturbs its waters...
the moon is crawling through the trees
on its belly
see... its legs are that clump of reeds

oh yes
i remember my town
the warm beer of sunday
the lavender smell of my mother’s bathroom
the growing older and the tears

as a child
i grew alone

i tell you this because
after a lifetime of being nothing
i am in love... and loved

october 2

follow me
follow me and I will lead you
through the alleys
and down the darkened streets... to home
cross here
follow the chalk marks along the sidewalk
where children played this afternoon
lift your feet.
go quietly
disturbing no one on the sleeping street
close your eyes
and the sight of tall brick buildings
with dirty windows
will be gone
stop a moment
and listen to your own footsteps
resounding through an asphalt alley

october 13

I hate it all.
the dim light.
the forced smiles
the long line of literary bustards
sitting in the quiet formation on a never-ending couch
each looking like a personal in the saturday review

the now full
now empty martini glass
each with a delicatessen toothpick
through a delicatessen olive

all the men eyeing you
wondering what we do at home

it is your party
have fun with it

are there any ways left
to tell you that I love you
when the sum total is announced
when the final word count is made
from the last paragraph written
and the last word spoken
will I have said it all.

come home with me

october 14

you laugh like a bolt of calico
you smile like strawberries swimming in cream
good morning baby

you sigh like the first raindrops that settle on the window
you frown like a disappointed bride
no... I like my coffee black

you cry like a brave soldier
or a nun
hardly ever
two eggs’ll be fine

you sleep like last week’s newspaper
just a minute while I brush my teeth

october 15

and on the evening air comes a lullaby
not for children . . .
but for grown up people in love

be still . . . let nothing disturb you
love will come and stay
be still . . . this is a lullaby for you

outside the dust lies thick
the lawns and gutters are littered with dead leaves
the night is long
listen to my lullaby

a man looks no longer
his heart has found a home

- from ". . . and autumn came," 1954, 1969

AUTHORS NOTE: In the 1969 republication of " . . . and autumn came" I revised some lines in these poems and omitted others. I have restored the poems here to conform to the 1954 original edition, with the exception of a single verse from the poem entitled "september 30."

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notable birthdays

Monday 18 September

Eddie “Rochester” Anderson o Lance Armstrong o Frankie Avalon o Robert Blake o Rossano Brazzi o Harold Clurman o June Foray o James Gandolfini o Greta Garbo o Samuel Johnson o John Albert Karle o Keith Kidder o Phyllis Kirk o Jada Pinkett Smith o Jimmie Rodgers o Michael Scigliano o James Shirley o Josef Tal o Jack Warden o Fred Willard

Tuesday 19 September

Jim Abbott o Brook Benton o “Mama" Cass Elliott o Brian Epstein o Berqen Evans o Jimmy Fallon o Frances Farmer o William Golding o Rosemary Harris o Kevin Hooks o Jeremy Irons o Leon Jaworski o Leslie “Twiggy” Lawson o Joan Lunden o Randolph Mantooth o David McCallum o Joseph Pasternak o Freda Payne o Kurt Sanderling o Rex Smith o Duke Snider o Alison Sweeny o Blanche Thebom o Ernest Truex o Lurleen Wallace o Adam West o Paul Williams o Trisha Yearwood o Kevin Zegers

Wednesday 20 September

Alexander the Great o Red Auerbach o Dr. Joyce Brothers o Virginia Bruce o Gary Cole o John Dankworth o Frank DeVol o Gogi Grant o Donald Hall o Kristen Johnston o Sister Elizabeth Kenny o Pia Lindstrom o Sophia Loren o Anne Meara o Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton o Peter Palmer o Mac Rebennack (Dr. John) o Fernando Rey o Rachel Roberts o Upton Sinclair o Stevie Smith o Jay Ward

Thursday 21 September

Leonard Cohen o Darva Conger o Dave Coulier o David James Elliott o Fannie Flagg o Liam Gallagher o Andrei Gavrilov o Henry Gibson o Edward Gosse o Larry Hagman o Faith Hill o Gustav Holst o Hamilton Jordan o Stephen King o Ricki Lake o Joseph Mazzello o Rob Morrow o Bill Murray o Alfonso Ribeiro o Savonarola o David Silveria o Melvin Van Pebbles o H. G. Wells

Friday 22 September

Scott Baio o Shari Belafonte-Harper o Andrea Bocelli o Debby Boone o Nick Cave o Lord Chesterfield o Michael Faraday o Tom Felton o Richard C. Hottelet o John Houseman o Bonnie Hunt o Joni James o Joan Jett o Ingemar Johansson o Joan Jett o Tommy Lasorda o Alice Meynell o Paul Muni o Catherine Oxenburg o Martha Scott o Eric Stoltz o Erich Von Stroheim o Henryk Szeryng

Saturday 23 September

Jason Alexander o Colin Blakely o Agustus Caesar o Nick Cave o Ray Charles o John Coltrane o Erik Estrada o Matt Hardy o Julio Iglesias o Ben E. King o Walter Lippman o William H. McGuffery o Louise Nevelson o Jarmina Novotna o Kip Pardue o Paul Petersen o Walter Pidgeon o Mary Kay Place o Mickey Rooney o Elliot Roosevelt o Romy Schneider o Bruce Springsteen o Pat Suzuki

Sunday 24 September

Pedro Almondovar o Konstantin Chernenko o F. Scott Fitzgerald o “Mean” Joe Green o Phil Hartman o Jim Henson o A. P. Herbert o Herb Jefferies o Francis Scott Key o Sheila MacRae o Gerry Marsden (Gerry & The Pacemakers) o Justice John Marshall o Linda McCartney o Jim McKay o Terry Metcalf o Anthony Newley o Andrzej Panufnik o Chen Sam o Kevin Sorbo o Fisher Tull o Nia Vardalos o Horace Walpole o John Young

Rod's random thoughts
Dreams should not be allowed to die until reality replaces them.

Self-pity is a recreation for the intellectually unemployed.

Autumn is the time when seasons merge because of bare necessity.


Autumn as a season
and autumn in a life
        are different
than I first expected.
The first, an abstract;
the second, a subtract.

The leaves turn crimson,
the hair turns white.
The leaves fall down,
as do testicles and
the firmest breast.

The dream goes on
for trees and man.
The difference is
the tree survives
the harshest winter,
but man may get
a simple cough
and raw will be
the days that follow.

It is as it is. It was as it was.
         Nothing changes
but the scenes and seasons.
Worry not. It is only life
and that is all we have.
It often isn’t much
but nearly always quite enough.

-from A Safe Place to Land, 2002


© 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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