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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1551 thru 1575 of 2779 Poems

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Dec 13, 2007, 10:08 am


Because We Share This

Is this for always or only tonight?

I have to be honest and tell you I
Have never known of a time except now
But when it is right then it will be right
And when it is wrong we will smile and sigh

We take the bad to get the good somehow

Whether forever or just for now this
Is something for always if only when
Someday we remember this soft warm kiss
As present past and future (now and then)

Live love and leave but live to love again

I suppose we were supposed to have met
Remember December and tears like rain
Nourishing the earth for another birth
The earth has not seen the last of us yet

I love you more because we share this pain

I thought this was impossible until
Sheltering under your hair on the train
I tasted you but having tasted will
Desire you who inspire me to this fire

For always if that is what you require

We know no regret nor can we forget
This is for always and only tonight
Always and only (we know this is right)
Always and only if only tonight

I love you more because we share this pain

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 12, 2007, 3:53 pm


Oops!

Of the people whom I find annoying
The Recovering Fundamentalist
Who would do good building by destroying
Or the Closeted (False) Conservative
Whose rules only count for the rest of us
And who makes us dance for a chance to live
I cannot tell which makes the greater fuss
So two vie and tie for top of my list
And I think these are equally to blame
For making the world so wearisome now
In fact they are likely one and the same

Pay no attention to what they allow
For that would be nothing in any case
And do what you jolly well please I say
Attempting to enjoy yourself somehow
Since that is what people do anyway
Faith is not ordering people about
Creation is not for those who destroy
The truth is whispered (only liars shout)
My God is broadminded and we enjoy
Watching the bluenoses step in the shit
Which they shat on us (for the hell of it)

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 11, 2007, 3:09 am


The Quest

chorus mysticus

Until equipoise turns to ecstasy
Solitude is taken as sacrament
It is not loneliness alone with God
Poised on a promise I pause to repent
Embracing the fast the watch and the rod
Alone with God and I will not relent
While I must wrestle the mysteries of
The quest which I have come this far to learn

A word beyond words of loves beyond love
Is free to all who would dare to be kind
Which none may earn but each may own in turn
By treading where the immortals have trod
Up steep winding paths to infinity
Where I must make my pilgrimage alone
Familiar with the moon if I would be
Known in your heart as I am in my own

And when I know and am known I will see
When you will too as everyone what I
Was sent here for in the first place to find
The answer to the riddle why we die
And when we do what becomes of the mind
Considering this question constantly
If thoughts have wings then by these I will fly
But I will not leave those I love behind

I will share it all and point to the sky
Where I have been and hope to inspire you
To find in your youth as I in my age
Such gleanings as seem helpful good and true
One gathers by the path of pilgrimage
The point of it being to do the best
We can remaining faithful to the quest
Until equipoise turns to ecstasy

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 9, 2007, 2:03 pm


Lonely Street

In the beginning it was bemusing
To be disarrayed by humanity
So new and overwhelming as it was
For one knowing nothing of anything
To be riding the rails of puberty
Learning the rules of a dangerous game
In time to come to become confusing

Thinking too much about why and because
Which led then to a time of refusing
To let myself feel what I knew was real
To admit how beautiful it could be
Acting as though my heart were made of steel
When it was made of flowers blood and flame
Convincing no one of the lie at all
My need worn manifestly as my name
With red autumn leaves beginning to fall

Now I admit how much it means to me
To share an umbrella under the rain
Since not of steel I hurt and bleed and feel
I always knew but now I say it plain
My eyes are open now and I can see
What open eyes being honest reveal
As I have loved so would I love again

Was what I heard an answer when I cried
Or just an echo of a troubled mind
Acting out some internal dialogue
Explaining itself to be justified?
Who is it who speaks to me in the night
A whispered suggestion from far away
Convicting me before I have been tried
And telling me I must go free today
Is someone there or is my mind not right?

The hunter by agreement with his dog
Decided to leave the question behind
But I wait for its answer every day
Believing stubbornly hoping to find
Among this world of words something to say
Which might mean something to someone somehow
I wonder if anyone understands

If you understand would you tell me now
Out here as we hold our hearts in our hands?
Where we stand awkward looking at our feet
Where I wonder if we suffer in vain
Beyond what now seems merely amusing
We seem so lonely and in so much pain
Together here alone on Lonely Street
But insofar as the pain will allow
As I have loved so would I love again

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 8, 2007, 4:03 am


Still Open

To open to the possibility
Of meaningful interaction in this
Brief intermezzo of you and of me
To maybe even seal it with a kiss
Of cost to none of benefit to all
Is what I want and how I want to be

Come share with me a secret for awhile
A subtly-shared shining star we can call
Our own whenever we see it and smile
Or maybe an airplane flying somewhere
So far away it might never get there
Still open to the possibility

I know you and know you are lonely too
Because inside of us we are the same
As we seek each other as we must do
We find the picture is shaped by the frame
And of their stories which of them is true?
No cash no credit no one is to blame

The angle of your cigarette indicts
It whispers of a thousand eyes of night
Down in the garden of earthly delights
Eyes which have seen it all and like to fight
About it whichever way they might feel
Since I quit smoking those eyes seem unreal

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 7, 2007, 12:42 am


The Dow and the Tao

The Dow is not the Tao
The free will pay a fee
The wheel still turns for now
But no one rides for free

No one is calling to my attention
(Or at least not anyone I recall)
Anyone paying attention to me
Since I am several sizes too small
So I will leave this sword of Damocles
Hung by its hair in its timeworn tension
To bring some other sucker to his knees

The elephant in the room I mention
Since unmentioned it is there anyhow
Has been for me I never got to be
As I recall hearing my ex-wife say
"Old enough for responsibility"
Or something along those lines anyway
Something involving immaturity

I lost what little I had hoped to win
With no grey hairs at least not until then
Serious worry had yet to begin
Now thoroughly grey I still wonder when
The adulthood of which she spoke kicks in
Will life be like angry pigs in a pen
Or orderly as a recycling bin?

The Tao is not the Dow
Nor has it ever been
The wheel turns still somehow
Whatever that might mean

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 5, 2007, 9:47 pm


Tough Guy (Not Enough Guy)

Being a tough guy is not enough guy
If you would be a hero go be kind
If you would be enlightened change your mind
And if you would taste immortality
Embrace your children and let love flow free
As the essence of everything you do
Be true to yourself and your dignity
Hold tight to your dreams until they come true
Then believe in the happiness you find
Which no one else can take away from you
No matter how tough (not enough) guys try

When you find happiness you get to keep
What you have found so claim it as your own
Its branches will grow strong its roots go deep
A tree to shade you when you feel alone
If someone tries to cut it down then say
"No: I will not be pushed around today
I will never let you use me again"
To "No" is to refuse to play that game
Wherein no one wins anything but pain
To "No" is to be (the most direct way)
A human being worthy of the name

Sent here to learn compassion or to die
Being a tough guy is not enough guy

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 4, 2007, 9:10 pm


Winter

Mice must leave their corners at last
Flies on the wall fall to the past

This mouse in the corner fly on the wall
Was given much to see with much required
For each of the pretty promises made
An equal and opposite price was paid
I wish I could have understood it all

But the sacrifice of suffering fired
A burning dawn within me that this was
Predestined destiny so deep-desired
That in pursuit of it I am afraid
I had to break the rules as I obeyed

My perspective was limited because
Long exercise of duty left me tired
Ending up a brokenhearted misfit
Albeit fascinated all the same
Trying if failing to make sense of it

If I could return from riddling this game
I would bring back the beautiful and true
Stuffed in my pockets smuggled out for you
A mouse in the corner fly on the wall
Slipping out unnoticed secret and small

Sometimes mice roar sometimes flies soar
But must leave their corners at last
I was but temporary there
And from the wall fell to the past
As everything does everywhere

Soon it will not be winter anymore

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 2, 2007, 2:20 pm


A Mystery Which No One Need Explain

Opportunity knocked while I was out
And might have knocked me out if I had known
By the time I heard that it was about
It had passed by and I was left alone
They say it will come back some other day
But I never wanted it anyway

If you knew what it was would you tell me
Or would you think it wiser to remain
Steadfast in silent solidarity?
A mystery which no one need explain
(And therefore most know better than to try)
I am like you part pleasure and part pain
Better but bitter as the years go by
Less permanent than I had hoped to be
A shadow-play too fragile to sustain

My friend we both know too well what we are
And nothing can be done about it but
To say a prayer or wish upon a star
The wheel turns as it will no matter what
We fall like leaves but gently and not far
So if you hear a knock go to the door
And answer it before a stranger does
It might be what we have been waiting for
Although what that would be I could not say

Opportunity knocked (I thought it was)
But I was out and thought it went away
I am glad you are with me now because
As my eyes adjust to the dark I see
The key turn silently within the lock
Could this already be that other day?

Something is coming but I hear no knock
A mystery which no one need explain

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 1, 2007, 8:29 pm


To Spend the Evening Quietly

After a long day of debauchery
With all of its riotous roistering
I like to spend the evening quietly
In reading and writing and cloistering

Just Fred and me in our sanctuary
A cat and man both of a certain age
Closer to the end than the beginning
Of lives which have been extraordinary
Now settling in the season of the sage
Having survived to see ourselves winning

We see ourselves growing old truth be told
The days grow short debauchery grows tame
His cat food grows stale and my tea grows cold
Our roistering not so riotous now
A cat and man curled side by side the same
Cloister to roister as time will allow

Who takes the credit also gets the blame
We ask for neither and have both somehow
Tomorrow is another day but we
Would like to spend the evening quietly

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 1, 2007, 12:34 am


Among My Souvenirs

The bookends of my life are books themselves
My days are represented on my shelves
I wrote a few and others wrote the rest
I journey here across the universe
I write and read and think of life as quest
As drama we never get to rehearse
As wandering and searching for the best
To treasure here if I find it someday
Then leave behind me when I go away
My moments moving forward in reverse

When I go it might not be very far
That is if I ever go anywhere
I see out my window a small blue star
And if it would have me I could go there
But this is where I am where I belong
I feel like I exist when I am here
My heart is quiet and my love is strong
To have the bookends of my life so near
That I remember everything between
What was and what is and what might have been

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 30, 2007, 5:09 am


Countdown

When others have judged me then I have tried
To please them but they were not satisfied
It was never that they cared about me
They only insisted that I agree
That they were as much better as they thought
Than me then having humiliated
Me with a warning to stay in my place
Moved on to hurt others smug and sated
Now I am just somebody they forgot
Another recipient of their grace

Stop looking down on me you Bush-league boobs
As if anyone could look up to you!
I enjoy watching you go down the tubes
Too late for you now whatever you do
You felt so morally superior
You huffed and puffed and postured on TV
You thundered only you knew what was true
But you were scared and felt inferior
As you nailed down your new theocracy
To force the spring by false security

I hate to tell you but your time has passed
Peoria got wise to you at last
When they could not find their democracy
Euphoria was sweet but went too fast
It was like cocaine you want it again
But sick of snorting prigs and pigs of pain
Barnyard bullies and snakehandlers of hate
The people rise against you one by one
Your days of swagger dwindle as we wait
The nightmare ends soon: we rise with the sun

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 28, 2007, 7:06 pm


Two-Part Invention

As counterpoint delights the mind
And harmony inspires
Where our voices answer voices
Which call as we respond
It is when gospel answers law
When law at last comes true
We spring ahead to fall behind
In winter's deep desires

But our music gives us choices
With promptings from beyond
To help remember what we knew
We did see what we thought we saw
But can we bear the knowledge of
This counterpoint which we call love?
We did see what we thought we saw
And it was love as I love you

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 27, 2007, 10:45 pm


Souvenirs of Ecstasy

If I have ever learned anything
And if I did it was the hard way
It is that desire is suffering
And the funny thing about it was
I never wanted much anyway

But the way I know this is because
Once in awhile I have had a day
When I got what I thought I desired
Only to be disappointed when
It left me feeling hollow and tired
And worse off than I was before then

Absurdity seems to enjoy me
I do not enjoy it anymore
And like crime it never seems to pay
All its riddling has become a bore
Yet this is not what would destroy me
As I had to learn it the hard way
Desire is that which brings suffering

I never wanted much anyway
Except for possibly everything
Still I wanted and so I became
A purple-hearted casualty
Desire is the face which bears the name
Of suffering for those who would be
Free but are a little slow to learn

Made to look foolish looking for love
Slowly we learn to suffer each day
Lovers and poets and fools like me
Tempted by fire who forget the burn
Stubborn believers in destiny
Wanting so much to have an above

Alone tonight I look up and see
The scars I earned by my suffering
Stars as souvenirs of ecstasy
And the funny thing about it was
Maybe I never learned anything

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 26, 2007, 1:54 am


Caravan

I am no wise man only a misfit
An outsider regarding a window
As someone who tries to make sense of it
And wonders what the insiders might know
Sometimes I think no one knows anything

I blunder but smile and wonder the while
Apparently as clueless as can be
To see so many march out single file
Before my eyes to dance with destiny
I am no canary but I can sing

So whose destiny is it anyway?
Is it their own or that of what they serve?
Lights in the window turn night into day
I wonder if we get what we deserve
I might have a brief candle I could bring

I follow behind their long caravan
Alone at a distance unknown unseen
This is the tragedy they once called Man
I guess the sad part is what might have been
The king is dead they say long live the king

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 24, 2007, 10:32 am


Of All Places

A demon came to sit on me awhile
Speaking body language like it was French
But only in curses stealing my smile
Pulling me out of the game for the trench
With only the escape of poetry
Giving rise to my highly-mannered style
Because I am screaming though silently

Those who suffer most become the most kind
Helping us across the timebending Nile
Then on to ford the Jordan of the mind
Their dreams like corpses floating in the mud
I cringe to cross with a shudder to find
The river was of human seed and blood
I know who carried me and whom to thank

Dark river demon I beg you to leave
Just as I beg the sun to rise and shine
Suffering is that which makes me believe
That of all places one of them is mine
Beyond this river bloody dark and dank
That I exist as much as anyone
A blossom from the barrel of a gun

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 22, 2007, 9:14 pm


Thoughts on Thanksgiving Day MMVII

A good day by nature bad day by choice
The cruel architecture of the mind
Walls in my freedom denies me my voice
To feel passed over or else left behind
And wonder aloud about it at last

I become less sure of reality
The more I stand up stumbling from the past
Out of the nothingness hoping to be

Does anyone else miss how it once was
When it seemed things might get better somehow?
I wonder about that a lot because
I feel lonelier than ever right now
And wishing I had a community

All is plastic and made in China for
The likes of me and maybe you (the poor)
But I felt less thankful when I had more

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 20, 2007, 2:37 am


The Rest of Me

If sawn in half you would still be all there
One in two places and both at half price
Assuming it was a good magician
Who undertook to slice your rump roast rare
Bodies divided against themselves find
(Although breaking up can be hard to do)
The foot end follows the end with the mind
And getting back together is so nice
You get to reacquaint yourself with you
It only takes one half to break the ice

But now I avoid it nevertheless
Under the care of the great physician
Although it has happened (if not onstage)
Both ends of me enjoy connectedness
And I no longer go to magic shows
Nor would I volunteer now to be sawn
I did it once but would not do it twice
Life is fragmented enough heaven knows
And most of the good magicians have gone
Perhaps like me they went on pilgrimage

It might have been only my heart to be
Sawn through and not really magic at all
It took awhile to find the rest of me
To reunite the pieces afterward
Scattered by stagecraft and chicanery
In time to take a bow in time to fall
An autumnal leaf or a wounded bird
By instinct to meet my mortality
It seemed a magic trick but it was not
It left its mark on me (not without pain)

Yet when I fell I found I rose again
Caught by the great physician I forgot

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 17, 2007, 5:44 pm


Raindrops for the Rain

The non-physical form of blindness
(I speak of the self-inflicted kind)
Might be cured by a little kindness
And a slight opening of the mind
Transforming victim into healer
Along the road from night into day

Such measures are feared as radical
(Things like the opening of the eyes)
By the hidebound hypothetical
Leery of light as truth-revealer
Hoping unseen it might go away

Some people would almost rather die
(Or perhaps rather live partially)
Than to contemplate a butterfly
If looking at bugs might make them see
Something which pokes at their potential
Giving pause by possibility
Though it once felt right and would again
Though they want it more than they could say

So rather than have their sight restored
Afraid of what they might realize
They settle down to be blind ...and bored
(Though it once felt right and would again!
Though they want it more than they could say!)
Not seeing the raindrops for the rain

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 14, 2007, 6:16 am


Moon and Sea

Why am I salty as the sea inside?
Whenever I go to sea I return
To something I knew before I could learn
Why are you regulated by the tide?

It seems to me if anecdotally
We are as much of ocean as of land
We and the sea share deep affinity
A connection I feel and understand
I know we are affected by the moon
As we look forward to its rising soon

It has the best effect on us it could
It makes us feel as warm as it looks cool
Bringing to light what is misunderstood
By those who scoff at the nature of things
A lunatic is mad but is no fool
It is not for fools that the night-bird sings

The world is for dreamers like you and me
Reality is a matter of mind
For us since we left the scoffers behind
To think about things like the moon and sea

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 13, 2007, 6:16 am


Hard Knocks and Soft Answers

When the school of hard knocks meets
The study of soft answers
Then we can feel our heartbeats
In rhythm as the dancers
Who present this our ballet
Of shared human empathy
By which we are led to say
I feel you and you feel me

(What shall we say and what shall we do?
I move away yet closer to you)

We are all connected by
This web of propinquity
There to catch us when we fall
Not to mention your and my
Now-unfolding destiny
Which we share here after all
We are just the way we are
Together and yet lonely

(What shall we do and what shall we say?
We move closer though we move away)

Isolated like a star
In space as one and only
All and each so far apart
And yet all and each right here
Our shared rhythm of the heart
Felt from far brings us back near
When the school of hard knocks meets
The study of soft answers

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 12, 2007, 6:04 am


Like Birds Waiting for the Rain

Like birds waiting for the rain
We huddle on benches where
All the old men used to sit

They died and were born again
We are here as they were there
So we should get used to it

Time is irrelevant but
For a timely reckoning
A sometime reminder what
Is drawing us beckoning

We follow without question
(For whom would we ask it of?)
The deeply felt suggestion
Nothing is stronger than love

Old men there are old women too
Of any age for each of you
And what will I do? Never mind

I am one of the left behind
Aslant beneath the autumn rain
But I am drawn as anyone

Though wounded and weary of pain
If only they could feel the sun
These broken wings would rise again:
The healing of the will by love

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 10, 2007, 6:15 pm


Blood Red Rose

chorus mysticus

You who have loved who have listened to me
And answered me before I have spoken
Feeling my feelings by pierced empathy
At close of day open when the doors close
Behind us alone with eternity

You who know how to fix what is broken
Keep my heart open so my eyes can see
Your eyes reflected in the eyes of those
Who know and yet who know not what to say
I choose them as the chosen ones you chose

Your petals unfold in an open heart
You drape the dusk before you dawn the day
Everyone sees only some someone knows
Rhythm and reason and ultimate cause
Turning with the season learning to be

One: we are made of two which none may part
Two: we are one with all that ever was
Finding myself to give myself away
I lose myself in order to be free
My secret my lover my blood red rose

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 8, 2007, 1:13 am


The Most Beautiful Thing on Earth

Standing bereft of fur or feather
Outside society ostracized
Naked in this inclement weather
Vulnerable but categorized
I reached the end then slipped my tether

I was disappointed in my day
Thought too hopeless to be criticized
Only the lonely could know my night
But that was someone else far away
Might have been me or might have been you
Might have been both of us together
There in the dark while we never knew

Since I seem so little able to
Have much effect on things around me
I just do my best at what I do
Creating by faith and not by sight
An illusion now illusion-free

If I was wrong or if I was right
In spite of the when and the whether
Or else perhaps because of it all
Standing bereft of fur or feather
Suffering wears better in the fall
Clemency in inclement weather
Suffering us to be together

Death is the closest a man ever gets
To the feeling of giving birth
All pain consumed in climax none regrets
The most beautiful thing on earth

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Nov 5, 2007, 10:25 pm


Autumnal People

What is it then? What is it after all
Which makes each autumn ache this old refrain
Of bittersweet like the maple leaf's fall
Which falling dies that leaves might rise again?

How good it is whatever it might be
This turning tender burning of the year
So personal yet universally
Such symbol of how briefly we are here

We gather are thankful and remember
At the twilight of another year's day
November draws us to our December
It is because it has to be this way

The nutmeg and the pumpkins and the straw
The leaves in drifts anticipating snow
To welcome the freeze to hasten the thaw
What is it then? Autumnal people know

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII











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