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Flight Plan

25 June 1998

Rod & Dinah. Photo by Bob Gentry © 2000 by Stanyan Music Group

A Thought for Today

Don't be afraid of criticism even if you feel it's unjust. You and God know your true intentions, isn't that enough?


Rod, I liked the juxtaposition of the prose from Coming Close To the Earth and the poem from Folio that you used in your Flight Plan of June 25th, 1998. Please print it again, Ted Starrett.


To write about you isn't easy. Compare it to a blind that on its spring flaps up to smash the window casing. To praise or talk about you would do more injury than compliment.

Within my own heart's head, I remember sun in California, mid-Manhattan corridors and hotel beds, a Sunday walk within Miami's mall. Island nights of fireflies and lightning.

Some pages in my diary are blotted or unused. Those must have been the happiest of times, for who can jot down happiness when it is happening? Bad times? Sure.

Still in this year together I have never once considered life or lifetime to be anything but synonymous with you.

-from Coming Close To The Earth,1977,1978 -first used in Flight Plan 6/25/98

notable birthdays Shiela Armstrong o Danny Bonaduce o Neville Brand o Fidel Castro o Quinn Cummings o Dan Fogelberg o Pat Harrington o Alfred Hitchcock o Don Ho o Ben Hogan o Rex Humbard o Bonnie Komrow o Bert Lahr o Claudia McNeil o Freddie Mercury o Annie Oakley o Gene Raymond o Buddy Rogers o George Shearing o Kevin Tighe o Regis Toomey o Deborah Walley
Rod's random thoughts Bend the rule too often and you might have to scrap the plan.

We have a special name for people who agree with us - 
we call them geniuses.

Only fools tell complete lies.

Many a domestic issue comes from a foreign affair.


As fragile as a teacup
in the wrong hands,
As empty as the nests
                that birds vacate
just before the winter months
As silent as an enemy
with worked out plans
As difficult as detail is
to those who charge ahead
without instructions or a may.
So learning how to love again
                    must be to those
who leave off loving
after having scaled love's mountain
a time or two before.

I am a willing pupil
ready to again take up
the lesson book or attend
                      the master class.
Any day when I'm not learning
even if it's called re-education
          I consider lost.
I ask only patience
the kind the first grade teacher
offers her most backward child
that initial month,
before demands aggressive children
learn to make out of ego
                        and necessity.

Be as careful with me
as you are when rounding corners
                   new to you.
I'll cram, I'll study and I'll work
to merit this time spent with you
This new chance at reeducation.

I relearn quickly when I trust.

-from Folio No. 35, Spring 1982
© 1977, 1978, 1979, 1998, 2000 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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