Posts Tagged ‘Rod McKuen’

I love my headset. I can always listen to my favorite music and sometimes watch films on YouTube.

Tonight is one of those that I treasure, listening to the music of Rod McKuen and Henry Mancini.  I was reading  some early posts about Rod McKuen then thought of listening to his husky voice while he recites some poems and sings his songs.  He is not probably popular with kids and the millennial  nowadays. I agree, there is only one Rod McKuen. He shared his music to the world and his poems.  I always get inspired  reading his words and listening  to his music.

I remember Mary Anne, a friend I met back in our Multiply days.  She died about two years ago,  a previous blogger here at WordPress too.  She sent me two CDs of Henry Mancini one birthday years ago. She knew I love Mancini’s music and she loved it too. Wherever you are Mary Anne, let us listen to your favorite.

My love of Mancini started when I  watched the movie  adaptation of The  Thorn Birds (a book by Colleen McCullough)  The theme song was just heavenly  so I looked for more of his compositions and there are several in YouTube.  I am presently listening to The Very Best of Henry Mancini while writing this.  Think of The Pink Panther, Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses, How Soon, Two for the Road. I could go on and on. They are wonderful music of days gone by.

My night is filled with music.


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Today’s Quote

“Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.”

– Rod McKuen

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The other day, I was updating my journal, transferring some quotes and one-liner words that I have accumulated in my thought box when I saw this printed list of books that I have culled from my account at shelfari.com, the first virtual library that I have painstakingly updated when I started using social media (think Friendster and Multiply) several years ago. I could no longer access my account there since I have already forgotten my password. When most of our books were destroyed by typhoon Ondoy last September 2009 I haven’t visited the site as much as I wanted because it pains me to  see the titles of those volumes  and book titles. It makes my heart bleed just seeing that all those lovely books that I have collected over the years are now gone. The Shelfari site was where I met book nerds not just here in the Philippines but from some other countries too. From there a friend created a book club which is still active until now though I haven’t attended the monthly sessions for a number of years.  When I got sick, I stopped joining the group in their book discussions but I follow a number of those who have separate book blogs  both at WordPress and at Blogger.

I now keep tract of the books that I’ve read and the books that I want to read via Goodreads. My wish list back then was quite long but I have found several books through the years of searching for those copies either at National Bookstore or at Booksale. There is nothing like finding one particular book in your list when you least expect it. Here is my updated wish list for 2016. It would be nice if I could find even half of the remaining ones that I haven’t read yet.

  • Ada by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • Caught In The Quiet by Rod McKuen
  • Happy All The Time by Laurie Colwin
  • Hello From Heaven: A New Field of Research-After-Death communication by Bill Guggeinheim
  • I Am David by Anne Holm
  • If Not Now, When? (Penguin Twentieth-Century classics) by Primo Levi
  • In Search Of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  • In The Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton by Thomas Merton
  • Looking For A Friend – Rod McKuen
  • Love’s Been Good To Me – Rod McKuen
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Rites Of Passage by William Golding
  • Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Christmas Box Miracle: My Spiritual Journey of Destiny, Healing and Hope by Richard Paul Evans
  • The Devil In The Flesh by Raymond Radiguet, Alan Sheridan
  • The Graduate by Charles Webb
  • The Heart Of A Woman by Maya Angelou
  • Honorary Consul by Graham Greene
  • The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
  • The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • Too Many Midnights by Rod McKuen
  • Traveling Light by Max Lucado
  • Watch For The Wind by Rod McKuen
  • West Wind by Mary Oliver
  • Witness To Hope: A Biography of Pope John Paul II
  • Your Name is Renee: Ruth Kapp Hartz’s Story As A Hidden Child in Occupied France by Stacey Cretzmeyer.

And last but not the least is P. Anciers’ Libertine’s Destiny. I read this when I was in college and the only copy of  UST’s Main Library was never in the shelf. Back then, when somebody returned the book, there was always someone who wanted to borrow it. The story started in Germany during WWII. If I were to rate it now, I’ll give it five stars. There is a discussion group on Goodreads about this book and some have sourced different libraries in the US to no avail.

What about you, do you have a favorite book that you want to reread and makes you smile just remembering  it?

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.–Neil Gaiman

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Don’t ask me how it might have been, or what it could or should have been like.How different all my days would be if I’d strode securely into public sunlight. More and more I take the sun alone – always at the edge of the clearing, close enough to the wood to crouch low or retreat at ease should the beautiful enemy pass by.

If these pages are so personal and private, why  let them go? There is a chance, however small that some one will read, understand, even stop and turn in my direction.-  Rod McKuen

That moment when you find another book on your wish list and you shout with joy, a muffled sound of a Yes, I’m so lucky and grinning like crazy while hugging the book close. It’s as if you can’t believe your eyes that you’ve found another treasure. Nice meeting you again Rod McKuen! I wonder if I could sleep tonight. I just want to read your poems and lose myself in your words and in your world.

The last time I encountered Rod McKuen was   several years ago. I chanced upon his book  Seasons in the Sun  in one of my forays at National Bookstore  back then. I didn’t even know that he was the one who composed the same song that was so popular during the seventies.  That book was one of the  most read books on my shelf and losing it was like losing a good friend and companion at  times when I need a word or two to make me smile  and to look at life with  wide open eyes. This afternoon I was lucky though to find Alone, another book on my wish list which is really hard to find in local bookstores nowadays  because it was published in 1979. Gosh, talk about being really, really lucky.

Actually I bought five more books all at P29.00 pesos each, really at a bargain price, if you ask me. I bought two books by Barbara Cartland, one by Carol Quinto and a copy of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Of course, we all know that the latter is a classic and the rest are regency romance books. I was in high school when I started reading  Barbara Cartland, all books borrowed from our school library. Come to think of it, those were the kind of books I used to read in high school but I never owned a Barbara Cartland book  in my whole life until now. This fascination for English titles though somehow didn’t completely wane through the years because it became a real-life fascination for real-life prince and princess, kings and queens not only from England but in other countries as well. I followed Lady Di’s story until her death five years ago. I read a book on Grace Kelly, dubbed as the American princess although I haven’t even seen any of her movie pictures. And I did have a chance to see a royal couple during my college years in UST when then Princess Sofia and Prince Carlos visited the university. They are now the King and Queen of Spain.

Going back to Rod McKuen’s book, I’d like to quote one of his poems here because it reminds me of a picture I took one sunny afternoon about three years ago. It is an amateurish shot of a flock of birds passing by.

One Day I’ll Follow the Birds

One day I’ll follow the birds

disappearing into the rain

going in a hurry, then gone

glad to be in flight again

not sure why I’m running.

There are some wounds

I never speak about.

Some things that words

have done to me

that none will ever know.

But one gray day

I’ll follow a funeral out-of-town

on the heels of the birds

disappearing into the rain.

I love, love Rod McKuen 🙂

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The stars are out tonight sending sinews of hope for a better tomorrow.  Just looking at the pictures of the victims of typhoon Sendong and listening to the news  of  how more than a thousand died  and many more missing makes me feel depressed somehow.  As I have always said before, you can never really empathize  unless you were a victim yourself and experienced the same thing they are experiencing right now.  Typhoon Ondoy made me wary of the things it brought and the lessons learned and until now, every time it rains, I still feel that uncertain fear.  But life has to go on despite everything right?

Yes, in times like these, I resort to  reading poems or sometimes just focus  on inspirational books to get by. One of  my early favorites (aeons ago, since I was still in college when I found him) is Rod McKuen.  It’s a little uncanny when you find an author who exactly echoes your thoughts and what you feel right at that moment that you need to reassure yourself that everything is well. I miss my only book I had of his works but at least I could google him up and still enjoy reading his thoughts.

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.

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.

The journey back is always longer than the forward run.

Cats have it all – admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it.

Once I thought ideas were exceptions not the rule. That is not so. Ideas are so plentiful that they ride on air. You have only to reach out and snatch one.

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.

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Lend enough love out and you’ll be paid back all your lifetime. – Rod McKuen

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I’ll catch the sun
and never give it back again
I’ll catch the sun
and keep it for my own
And in a world
where no one understands
I’ll  take my outstretched hands
and offer it to anyone.

– I’ll Catch The Sun
Rod McKuen

The first time I encountered Rod McKuen’s poetry, I was hooked  and that was almost thirty years ago.  A singer, a songwriter, a poet!  He was part of my days and nights of finding myself, searching for a lost love, maybe, just maybe,  it wasn’t there at all but the poetry of Rod McKuen was.

Seasons in the Sun was one of his popular books and he  was a friend, a companion during dark nights and an imaginary shoulder to cry on.  He speaks for a generation with gentle and always intelligent poetry . In vain, I am still trying to find some of his books and they are still included in my wishlist at Shelfari.

I would ask of you
that you ever be warm
willing to be kind
not letting me forget
that kindness is the passport
and the proven way
for two to journey through
a lifetime, each other,
or a single summer’s day.

Simple lines, the meaning of which touches you to the core.  I’ve spent some of my younger years wishing that I could put my thoughts on paper as sensitively as he does.  I’ve spent some of my youngers years wishing that I could reach out through poetry too just like he does, but that will never be.  Ambitious thinking!

And in my heart, I truly believed in finding one true love.  And  somehow I was brave enough to give it a try.  Listen to this:

Cloud formations
on a give day
and wondering
if you’d seen them too
are enough to make
a morning pass for me.

was your day
filled with wanting
or the needlepoint
of knowing that I waited

I did
I do.

Rod McKuen! He still could turn my days into sunshine and  makes me appreciate the times that certain rain must fall.

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