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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1251 thru 1275 of 2766 Poems

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Nov 24, 2009, 8:25 pm

Autumn Apart

an die ferne Geliebte

I was wondering about you and if you remember
The way it was and how we felt another November
One which was so long ago now that it seems lost to me
Except for the haunted persistence of its memory

I was wondering about whether it persists in you
Or not the way it does in me and if it haunts you too

When the leaves are as they are and the stars are as they are
In this November like another one I remember
It makes me wonder about you and if in December
You will be alone as I am alone with leaf and star

And the haunted persistence of the memory of what
The haunted persistence of memory never forgot

As I have life I have hope we could make new memories
However separated we might be
Completing a circle with stars and leaves with things like these
And things only experience can see

The way we see too late how love is indivisible
And how the cruelest walls of all are invisible

I was wondering about you and dreaming about you
You say you are real and I have no reason to doubt you
And I guess it is only an effect of poverty
Not being able to travel as we would like to do

An effect of fear too if you are anything like me
Which keeps us apart missing each other as I miss you

The question is only when not whether
Our day will come to be lived out
We are predestined to be together
Real and without reason to doubt

And until we are together a star
Shines in memory of the millions of
The stars and leaves of November to seal and say my love
Belongs to you exclusively

I wonder if you wonder about me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 20, 2009, 10:54 pm

Smiths and Joneses Rise Together

Downward upward mobility fueled
The Smiths and the Joneses as they dueled
Small claims by small names carried to extremes
One could hardly keep up with the other
Pursuing their upwardly downward dreams
But looking back now why did they bother?

And oh how they bothered yet even so
They never bothered to learn what I know
The hard way from bitter experience
Being petty makes a big difference
And one very much for the worst it seems
I want to aim high and transcend all this

Squabblers are trapped in each other's embrace
Being right is relative after all
They curse each other when they want to kiss
Are sad to the back but mad to the face
And puffing themselves to get big get small
Small claims by small names carried to extremes

One name is as big as another when
All names are respected but until then
We seek our true upward mobility
And grow to full size when we realize
Mere utility is futility
Unreal is as real in reality

There is more that is than what you can see
Outside and inside of you and of me
Appearance is not the worth of a thing
And can prove paradoxical at best
Just as mine is marked by my suffering
As well as by my joy and all the rest

However I may appear I am here
However it looks and am looking for
An upward mobility without fear
One without an interpersonal war
Where people are people not means nor ends
And Smiths and Joneses rise together friends

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 17, 2009, 5:33 am


All snowflakes are based on the hexagon
Yet are mathematically unique
Through considerable variation
As the variation of me and you

Though those who know snow generally speak
Of certain common patterns of design
Due to such factors as temperature
Causing varietals like those of wine

With snow itself the crystal clear and pure
As old as time and yet forever new
Mathematics descending down the air
Out of the ether of other up there

The snow we know and the snow we do not
Snow we remember and snow we forgot
All of it all of it always will be
As the variation of you and me

Through considerable variation
A pattern in this case a hexagon
Dance of the atoms to the rhythm of
What all have in common and some call love

And all have in common what is most rare
Never discovered because always there
Were it not forgotten it would be gone
Taken for granted to oblivion

But it is everything and everywhere
As the variation of me and you
Mathematically descends the stair
Through considerable variation

As old as time and yet forever new
Beyond as behind us urging us on

Out of the ether of other up there

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 16, 2009, 6:06 am

If a Dream is

You and I are still children in our hearts
Not having been convinced quite by adults
Still thinking of whole things instead of parts
Believing in hopes as well as results

Nor does it seem implausible to me
That sometimes magic happens even now
As we are given opportunity
For magic we ought to take it somehow

At least this is the horizon I see
That the way we feel is the way we are
Nor is it an impracticality
For us to wish our lives upon a star

Someday when we figure out the details
Then we will make a dream reality
Someway or other and if all else fails
Understand if a dream is it will be

It is and has been as it will be still
Children ever young who never grow old
Those who stay warm when the grownups grow cold
Understand no impossibility

Not the ones who would but the ones who will
Understand if a dream is it will be

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 12, 2009, 1:37 am

Deeper in Autumn

The deeper in autumn the deeper life feels
Like the way an autumnal cloudbank reveals
Light revealing nothing by translucency

Deeper light is better light by which to see
The deeper in autumn as deeper we share
The idea of home and of our being there

Wherever home is whatever home might be
It feels less real in place than in memory
And is borne and is worn like the clothes we wear

Then when we remember it is November
To break our hearts by how much we cared and care
For what was loved and lost as we remember

I can find home refracted in your handshake
I can taste it in a gift from far away
When it comes from you as a gift for my sake

Then to be for the sake of humanity
Given and given back again and again
The autumnal cloudbank returning the sea

Our tears are washed away in autumnal rain
We have lived a lot and we will live still more
And it is each other we are living for

Light revealing everything translucently
Like the way an autumnal cloudbank reveals
The deeper in autumn the deeper life feels

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 10, 2009, 2:14 am

Once and Future Light

Midnight is blue
As I feel tonight
Here missing you
Once and future light
Do not or do
And it is all right
With me

By this blue moon
I will await you
Since I know soon
Love you and hate you
You will come back to (since you never left) me anyway
Once and future light (which by this true noon) now I can say
I see

That though I know this is all in my head
Still I feel something like sick from living
So I prefer to be alone instead
Of being the misfit at Thanksgiving

Midnight is blue
As my blood runs red
Here missing you
As left here for dead

Do not or do
It is all the same
I find
But lonely too
Both credit and blame

By this blue moon
I will be happy someday
As it is and be that as it may
Though this is a hard time this time is when I live
So might as well answer in the affirmative
I am glad to be not so much lonely as free

Do not or do
And it is all right
With me
Once and future light
Who was and who
Will always be

Shine though through pain
As sun through rain
As once again
On me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 7, 2009, 10:32 pm

We Hope Who Live

Where there is life is hope not far away
Who live will always find encouragement
Even on the most discouraging day
And if hope is lost here is where it went

Which calls us back from the pursuit of there
To follow our hearts and awaken to
What is as vital as water and air
We hope who live since that is what we do

It is for good reason the wise ones say
That life without hope is impossible
We follow by hope through the shades of grey
To where black and white are invisible

And hope is our horizon as we go
Since hope is usually all we see
And until we try what we never know
We fall we rise we go on hopefully

To follow our hearts and awaken to
Blooming possibilities of meaning
Bending or breaking falling or leaning
We hope who live since that is what we do

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 6, 2009, 2:12 am

When LBJ Grew his Hair

LBJ grew his hair at the end (like me)
Along with Howard Hughes and the rest
That erstwhile paragon of conformity
Felt something needing to be expressed
Or else he just forgot about his hair
In any case I noticed (I was there)

After Watergate there was a little thaw
In the frigid conservatism of
The Orange County context from which I came
Reflected in officeholders and in law
Ironically Nixon was to blame
For that false-spring brief experiment with love

And soon enough it all went back to the way
It seems to be inevitably
Except for evolution down to this day

Only the evolved dare to be free
By daring they select themselves for better

LBJ might not have been one of these but
Having outgrown his conventional fetter
At the end he had that hair no matter what

Some people say LBJ was sorry for
Decisions made and things he had done
Or maybe he lost his mind about the war
I wonder what he thought of Nixon?
But unlike those he sent to fight and die there
He had the luxury of growing his hair

I had the feeling back then that he evolved
Or at least that he was thinking then
With his shoulder-length hair at those football games
His presidency and his war unresolved
As paranoid Nixon added names
While the rest of the world wondered why and when

That erstwhile paragon of conformity
The unwanted dad of the nation
Just might have realized the enormity
Of it all at his fall by this small
Gesture of reconsideration:
LBJ grew his hair at the end (like me)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 4, 2009, 2:53 am


I begin as I have been again
To write my way out of this hole I am in
So I say when discouraged like yesterday
But then with a pencil clear cobwebs away

To begin is to be begun
With journey underway
To begin is to be half done
With journey come what may

To begin is a call received
Perceiving a vision
To begin is a dream believed
Achieving a mission

Beginning forever because ending never
Felt quite so free
Beginning is already halfway to winning

Yesterday I began again
I wrote myself out of that hole I was in
And if I can do it today who can say?
But as I have been so I begin

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Nov 1, 2009, 8:24 pm

A Love Song in November

So we have established that we exist
Now and are sufficiently grateful for
This chance that therefore we do not resist
When existence asks a little bit more

And what it asks is that we do our best
Though it seems indifferent so we ask
Searching for meaning like taking a test
For up and down and best and worst we task
Ourselves with finding meaning as we go
And meaning is not invisible here

Then when we find it at last we will know
We found it since meaning is always clear
A crystalline moment of clarity
Made more beautiful by its rarity

And so we find the elixir we need
To carry us forward across the night
And who finds meaning is happy indeed
As though rediscovering a birthright

Wherever meaning comes from it is there
As always lost as it is always found
That indefinable quality where
We feel the universe turning around
And feel that we are at the center of
It all at the still point of the turning

And what does it feel like? It feels like love
From and towards as turning and returning

How love feels is something no one can say
Yet it is something everybody knows
And it comes even as it goes away
Love is beyond what merely comes and goes
Love always is and it is everywhere
The secret of to care and not to care

We wonder about below and above
And find meaning in each other by love

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 31, 2009, 5:01 am

What He Forgot

on learning the lawyer who lost my house for me
has been arrested now for double homicide

After he took the rest of my money
The lawyer was arrested for murder
Two murders since he shot the witness too
A mother and one who would protect her

They say he did nothing at all for me
Bringing the ruin of things as they were
Who knows why people do the things they do?
Who knows how people can be so unkind?

He was a lawyer who looked at his fee
As what was most important in each case
And when he felt like killing then would shoot
To lose his humanity with his mind

I am just glad I am not in his place
But nor am I in my place anymore
He was a pirate plundering for loot
And now I stand outside my locked front door

His crooked lawyer joke turned out to be
At my expense to cost everything but
Life taken from others if not from me
I suppose I got off with a warning

And I still have life left no matter what
He took the rest but now what is that for?
Prison and disgrace and the stink of greed
Life as exercise in futility

Here in the canyon in this rented room
I am alive and I have all I need
Love is the attitude I will assume
I will be here to welcome the morning

And I will remember what he forgot
My heart will never break though it may bend
And after I have blossomed then my seed
Will rise to remember me at the end

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 29, 2009, 1:08 am

Magic on the Wind

The wind scrubs the stars to shine silver bright
Scattering clouds and scaring them away
And there is magic on the wind tonight
Shattering darkness into crystal day

The wind has come and I have waited for
A passing opportunity like this
To let myself out by another door
The wind has come and I can feel the kiss
Of other which reminds me then of me
And so wondering if I am alone
In prosecution of my destiny
I let go and I fall to the unknown

The wind winnows me as it makes me clean
Of the detritus of disappointment
Not the high nor low but the in between
None knows where it came from nor where it went

The wind is my spirit no more no less
It represents me as I rise to be
The wind is the only faith I confess
And it sounds a lot like myself to me
The wind is light and dark to curse and bless
A revelation or a fantasy
And in the end the wind is all I know:
Where does it come from and where does it go?

The wind comes from where it comes and goes there
In neverending cycle again and
Again because the wind is everywhere
The wind in my heart my head and my hand

The wind is the breath of life and of death
Ending beginning losing and winning
The wind has come and I have waited for
A passing opportunity like this
To let myself in by another door
The wind scrubs the stars to shine silver bright
Scattering clouds and scaring them away
Shattering darkness into crystal day

The wind has come and I can feel the kiss
Ending beginning losing and winning
The wind is the breath of life and of death
And there is magic on the wind tonight

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 27, 2009, 8:56 am

Finding Stars

I came up here to find stars and now I do
But only because I am looking at you
Since no matter how many stars there might be
Without you it is only the dark I see

And since we have been that we know what we mean
Without you these diamonds cannot be seen
But you are here if only a memory
Always in my heart now always on my mind

You and I still have so many stars to find
You know I know nothing of astronomy
I came up here to find stars and now I do
But only because I was looking for you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 25, 2009, 10:16 pm

Fifty One Fifty (Two)

When I was in Unit Five we had the cage
Unit Three had none but had a black tar yard
Some were filled with sadness others filled with rage
All of it was madness (all of it was hard)

And my roommate was an angry amputee
In piss-soaked Unit Five where his screaming voice
Raged against the severed loss of his body
(I didn't want to meet him but had no choice)

In Unit Three I was with two quite quiet
And rather confused men who understood me
They liked to observe but avoid each riot
Becoming statisticians of lunacy

And though we were all sedated as zombies
(Or maybe because of that) there was trouble:
I had never seen such anger as in these
Broken ones each in their own fresh (popped) bubble

Impotent rage of broken futility
Struggling against the smugness of our masters
Led to some interpersonal disasters
But I met a girl there who remembers me

Just two crazy people in love you might say

And there was a lot of just that sort of thing
In that lockdown psychward awkward sort of way
As the thing that took away that sort of sting
Of realizing madness once (and for all?)

The only way is up from that sort of fall
But I'll be taking these madhouse memories
Wherever I'm going till when I'll be where
I find happiness (then: I'll call her from there)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 23, 2009, 7:04 pm

Silvergreen Saxophones

Saxophones swimming like dolphins and
Playing like porpoises far from land
Utterly free from the human hand:
Some saxophones seem to understand

I saw saxophones dancing together
It sounded as beautiful as it was
Bringing a warm interior weather

I learned all about this only because
This was a lifechanging moment for me
When I saw them singing their symphony

And then in the olive grove I recall
Seeing them shining in silvergreen leaves
And there they seemed most beautiful of all:
When it comes to saxophones one believes

I keep my ears open so I can hear
Of silvergreen saxophones swimming near

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 20, 2009, 7:11 pm

Coming with Drums

That which inheres is in here in this sphere
I am a parent to the inherent
Apparently as it inheres in me
A parent and also a child of this
Quintessential essence of my being

And when I feel this it feels like a kiss
A bringing to being of the freeing
Which is what inheres and what is in here
And this is the freedom of unity
That which inheres is in here in this sphere

I gather myself as a sphere of light
Formed of the photons and photographs of
Before and behind what was lived for love
Particulars and particles of right
Rhymed into reason inherent in here

That which inheres is in here in this sphere
Which is what inheres and what is in here
Is to give birth to my parents and me
As well as my children apparently
Gathering myself tonight as birthright

Though to be born is a sentence of death
Not to be born is to never exist
Only those born unto heartbeat and breath
Are ever alive who do not resist
This questioned life and its answered insight

The surprising lightning silently comes
But thunder is coming: coming with drums

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 17, 2009, 11:14 pm


The time has come I love the best
Of all
The way I find out west is west:

Wherever I am I watch the sun
While it shines up a morning begun
Far from here

But while it is gone the stars and the moon
Against the black
Are so beautiful that it seems too soon
When it comes back

Where all of the magical secrets of night
Are spread out for me
And all is of silver (both tarnished and bright)
And of destiny

When night falls it is fallen with me now
Before we rise
Till morning breaks the other way somehow
To lift the skies

As lifting all of the fallen then
Day returns
Falling and rising are equal when
Hope still burns

A lonely candle in the dark
I wait
Being the fire though but a spark
Of fate

And I too wait for morning but
The end
Of day is mine no matter what
To spend

The sun a gold coin on the sea
Then the silver of ecstasy

The time has come I love the best
Of all
The way I find out west is west:

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 16, 2009, 9:49 pm

Smoking Like an Existentialist

Contemplating the riddle of time
(Smoking like an existentialist)
Establishing a new paradigm
After a fork in the road a twist
Into a sudden turn for the best
Having escaped at last from the worst
(And the best is better than I guessed)

Change is good as I am not the first
To realize (though it took awhile
To see)
But seeing at last it makes me smile
To be
Ready for whatever life might require:
Out of the frying pan! Into the fire!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 13, 2009, 11:34 pm

Remember the Rain

The dove grey cloud bank slowly smoothly slides
Across the sky as it rides on the rain
Revealing the secrets the sunshine hides
The ones we forget till it rains again
Of how it falls and fills and feels and how
It is what we forgot about till now

So let the rain come down and wash away
All but the best of it (save that but not
The rest of it) only leaving today
Remember the rain the way we forgot
Till now how it falls and fills and feels and
How a raindrop feels sliding down your hand

Remember the rain
Till it rains again

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 11, 2009, 8:52 pm


coming to the canyon

I once had a home and I lost it
I could not afford what it cost: it
Pretty much cost me everything I
Had then asked for more but that is why
I find myself in a quiet place
Where I can trace all the stars of space
The sun going up and coming down
Much more clearly than I could in town

So here I am with only wild birds
And the occasional rooster or
Other creature which never had words
But I have some and will have some more

Now: no looking back nor thinking twice
I think I have found my paradise
The universe found this new home for
A rambler who may not ramble much
But by this creek and these hills and such
Which is the best rambling anyway
And having come here to roll the dice
I think I have found my home today

When it rains and the water flows then frogs will come
As sure as the anything anyone knows some
Sounds I have seldom heard before will come to be
The background sound of a new life in a new place
Where I will embrace my fall in nature's embrace
With sounds of other new lives speaking peace to me
Ready to be in the middle of nowhere now
To find myself at the center of everywhere
Having learned the hard way to care and not to care
The rain the water and the frogs will teach me how
Here now in my new life afterlife state of grace

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 10, 2009, 1:58 am


I have seen
Olive leaves dry into old fashioned pen points
Fallen so far from silvergreen now they write
Their songs of themselves where olive oil anoints
Till they turn to soil and rush upward to light
Where the cycle is turning and returning
To the mother all her children in the end
The mother receives what no other could send
Through the centuries both of birth and burning

Olive trees
Are all around where I live and I see them
As wise and as somehow comprehending me
As if they could be me or I could be them
In a similar cyclical destiny
Though they always seem wise as they scratch the skies
And I am not too certain that I have been
But olive trees could comprehend what I mean
That I want to be wise like old trees are wise
Trees like these

In between
Olive trees where branches join one another
Overhead where underfoot leaves are writing
Where all is the cycle all is the mother
Here I am where the mother is inviting
Having come the hard way of birth and burning
The mother receives what no other could send
But the mother to her children in the end
Where the cycle is turning and returning

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 8, 2009, 5:54 pm

Temporary Permanence

getting up and living

The shadow is dark and the dark is deep
To simply fall away forever then
Into infinity falling asleep
The brighter to rise in the morning when
We are as though we always were before
Not remembering the beginning of
Temporary permanence anymore
Busy getting ready to rise again
And this is and we are what we call love
Getting down then getting up and living
Getting whatever it takes by giving

Love is what we call this ground of being
In which we move being seen and seeing
And touching as well as being touched by
Others as both a window and a door
But sometimes only a wall after all
Where the shadow comes from the sunny sky
To simply fall away and simply fall
Not so much away as not so much from
But sunny sky to make the shadow come
In temporary permanence: to die
Busy getting ready to rise again

Getting down then getting up and living
Getting whatever it takes by giving

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 3, 2009, 3:50 pm

Love is God

The universe rings like a temple bell
Is this the sound of silence in my ears?
Is there a heaven? And how about hell?
Well you can tell me where you are tonight

Fat cocksure preachers can keep all their fears
I am in heaven and I am all right
In the palm of the hand of God I dwell
In light everlasting where the sky sings

Fat cocksure preachers do not know these things
Only God knows and Love will never tell
Those who have already made up their minds
I leave them behind on their fat behinds

I may be odd but I know: Love is God

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Oct 2, 2009, 6:00 am


my first poem from Modjeska

Deep beneath the ocean there is motion
Something is stirring as if in its first
Tentative reaching toward what it knows not

And having hoped its bubble till it burst
Remembers a future it once forgot

Under the seven wonders of heaven
One wonders which one to wonder about
While wondering itself is what it takes

Till light within the shadow of a doubt
Beyond belief hopes morning till it breaks

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Sep 23, 2009, 12:54 am

Graveside at Fairhaven on the Eve of my Leaving

Their bodies lie below
I know
And they have gone away
Yet stay
And they are with me now

Unlimited by place
They grace
Me at this time when I appreciate
They go with me
Wherever misfortune or fortune may
Send me to be

Their past is present in my future fate
As if they know

So: here I go

But I feel like they follow even so
"God bless all our loved ones" they used to pray
"Wherever they may be" and now I see
They are with me and (like me now) are free

Grandma and Grandpa: I drove your car here
(We always took care of what little we had)
And now it runs on memories
Of a time before the world and I went mad

And moments at graveside like these

I had to come before I go
But you are coming too (I know)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX


Displaying Poems 1251 thru 1275 of 2766 Poems

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