6 Best Rod Mckuen Poems | Songs Written By Rod Mckuen

Here are list of Rod Mckuen Poems that is known for its expressions of love, optimism, and heartfelt longing. Read and share with friends or on social media.

rod mckuen poems
Rod Mckuen Poem

Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes

Come and take my eldest son,
Show him how to shoot a gun
Wipe his eyes if he starts to cry
When the bullets fly.
Give him a rifle, take his hoe,
Show him a field where he can go
To lay his body down and die
Without asking why
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians
Sticks and stones can break your bones,
Even names can hurt you
But the thing that hurts the most
Is when a man deserts you
Don’t you think it’s time to weed
The leaders that no longer lead
From the people of the land
Who’d like to see their sons again?
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians
God if men could only see
The lessons taught by history
That all the singers of this song
Cannot right a single wrong
Let all men of good will
Stay in the fields they have to till
Feed the mouths they have to fill
And cast away their arms
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians
Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes number practically zero
But there are millions who want to be civilians.

-Rod Mckuen

rod mckuen best poems
Rod Mckuen Best Poem

Song Without Words Lyrics

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.

-Rod Mckuen

the need poem

The Need

It’s nice somethings
to open up the heart a little
and let some hurt come in.
It proves you’re still alive.
If nothing else
it says to you-
clear as a high hill air,
uncomfortable
as diving through cold water-
I’m here.
However wretchedly I feel,
I feel.
I’m not sure
why we cannot shake
the old loves
from our minds.
It must be that
we build on memory
and make them more
than what they were.
And is the manufacture
just a safe device
for closing up the wall?
I do remember.
the only fuzzy circumstance
is sometimes where and how.
Why, I know.
It happens
just because we need
to want and to be
wanted, too
when love is here or gone
to lie down in the darkness
and listen to the warm.

-Rod Mckuen

—————–

Without a Worry in the World

You all have seen the vagabond
as he went singing in the dawn
without a worry in the world
I’ve never seen a gipsy who
Could be a gipsy through and through
and have a worry in the world

All merry men are minstrels then
Who keep their troubles locked inside
And don’t inflict them on the world
Isn’t there something to be said
For leaving your troubles home in bed
And never taking them to the road

The sailor cruising into town
Is not afraid to be a clown
without a worry in the world
No cowboy with an ounce of pride
Will mount his horse and ride
and have a worry in the world

All merry men are minstrels then
Who keep their troubles locked inside
And don’t inflict them on the world
Isn’t there something to be said
For leaving your troubles home in bed
And never taking them to the road

If I must love then let me love
As thought I’ve never loved before
without a worry in the world
If I must go then let me go
And only gently close the door

All merry men are minstrels then
Who keep their troubles locked inside
And don’t inflict them on the world
Isn’t there something to be said
for having had someone instead
of never have had any at all

Without a worry in the world
without a worry in the world

Yes I’ve got troubles of my own
I’ll try to solve them all alone
I won’t inflict them on the world

-Rod Mckuen

—————–

Stanyon Street
1

You lie bent up in embryo sleep
below the painting of the blue fisherman
without a pillow.
The checkered cover kicked and tangled on the
floor
the old house creaking now
a car going by
the wind
a fire engine up the hill.

I’ve disentangled myself from you
moved silently,
groping in the dark for cigarettes,
and now three cigarettes later
still elated
still afraid
I sit across the room watching you –
the light from the street lamp coming through the
shutters
hysterical patterns flash on the wall sometimes
when a car goes by
otherwise there is no change.
Not in the way you lie curled up.
Not in the sounds that never come from you.
Not in the discontent I feel.

You’ve filled completely
this first November day
with Sausalito and sign language
canoe and coffee
ice cream and your wide eyes.
And now unable to sleep
because the day is finally going home
because your sleep has locked me out
I watch you and wonder at you.

I know your face by touch when it’s dark
I know the profile of your sleeping face
the sound of you sleeping.

Sometimes I think you were all sound
kicking free of covers
and adjusting shutters
moving about in the bathroom
taking twenty minutes of our precious time.

I know the hills
and gullys of your body
the curves
the turns.

I have total recall of you
and Stanyan Street
because I know it will be important later.

It’s quiet now.
Only the clock,
moving toward rejection tomorrow
breaks the stillness.

2

I have come as far away
as means and mind will take me
trying to forget you.
I have traveled, toured
turned a hundred times in the road
hoping to see you rushing after me.

At night,
though half a world away,
I still hear you sigh in several sizes.
The breathing softer when you’re satisfied.
The plip-plop body machinery back to normal.
remembering how warm you are
and how defenseless in your sleep
never fails to make me cry.
I cannot bear the thought of you
in someone else’s arms
yet imagining you alone is sad.

And in the day
my mind still rides the bridge
from Sausalito home.
I do not think
me and San Francisco
will be friends again
we share too many troubles.
Stanyan Street and other sorrows.

3

We try so hard to make each other frown
I sometimes wonder
if we haven’t been together much too long.
The words that work the wonders are so few
that they seem foolish anymore.

Is this a kind of loving too,
a chocolate bar that tastes good at the time
but kills the dinner later on ?
Could be our appetite will go
till even memory’s not a feast.

But there are times
when you can smile in such a way
that I’d forget a ten year war
and lie down in your shadows’ shadow
and live on sounds your stomach makes.
In these brief times
I could die against your side
and never make a warning sound
content to suffocate
within the circle of your back.

4

Three years
( or maybe four )
have moved beneath the San Francisco wreckers
and their yard-long hammers.
Their caterpillar treads that transform brick
to dust-red powder.
Those giant cranes
that slice a roof down
with a single swing.

Some have never known the wreckers’ rattle.
Those houses on Pacific that march toward
posterity
restored by dilettantes from Jackson Square
painted up like aging actresses
with eye-shadow windows and rouge-red doors.
Some have had collections taken up
petitions passed from hand to hand.
Their widows walks scraped free of dirt
and green grass planted where the weeds once grew.

These houses almost shiny new
that crowd Nob Hill
and marched down Lombard in a row
were saved to show the glory of the past.

There was a house on Stanyan street
that took a single day to wreck
and that includes an hour spent
at tin-pail lunch on sandwiches and beer.

They carted off the timber and sold it by the pound.
The bricks at least, ten cents a piece,
now make a Marin garden wall.

But there is little salvage to be had
in bent and broken nails
and things that might have been
if I’d had wiser eyes
or been a fisherman
in blue.

-Rod Mckuen

—————–

Self Pity

Spring has never seen
this country,
where lilac root stays frozen, cold.
And monotonous river rolls
And runs and rolls some more.
No birds fly here,
none will.
No fox will chase his rabbit down
pinning him to the frozen ground..
Not even cloud will come to cover
the grey that stays on grey.
And when the universe has turned
upon itself
this place will still be waiting here.
Challenging nothing.
Changing nothing.
Doing nothing for itself.

Not creeping ivy or thistledown
has found this piece of land
and stayed,
where evening is the rule
and not the welcome home.

No scholar comes to study here.
How much frozen solitude can be
set down in even alien country?

When darkness falls it falls forever,
over the homestead, over the sea.
An overwhelming desolation spreads
hinted death, destroying the breath
of branch and bone.
Awesome the silence,
appalling the gloom
that crowds this once wide land
into single room.

Do not come here by mistake
or by design.
The highway in is easy enough
to find, but the road away
is a tangled maze
that turns the days to year,
the year to decade and beyond.

Swans will not go swimming
here, nor cattle feed, nor sparrows
breed and populate.

This is no resting place. It is
a place of empty nests picked
clean, ruins that reverberate
down centuries gone and yet
to come.

Fallen angels manage
to avoid dropping in upon these
acres, never green.
Nothing perishes, germ or grain.
only different shades of decay
distinguish rock from harder place.

But if the ear could hear it,
pick it up,
the language practiced would be
made of layered mould. Odd times
when the wind is right
you can hear the nails
being driven home.

-Rod Mckuen

—————–

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