I was going to try to write something eloquent about the passing of the man who is my favorite poet, but I am at a loss for words to describe how big I think this loss is, not just to me but to the world. The death of Rod McKuen on January 29, 2015 will likely bring about the reissue of his books and recordings, and no doubt inspire documentaries and perhaps even biographies, both penned and on film. I will simply post words that can be readily found on his website, as they are comforting and seem fitting at this time.
A Safe Place To Land
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