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 for my friends out in the world

There should be some silence in this place so thought can harvest things it's lately caught. I hope that you will take this as a resting space. A bench provided just before the clearing up ahead.

Rest here, be foolish, not merely lady, gent. Be a little useless for a time. Turn around and chase your tail. Roll on your back, paws up and out. Rub up against me as you pass. My old leg is sturdy and as good a scratching place as yonder tree. Lap the day up in my lap. Inhale the earth. Suck in my breath. And breathe it back to me in ways I have forgotten.

Arms around me these past years have not been commonplace, your comfort passed to me from out there, somewhere - dare we call it outer space, has kept me safe. Your thought embraces better than the memory's triumph over time. I have longed for you, thought up songs for you, missed and mourned you as the times passed past. Here you are. Brought back to me by your wish mixed with mine. Noise cannot touch us here. I will try and make for you the calmest place there is within this loud and getting louder world.

No map to help us find the tranquil flat lands, clearings calm, fields without mean fences. Rolling down the other side of life our compass is the sureness of ourselves. Time may make us rugged, ragged round the edges, but know and understand that love is still the safest place to land.

Rod McKuen, April, 1998

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