Caught in the Quiet

Poetry by Rod McKuen

Commissioned by Rafael Porto

Caught in the Quiet
by Rod McKuen


Not by the sun’s arithmetic
or my own
can I make the days
go fast enough.
Yet there are those
who beg God daily
for an extra hour.
I wish for them no solitude,
no time apart from what they love,
and let them have their extra hour.


In becoming part of someone else
you lose yourself
that’s the very least that happens.
Lucky are the ones who gain a language
or stumble on a system not yet tried
while they’re giving up
what little independence
there is left in life.


What I’ve gained
from being with you
(besides a belly
and a deeper beard),
I couldn’t say –
but any need for knowing
anyone but you
is what I’ve lost.

Caught in the Quiet was commissioned by Rafael Porto and uses poetry by Rod McKuen from his book of the same name.