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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1426 thru 1450 of 2858 Poems

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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

Dec 15, 2008, 10:49 pm

Familiar Strangers

We are estranged

Which is to say that we have made
Strangers of ourselves to one another
Things have been done and words were said
Each remembered sharply by the other

And like remembering the dead
By each at the feet of the other laid
Sorrily sent sadly arranged
Withered bouquets gather dust at our feet
Reminding dryly love and hate
(As we avoid ourselves lest our eyes meet)
Are two sides of one coin: is it too late
To flip this coin and make things right?

Familiar strangers we avoid these eyes
Where we have seen hate rising as love dies
Eyes once lost in our own now lost alone
Made unfamiliar to each other now
Strangely familiar to know we have known
Our nailed-down lives upended and deranged

We gave our hearts and then we gave them back
We must seem not to care to us somehow
We who die longing for the love we lack
Still asking the question but with a sigh
While wincing from how painfully we paid
While left with nothing but empty hands
While left with no one who understands
The answer like the falling of night
Drops like a dead star down through the sky

Nothing has changed

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Dec 10, 2008, 6:55 pm

In a Blue World Orbiting

As to whether I exist I say yes
I believe I exist since I feel pain
But as to whether I have been before
Or for that matter might I be again
If I could answer I would answer no
But I am now or at least I think so
(Existence seems an educated guess)

And yet it is not only pain I feel
But the thrill of expanding consciousness
With all the ecstasies this might entail
Women and poetry music and God
The phantasmagoric glorious and odd
Whether someone says I succeed or fail
(But who am I to say if it is real?)

If anything is real then people are
If hell is other people heaven too
The greatest pain but also nothing less
Than the greatest pleasure I ever knew
Which for all I know is only known in
This place where we are never alone: in
A blue world orbiting a yellow star

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Dec 9, 2008, 1:46 am

Rare Birds

I scarcely know the questions to
The answers of the universe
But do the best I know to do
And I believe I could do worse
Because I have and might again

I keep growing despite the pain
Of believing but not knowing
Hoping not to believe in vain
Even as my doubts are showing
Even now that I feel insane

Believing in keeping going
The only thing to do I know
Is seek the beautiful and true
Till I am gone and vow to go
To find them as I search for you

Whoever you are waiting there
To learn to fly again midair
Like me accompanied only
By shared unanswered questions of
Life and death and between them love

Maybe (like me) you are lonely
Even if you have lots of friends
Since it seems not enough to be
The means to justify the ends
Of others (if you feel like me)

Just let them watch as they see two
Rare birds escape captivity
And if we fly separate ways
We fly in freedom all our days
To find our own reality

Outside the aviary now
So rare in fact we disappear
If other birds should wonder how
We did it let them look up here
Where there are only stars to see

As wondering they wonder more
What is the aviary for:
To let us out or keep us in?
The aviary of the mind
Is best escaped and left behind

Let transcendental flight begin
And may it never cease
Since only the escapees win
Rare birds who sang of peace
And got away with it somehow

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Dec 6, 2008, 4:51 am

Always Just for Now

The melodic curve of your body and
Your curvilinear clasp of my hand
Invite me to see possibility
Where I had thought there was none left for me

As I begin at last to understand:
I just might have been wrong (apparently)

Two aliens in alienation
But not from one another anyway
As we come to the realization:
This very well might be our lucky day

If I exist and you do too well then
Let's go
Nor worry about what it means till when
We know

Which of course is never so never mind
Anything but now: before and behind
Only exist in the now anyhow
As the best benefit time will allow

Let love be like a bond which does not bind
Let love be all and always just for now

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Dec 5, 2008, 2:06 am

Living Room

Though window-rainbows dance within the sill
No one quite lives in the living room now
Not like when the floor was my perspective
Further from earth where the air is colder
I only notice the ceiling these days
Further from birth where death becomes bolder
I smile to remember painting it blue
All by myself without falling somehow
My brain insane my senses defective
Since being left and leaving one who stays

And when I have been and done what I do
When you turn around at a sound you hear
When what I am and do is was and did
You might see stars on the ceiling appear
Shooting from the top of a pyramid
Unfinished under an all-seeing eye
Green on the back of that old dollar bill
My people chased though never caught but tried
Yet through that sorrow I remember joy
With living loved who losing had to die

They live alone in the living room still
And I live here for love of those who died
As I start to finish growing older
Here where the stars once appeared to that boy
Now this man seen by an all-seeing eye
Green on the back of that old dollar bill
Here where the stars on the ceiling appear
Hidden from the eye of this beholder
Unfinished from the start to finish here
When what I am and do is was and did
Held within the eye of the pyramid
Though window-rainbows dance within the sill

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Dec 2, 2008, 8:48 pm

I Want to Be a Poet

I seek to speak what has not been said
At least not said to death
Nor merely spit up what I have read
And not to waste my breath

Beautiful magical cryptical words
Soaring things-in-themselves like sunset birds
Squared-away and added-up ...just ...like ...so:

I want to be a poet (did you know?)

I seek to see what has not been seen
At least not seen by me
And I see you will see what I mean
Inside my poetry

Singing and soaring praying and roaring
I am so glad now that I have gone mad
To do some good by doing something well

I want to be a poet (can you tell?)

I seek to sing what has not been sung
At least not heard by you
And climb the ladder another rung
Doing this thing I do

Improving myself improving the time
Trying to make my prosaic life rhyme
Fifty-three going on fourteen in fall:

I want to be a poet (that is all)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Nov 29, 2008, 5:18 am


At this late hour as you can see
How and why it is with me
It would not surprise me should you wonder why
And how I remain to write poetry
As I remain in refusal to die
Though given good opportunity
On a regular basis

Still even more stubborn than ever I
Remain in my oasis
If only as a palm tree after all
But I keep these leaves when other leaves fall

Stop stars stoop down and sing with me
Of substellar destiny
And a falling star in my backyard
About how I fell and went down hard
Right here in my oasis

Still more stubborn than ever I
On a regular basis
Remain surprised I survived such stuff
To bring such surprise to your faces
Though I was crazier than I was tough
Still I remain and that remains enough
For palm trees planted difficult places

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Nov 26, 2008, 5:55 pm

Capricorn Lutheran Decline-to-State

Unafraid of heights it is hard to scare
Someone with nothing to lose after all

The sky is not so high nor I so small
That I cannot soar it with wings of mind
Lifting me so I fall up when I fall
And sometimes ahead though sometimes behind
Imagination rising raising me
As high as I imagine I might go
To win a wiser perspective up there
Whether or not whether challenge or dare
Affording me the possibility
To know better whether or not I know
And to take care whether or not I care
Losing or winning ending beginning

Unafraid of heights it is hard to scare
Someone with nothing to lose after all

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Nov 24, 2008, 6:00 pm

Between Expectation and Memory

on time the threefold present

How did it get to be late
So early
Making my motions first straight
Then curly

Aswirl in the general tendency
Rounding the corner to circle the square
And being surprised to run into me
When I thought someone else was standing there
Squaring the circle to answer a prayer?

The only answer I hear is to be:

As a leaf I fall
Into after all

Aswirl in the general tendency
Rounding the corner to circle the square
Squaring the circle to answer a prayer
When I thought someone else was standing there
And being surprised to run into me


Between expectation and memory:


+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Nov 15, 2008, 8:49 pm


We are like clotheshangers
Since we are more
Or less the cliffhangers
Of what we wore

Life is killing us thrillingly
We strut through stiff dangers
Chopping the chore
Willingly and unwillingly

So determined so dutiful
As plain as day as beautiful

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII


Displaying Poems 1426 thru 1450 of 2858 Poems

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