My Favorite Poems by: Rod McKuen


Imagine-By John Lennon

I wanted to write you some words you'd remember
words so alert they's leap from the paper
and crawl up your shoulder and lie by your ears
and be there to comfort you down through the years.
But it was cloudy that day and I was lazy
and so I stayed in bed just thinking about it.

I wanted to write you and tell you that maybe
love songs from lovers are unnecessary.
We are what we feel and writing it down
seems foolish sometimes without vocal sound.
But I spent the day drinking coffe, smoking cigarettes
and looking in the mirror practicing my smile.

I wanted to write you one last, long love song
that said what I felt one final time.
Not comparing your eyes and mouth to the stars
but telling you only how like yourself you are.
But by the time I thought of it, found a pen,
put the pen to ink, the ink to paper,
you were gone.

And so, this song has no words.

We come into the world alone,
we go away the same.
we're meant to spend
the interlude
between in closeness

or so we tell ourselves,
But it's a long way from morning to the evening.

You've but to push your fist throught the mist
and haze
to penetrate the clouds. Easier for the dreamer,
harder for airplanes.

The man who's dead to dreaming
lives within a cloud of his own
and so his chance of entering the
stratoshere is scant. I close my eyes
to dreaming, only long enough to dream.

If you had listened hard enough you might have heard what what I meant to say


In Someones Shadow

One day a man will take you on the high roads;
After a time he'll leave you someplace nice
Or tell you where the big boys play.
They usually string out their games
In someone's shadow
It could be yours.
More likely mine,
For mine's grown longer and there's more room here.

I ache to learn some new games now,
I've been away too long.
To see a new door open I'd go almost anywhere...
even backward,
If I had the time.

Catch me in the sunlight.
Catch me pacing the trees.
Build a fence around me
the moment you see me running
I'm so elusive sometimes
I miss the things worth stopping for.

Now comes the time for closeness once again
Turn me over gently
Hold me for the woman I am.
Smooth out the wrinkles on my face
because I need.

The big boys play
In someone's shadow down the street

There is no wrong side
or right side

no misery in not being loved
only in not loving

I learned these truths myself
I tell them to you now
as you go sailing through the sun
on your way towards life

There are still some forests that I haven't known.
Tree trunks I've never wrapped my legs around and climbed.
A million branches I might have slid down
Had I had the time.
Some leaves trembled in the wood and caught my ear
Some twigs beneath the hooves of deer snapped
and signaled spring.
Waking me from the endless winter thoughts.


I sing for people I can't have
people I meet once and will never see again.
It is for me a kind of loving.
A kind of loving, for me.

I make words for people I've not met
those who will not turn to follow after me.
It is for me a kind a loving.
A kind of loving, for me.

It is for love that I live all alone.
Because the lovers I imagine
are safer then the ones I've known.

I make rhymes for people who won't hear
some who will not turn their faces to meet mine.
It is for me a kind of loving.
A kind of loving, for me.

There are some wars a man should never be afraid to lose. One is the loss that comes from loving whether in the lightening or the dark.

More Thought Provoking poetry by Rod McKuen
Back to Yellow Brick Road