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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1401 thru 1425 of 2843 Poems

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Apr 4, 2009, 11:48 am


tayata om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi soha

The starting point is the vanishing point
The place where you disappear
Whether out on the street or in the joint
You are now and you are here:
Thoughts are free!
And thank you for coming to be with me

Here in this place where I do what I please
Where I think you might as well do it too
The cure for what ails you is the disease
I share where here is everywhere with you

Madness is neither sadness nor gladness
But both of these and in between as well
Like purgatory with a hint of hell
And a little leavening of heaven

Or if places like that do not exist
Then madness is the rainbow in the sky
A message too meaningful to resist
As if anybody should ever try

Here I exist
So why resist?

Here there is no prose
This is one of those

And I never chose it to be this way
Because it is just this way anyway:
The outer extremes of inner spaces

Welcome to my poetry

The starting point is the vanishing point
The place where we disappear
Whether out on the street or in the joint
We are now and we are here:
Thoughts are free!
And thank you for coming to be with me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Apr 3, 2009, 12:02 am

Blessed are the Mad

Blessed are the mad is what I maintain
Those to whom one does not need to explain
Because they are mad they already know
If you are not mad I think you should go

We cannot help but look but look away
Forgetting to remember what to say
But that would be as if anyone knew
And anyway what could anyone do?
They said what it was was kill or be killed
Looking away as if looks could kill me
As the will of God nor did they bill me
For what when I look back was to thrill me
And the lucky little bastard remains
To feel empathy for their labor pains
By which the blood is shaken if not spilled

If looks could kill me looking to thrill me
No one was billed since both of us needed
This primal therapy which succeeded
In lifting us up from the commonday
Which we found out was nothing but today
Left down on the ground it refused to stay
But rose anyway if only to see
What it might be like if it were to be
Noncommonday noncommonality
Comfortable in nonconformity
Fashionably formed in deformity

Diminutive within enormity

Formed in my fashion they tell me by God
Walking the catwalk but meowed at as odd
Which seems odd if I were designed by God
Since God would be a lot odder than me

Blessed are the mad is what I maintain
Those to whom one does not need to explain
Because they are mad they already know
If you are not mad I think you should go

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 28, 2009, 11:26 pm

Mantra of the Moment

for Bernard Betts

Behold I will do a new thing
Be bold in the song I will sing
The lotus unfolds my specificity

Everyone has their story
And this unexpected pleasure to exist
Now is here and now is there none to resist

Everyone has their glory
If only they should care to see
If only they would dare to be

So here I am now here is one volunteer
To be right now right here
The only time and place
There is in time and space
And when and where is not means none to fear

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 27, 2009, 4:55 am


I have never yet always yet never yet
Always and ever and only met


O lotus blooming deep inside of me
Though the clouds hide you I know you love me

Do you know I love you? Believe it as true
As the only truth I dare to know
Though I know nothing and even so

The evolution of the real
The revolution of the wheel

As inescapable as a rolling stone
Some fall from the wheel and as many are thrown
But I want to ride it dizzily with you

The revolution of the wheel


The evolution of the real


Though the clouds hide you I know you love me
Do you know I love you? Believe it as true


O lotus blooming deep inside of me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 20, 2009, 6:53 am

Night and Day


Night: Lonely Town

I sought now I see my society
As conventional as a thing can be
Some simulacrum of reality
Imagined by those who are not too smart
To be bullies and to get what they can
While they can within the foreshortened span
Of this tragic comedy known as man

Custodians of conventional taste
They see no tripe need ever go to waste
Feeding us stomachs at least if not brains
Then throw the odd bone for our labor pains
And yet they never remember the heart
We felt once beat the most important thing
The cause we sang and the crusade we sing
Even now (who knows how?): the heart sings on
Until all the going becomes the gone

When we have learned desire is suffering
The hard way whether giving or getting
When the regretting turns to forgetting
Then there is nothing at all anymore
Except when to wonder what it was for
Just as I wondered all the hard way down
Lonely Street as I wandered Lonely Town

Soon it will be over and no one cares
As it is ending for wheres nor for theres
But are mostly relieved by the ending
Embracing death and even befriending
Nothingness if but relief from the pain
Of the world devolving on us again
Resolving the riddle of revolving
As whatever sends seems to be sending
A belated greeting to Lonely Town

What goes up (so it was true!) must come down


Day: Reminder to the Future

When I walk downtown small children smile at me

Escaping their minders for a moment they
Wave at me furtively as if they know I
Am able to make white rose petals appear
As if out of nowhere I can make them fly
By wonders so small their minders may not see
But their minders have been charmed now anyway
By a spell which only small children may hear
And not with their ears but with their hearts is how

I take what they call reality and make
It stretch with my special elasticity
By which it may change its form and yet not break
Reality is obedient to me
Since I know it is not real but is a fake
A false front agreed to by society

Or you could think of it like a pie crust which
Worries that its filling might be too thrilling
As well as providing a protective form
To keep the secrets of childhood from spilling
Where the present is hidden under the norm
The form of which originates in the past
We will eat this pie but save the crust for last
As reminder to the future of the now


Chorus Mysticus

Like death going mad is like being born
It means I am outside of all of this
If God would be (at least to me) then I
Would then have the rose along with the thorn
As I know the curse I would know the kiss
At least not be as lonely as I die
And now I am mad I may say: he is

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 17, 2009, 1:27 am

Take It

That terrifying plausibility
Of imminent human propinquity
Seems an overwhelming idea when I
Lost in a mirror I cannot deny
Wonder if this moment happens to be
That moment in which this happens to me

I think I want it but then I fear it
But then I never really came near it
Except maybe now which scares me somehow
More than I thought I would ever allow
Myself to admit to myself alone
Let alone letting anyone hear it

Is this some sort of existential test
If I exist and if there are such things
Meant to muddle my mind or to clear it
Troubling my waters through troublesome springs
Which are after all more lonely than fall?
Would that it could appeal more than appall

If the opportunity arises
That moment in which this happens to me
To take life along with its surprises
To whatever outcome happens to be
Scripted for me or else is randomly
As I am in a random universe

I will take it then: for better or worse

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 15, 2009, 4:29 am


He was a father who could not
Care for those sociological
Cares of fatherhood so forgot
Things like marriage and family
Or recalled them illogical

Tasting then tiring of such stuff
Satiety required no more
But found divorce was not enough
Both spouse and son would have to go
Out his G. I. Bill tract house door

So out both went and as we went
He sought then bought abandonment
Of such responsibility
As his law could make go away
Rejecting and ruining me
Through the best lawyer he could pay

But there was biological
Anomaly and this was me
Cut adrift then to sink today
Responsible to nobody
I suppose

Yet the only reason you know
He was at all is I say so
(This strikes me funny some odd way)!

And if he is he is in hell
Else nowhere
Or possibly purgatory
Proving there
Far as ever away from me

While my revenge is living well
When that seems something I could do
Trying to forget this story
Heaven knows
But I tell you since you know too
How it goes

I clung to his leg and he kicked me aside
Bored with his blue baby and his broken bride
Then went out to kill
And I love him: still

(Satiety requires no more)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 14, 2009, 10:35 pm

Where Man and God are One

Why does Man create God in the first place
Then make him so meanly grudging in grace?
Though Man may create whatever he wants
It is this problem of God which most haunts
As if of some need of authority
Though I find quite enough of that for me
In Man's Godriddenly shared history
To last two lifetimes of feeling absurd

We try to find some meaning in timespace
And say "in the beginning was the word"
Liking to read and liking to order
Others about for fear of disorder
We end up being more disorderly
Denying our place in the family
We hold ourselves aloof because we think
At the waterhole where other apes drink

I would rather not be an ape at all
Would like there to be a God when I fall
But I just hope he is kinder than we
Are and as much misunderstood as me
To see by these same eyes by which I see
That we two are only one and the same
The self which I call by another name
But the self which is myself after all

When questions are begun
Then the other comes in
There the answers begin
Where Man and God are one

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Mar 8, 2009, 11:31 pm

Spring (After All)

Some say God is love even as they despise me
I say love is God made real to realize me

Whatever God is might be a surprise to you
To me and to those who say God is love yet hate

But some might not like to be surprised like you do
Or they might realize to their surprise too late
That love is all that really mattered after all

I thank the God of love for not despising me
I thank the love of God for realizing me

My spring before the winter but after the fall
The knife of life the ledge on edge the rate of fate

On this one breath by this one heartbeat how and when
What never happens happens every now and then
When love is all that really matters after all

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 27, 2009, 11:24 pm

Between the Lines

for my son and brother poet: for Steven Curtis Lance, Jr.

Waxing waning moon ebbing flowing tide
The rising and the falling of the breast
The variable beating of the heart
The stirring of the soul within its cage
The flutter of the feathers of its wings

The silence falls as we await the start
Of the sound which a soul makes when it sings
When poetry pours like blood from the page
As sacrificial uttermost and best
Of one whose soul has been brought to the test
And come transfigured through the other side
Battle-scarred more beautiful than before

Embracing with souls as arms open wide
The now of this life to live it the more
At this point neither ahead nor behind
Between when and then in the now again
Between the lines where the secrets are lain

The interstitial spaces of the mind
Where others find what we cannot explain
And even know it better than we could
Are the places we are best understood
Between the lines where the secrets remain
Ready to be revealed to anyone's
Mind who can conceive one as many ones:

The meaning of what we cannot explain
In all its multiplicity we find
Between the lines where the secrets are lain

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 22, 2009, 10:05 pm

For Cindy

I am a very troubled man but
You are no trouble at all

We two could break through no matter what
Blooming like spring in the fall
I value your experience
And you could make the difference
Between the dark and light to me
A woman of destiny
As you are right here and yes right now

Whatever you are to me
It seems to be important somehow

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 22, 2009, 7:16 pm

At the Feast

I guess
Whatever else they get
Humans do not get along
With each other at least
Not well

Chastened by morality
To serve
And yet
Hastened by mortality
To swerve

They cannibalize at the feast
When those who serve and swerve have nerve
Flesh where the soul has been released
Fresh from a wound which can never be healed
Red from the white where the bone is revealed
As just the dessert they deserve

The soul is something cannibals can do
Without since it seems too good to be true

And each of the cannibals was
A free spirit too
Who thought that because
It was offered free
The soul as a whole
With its heart-shaped hole
Must be worthless when it happened to be

And what a thing is really worth
Beyond its price
Is learned they say through death at birth
In paradise
Or hell
If there is such a thing

If there is anything

I only know the soul on earth
Knows quite enough of suffering
If only for a little while
By which we learn a little style
By which we earn a knowing smile
With each other at least

Oh well

I know I know nothing
Except perhaps regret
As a beast at the feast
But the feast is not over yet

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 22, 2009, 2:07 am

People Who Are Loved

I prefer
Evolutionary success
Revolutionary excess

I observe the balanced to be
As it were

The elements in harmony
What is

That is
Now in equipoise:
Music without noise

People who are loved seem to me
To be true
By virtue
Of their centeredness in feeling worthwhile

Appreciative and appreciated
Feeling like loving and worth loving too
As validating as validated
As they do

Whenever I see this I sigh and smile
And search up the sky for a certain blue
My talisman and touchstone of order

Which though I cannot reach it yet remains
A focal point ( . ) above the disorder
Surrounding me as payment for the pains
Which I have painfully taken

As so ordered
And disordered
By sheer and mere necessity

Certain blue star of uncertainty
Till greater light awaken
Successful evolutionary
Shine on the godforsaken

Across the lonely universe tonight
May people who are loved look up and see
Certain blue stars if of uncertain light
And not despair of their uncertainty

If this is all we are then let us be
If we are all we are enough for me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 18, 2009, 9:37 pm

Waiting for the Rain

An empty bus shrugs sighing through the cold
As a siren screams its tale must be told
Of somebody in trouble or in pain
A tale of woe and here we go

It is night again
I only see a few stars but they are
Each one quite star enough to be a star
Featured in my film of reality
That which though it is not seems real to me

Only stars remain
Everybody goes inside except for
The smokers who hang out outside the door
But it feels too cold for me around here
Inside there outside here too far too near

Waiting for the rain
It feels too cold for me everywhere now
So for what is left as time will allow
I will go to my room sit on my bed
Turn up the heat and roll my own instead

Encyclopedia and dictionary
At the ready
There I will be safe in my sanctuary
Holding steady

I will explore the universe all night long
Like an effect in search of its cause
And in the morning I will sing you a song
Of what could have been if not what was
Does anybody really know?

But should you care to be tonight with me
I always enjoy some good company
Some pot and a pot of a lot of hot tea
And it seems real enough to be
Dancing in our socks on the hardwood floor
Where the smokers hang in inside the door
Where flower meets flame and less blooms into more
In my room in the womb of my family

It is night again
Only stars remain
Waiting for the rain

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 15, 2009, 12:39 pm


I hate that feeling

All tingly and waiting around
Up near the ceiling
And when I fall I fall so hard that I
No longer want to live awhile (just die)
As though I have been ground into the ground

I hate that feeling
Is so revealing

As I am shown to be as needy as
Anyone else is or will be or was
Of others which bothers me terribly
To share this shared self-insufficiency
When I had always hoped to be
A self-sufficient me

But there seems nothing I can do
But share myself with you

And should you share yourself with me
That might work out to be
Rather appealing

The equipoise of mutuality

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 13, 2009, 7:56 pm

For the Philosophical Society

at Santiago Canyon College

The consolation of philosophy
As once it comforted Boethius
When he was in trouble something like me
Is reason for the both and each of us
I hope to me as him it comes a she

And if as Wittgenstein would seem to say
And the meaning of a word is its use
Then I mean to use the word "love" someday
Mortality insufficient excuse
To not at least make an attempt to play
Though that word might fail me and she be it
I will be better for thinking of it

And my condition is temporary

Philosophy can help odd pieces fit
I put them together as best I can
Consoled by philosophy knowing that
Though I am just a temporary man
I still have my reason no matter what
No matter it is unreasonable
Nor do I know what "what" means anyway

Always surprising but always rising
Philosophy seems unseasonable
Always rising but always surprising
Asking of what is what came before it
In this my consolation is like me

My consolation my philosophy

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 9, 2009, 10:31 am

Sunset in Three Scenes


An angry young man out looking for trouble
Has shaved his whole round white head down to stubble
Above and below as before and behind
A braincase encasing a brain with no mind


A raven is watching me as if it knows
I am a cousin of Edgar Allan Poe's
A closer relationship than one might think
Which makes me think I think I see it wink
Which makes me blink to think this raven knows
Who is a cousin of Edgar Allan Poe's


All I have in my wallet is some nows of then
A fortune from a fortune cookie I saved when
I read it said life could be good and it would be
A picture of Gustav Mahler (looking like me)
A "miraculous" medal which so far has not
Suffered me to be captured or shot by a cop

Snaps of Mom and Grandma and what else have I got?

I see the Queen of Spades is still in exile where
The money might have been but at least she is there
Her journey would be over should mine slow to stop
But let her burn with me since I have learned from her
The things which we keep are the things which never were
Yet ARE (like that medal: "miraculous" ...so far)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Feb 8, 2009, 1:31 am

Existential Elegy

at spes non fracta



While waiting for my life to start
While tiring of my dying
I cannot give away my heart
Though not for want of trying
On my part

Nobody wants the thing

Lucky for me nobody will take it
Somebody might just drop it and break it
So they say

Nobody wants to die too fast
Nobody wants to live too slow
What have I done to deserve all this
(An answer which nobody would know)?
Not enough future or too much past?
Not much hope yet love to spare and share
Even so

Am I the only one lonely here?
I am done dying! Let living start!

Day turns night as winter rounds the year
I reach out and nobody is there
More faithful than anybody is

At fifty-four I thought I had things sorted
Or at least one might think I ought to
But I never got or forgot to
And once-clear reflections wink back distorted
Where clearly nobody blows me a kiss
And now I seem to me to be
Falling in love with nobody

Just like me



I find myself beginning to connect
With others of my kind at this late hour

Those of us left here struggling to perfect
A way to say something about now or
Then and how or when and why or else what
We wonder about and wander to see

And seeing then to seek by words of power
To find what is lost and speak what is sought
When we touch one another through the page

This is the consolation of my age

As good a reason as any to be
Here in the first place remaining as I
Have found to keep living and maybe why

As good a reason as any to me

People once thought I was homeless because
I looked like it and I probably was
In mind and in heart before this best part
Of life came in the nick of time and space

But I have something to do and the place
To do it in before I go away
It feels good to be here and good to know

With no away to go to I must stay
Like an old tree to know nothing but to grow

As good a reason as any to be
When we touch one another through the page
As good a reason as any to me

This is the consolation of my age



In the end everything resolves perfectly
Since everybody is dead
During the process life lived imperfectly
Is catalytic instead

The oyster grows the pearl
The trouble grows the girl
Or boy as he or she is meant to be
As you become you and I become me

When things resolve perfectly then we are gone
But it never matters then
Things will resolve perfectly when we move on
If only the perfection of nothingness

We have lived and died so long for so much less



Life rises and falls again and again:
Again and again and again!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Jan 31, 2009, 11:13 pm

Once Around the Sun


Sunset: Maybe You Maybe Not

Maybe I was not alone
Feeling like remembering
Though forgotten now I knew
Once before the fall of spring
Sometime summer secrets known
In winter spent forgetting
Too bright now to remember
Too painful to recall in
The dying of December
Then the birthing once again

Maybe you remember too
I thought I felt you feel me
(Wounded) heal is what we do
If you revealed the real me
You would heal me and I you
Maybe I am not alone
Maybe you remember too
Maybe I have always known


Or maybe not
And you forgot


Sunrise: The Phoenix and the Butterfly

To transcend desire is not the same
As to live in denial
But would be if there could be a name
For this my hour of trial
Which by coming late would lay the blame
On my own mortality
Apparently finding the rest of me
As wanting

My rising soul released by the flame
Is the one acceptable sacrifice or
In a choice paradox of paradise for
The haunting

Refined to uttermost by mortal fire
I look at myself and love what I see
Though it was maybe not and you forgot
So having been taught to care I do
While having been taught not to care I do not
But as I love me I could love you
Embracing my transcendence of desire
The phoenix though not common not unknown

I know since I am one and rise alone

Fly high and free then butterfly
And mind your wings near burning things
The phoenix sees and shares your sky

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Jan 24, 2009, 2:13 am

Essence of Reality

I had forgotten that I was a man
At least for awhile as any man can
Shadowed by shadows of mortality
I saw my shadow as it shadowed me
And like a groundhog returned to my hole
But as I got back less than I gave up
I came to reevaluate my role

I felt used up as if what was left was
Like tea leaves at the bottom of the cup
Merely offering rhyme without reason
When shadows obscure the riddle within
But reason enough for me then because
Leaves expect little in burning season
Resigned to the stake as the flames begin

I fell and fallen stayed as I lay where
I fell there till I was lifted as though
Remembered in a half-forgotten prayer
To do the best I know yet do not know
How nor why but to not know might... be... best...

From the fence dividing my here from there
Brought up by fate for the ultimate test
Raised on hard lessons and not spared the rod
Learning the hard way to care and not care
To take my licks from life however odd
I can see clearer from here how my dreams
Become how it is before how it seems

Ideas are made of sterner stuff than stone
Though I once forgot since I was a man
At least for awhile as any man can
Shadowed by shadows of mortality
I want to outshine these shadows and feel
What is or could be in search of the real
I seek the essence of reality

And on this journey I am not alone

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Jan 21, 2009, 3:58 am

For Bernard

It seems difficult to simply be
And live life like the animal lives
In its difficult simplicity

Existence takes as much as it gives
Does the living animal enjoy
Its life? Does my awareness destroy
My life's quantity through quality
Almost as though quality control
Were the function of my human soul?

As though the moment of perfection
That hole-in-one singularity
Must cost a lifetime of reflection
And come then at the end of it all
As valediction actually
Like a perfect maple leaf in fall

Existence gives as much as it takes
Making the sense the sense of it makes
Like a blessing and a curse combined

As we who share the benefits of
Existence before and then behind
If we are lucky and in the now
Discover our meaning is to love
And if time and circumstance allow
Learn the hard way but know what to do

To know what to do might seem less than
To simply be the animal man
But to know then do is to love too
As long as knowing then I do it
As short as I have at and to it
To simply be and love all I can

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Jan 8, 2009, 7:01 am

[attachmentid=980]My dear ones all:

I have a new book I think you might like. I call it LOVE.

Here is a link to it; I hope you will have a look:


Thank you all with all my heart for everything, always.

I love you,


Jan 2, 2009, 12:03 am

Winter Fire

If summer now frost lent winter its fire
Were wishes more than horses beggars rode
And we not turned inside out with desire:

If frogs were princes concealed by some load
Of karmic comeuppance some witchery
Spelled out in spells not for ordinary
People like princes but others like we
Are (of the extra extraordinary):

Then princes might worry others might see
Them for the fraudulent frogs which they are
And scurry to leap farther if not far
Since princes pay others to leap all day
We know how to leapfrog out of their way

But winter is frost as summer was fire
And we are turned inside out with desire

(I thank you that I am O Lord
On this my natal day
At least I think I am [you see
I might have been away]

And that I think I am would be
Enough for Descartes [say]
So that should be enough for me
That shining two-edged sword

That blade of being only this
Now [lest it fade away]
To learn love and to earn its kiss
[And may it not betray])

I could give me to you if you would
Daring I might be misunderstood
But you give to me so I give to

We wear our hearts on our sleeves to share
Anyway anytime anywhere
Yet you remain you and I stay me

That I am me is how I define
And that you are you how you assign
Establishing our identity

Were we the same not others we could not
Find the otherness which sameness forgot

Realizing our reality
We remember
Our play has no rehearsals they say
Some learn roles late and lines the hard way
In December

Then when spring arrives
Only love survives
Like an ember
Reflected in the frost on the wall

Winter blooms spring as summer fruits fall
And winter desire bears fire after all

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMIX

Dec 20, 2008, 4:34 am


If I appear as though
I anticipate no
Tomorrow the reason is because
Even if there were one it would be
Irrelevant like yesterday was
Or is I should say
As seen from today
The only day which is real to me

With now in the pockets of the pants I wear
How can I think of tomorrow when
Tomorrow is never here but always there?
Today is always now but never then

Irrelevant tomorrow
Just like yesterday
Grieving for when and hoping for then
Reading ahead and falling behind
Is the timely way to lose my mind
And yet if I forget regret I find
The mind I lost just in time to see
Tomorrow and its uncertainty

Good to let go
Better not know
And best of all for me to be today:
The only day it can ever be

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Dec 18, 2008, 2:39 am

Late Autumn Thunder

When my time ends time ends for me?

I contemplate eternity and wonder:
Is there enough eternity
For me to find within late autumn thunder
To manifest within my mind
Not from ahead nor from behind
But in the moment when we hear
What sounds like God to this man's ear?

It seems like this alone should be
Enough for unkind humankind
More than enough eternity
For all in late autumn thunder

I contemplate eternity and wonder
That when my time ends time ends for me too
Regardless who I am or what I do
Or where: when my time ends time ends for me

One way or another (brother)
This is all I know
Heaven is more for my mother
Where she had to go
But should there be a hell well then
That would not be so
Attractive although active quite unlike
Between the lightning and the thunderstrike

Not from ahead nor from behind
Not from above nor from below
But in the moment when we hear
To manifest within my mind
What some believe and none may know
What sounds like God to this man's ear
For me to find within late autumn thunder

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII


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