Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Month of Favorite Poetry, Day #5

I always say that the award for the most under-rated poet of all time would have to go to Rod McKuen.  His poetic works were born of the 60's and 70's.  He wrote record-breaking hits and rivaled musicians like Bob Dylan.  Yet, he seemingly fell into oblivion after retiring from the limelight in the 80's.

I own many of his books.  I was lucky to find hardcover editions in a thrift-shop some years ago.  Second-hand and dog-eared, still I adore them.

I find a calm tranquility inside these words.  The feeling of nothing needing to be done.  No where to go, and no desire to do anything but sit inside the calm emptiness of one's own company.  I love my alone time, sparse as it is.  I have always enjoyed my own company.  Usually when I'm most alone is when my muse finds me.  I invite her to a cup of coffee, and we speak to each other across paper.


Penance
by Rod McKuen

Tonight
I will do nothing.
Not read or write
or think.
I will not let
television's bromide
pacify me,
nor make long distance calls
or cruise the local
or let Jeri Southern
conjure up old loves for me.

I will sit in this room
not try to sleep,
disregard the animals
unless they come to me
and if the doorbell rings-
unlikely,
it will go on ringing.

I am doing penance
not feeling sorry for myself
misjudged or misrepresented.
I feel nothing.
So I will do nothing.

Perhaps there is
a slight ache somewhere
but it is so far
back inside of me
that it remains undiagnosed
and will go unattended.

I am not sure
I could say with certainty
what I am doing
penance for.
The reason
if it once was real
is grey.

Tonight I will do nothing
and that includes
not expecting
the unexpected.

But if it should come...

From Celebrations of the Heart, 1975

You can learn more about Rod McKuen and read some of his unpublished poetry at his website.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is so appreciated. Your thoughts and critiques are always welcome! I will be by to visit your blog soon!