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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1576 thru 1600 of 2852 Poems

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Mar 13, 2008, 8:45 pm

Emblem and Anthem

Honk louder for our protest than for theirs
Gliding on grease and plastic on pavement
Scream "woo-hoo!" at your TV from the stairs
Emblem and anthem of your enslavement

Big brother as you know is watching you
With one eye on his applause-o-meter
In the form of millions of well-fed drones
Hoping that you will be a repeater

The volunteers are standing by the phones
Rank on rank and ready with smiles of steel
Though they are not actually volunteers
But those sworn to make this unreal life real

So they must be strong social engineers
Though unsung unloved and quite classified
Who listen so well since they are all ears
And are immortal because they have died
When they gave their lives for your liberty
To teach you that freedom is slavery
Mechanical slaves of the agency

If I knew what to tell you why would I
Presume to preclude your own exploration?
And if it were my secret why should I
Not keep it for my own edification?

Yet if I knew what to tell you I would
Should I find an extra answer to share
Though so far I have never understood
Not even close though I hope to get there

Something good might happen to me today
Though it started off depressing as hell
At noon I feel almost hopeful (daresay)
That my tragic comedy might just sell

"Plaudite amici!" Jingle all the way!
When it comes to "commedia finita est"
Gliding on grease and plastic on pavement
Remember to applaud but then forget the rest
Scream "woo-hoo!" at your TV from the stairs
We never got ours but they sure got theirs
Emblem and anthem of our enslavement

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Mar 12, 2008, 12:27 am

Finish Line Blues

When you are at the end where do you start?
When you have nothing left what do you use?
When the race is over should you still try
To reach that finish line before you die
Exercising futility to choose
To go down with dignity in your heart?

So many questions with answers so few
And if an answer comes it terrifies
Nobody cares about you except you
No matter how they seem to sympathize

I can feel my life bleeding out slowly
With precious little hope of getting through
This obstacle course of indignity
Which is not the race I entered at all
I can see death waiting impatiently
But I mean to make my mark where I fall

So I live alone with my loneliness
And a houseful of people who mean well
Not one of whom could ever know nor guess
That I am no longer there but in hell

Exercising futility I choose
To go down with dignity in my heart
And though the race is over I will try
To reach that finish line before I die
Though I am at the end still I will start
When you have nothing left what can you lose?

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Mar 10, 2008, 11:03 pm


2 March 1980

You wore spring daisies in your hair that day
What was it and how did it slip away?

The Christmas cards
The whole nine yards
In hand in hand

Neither of us will ever understand
If there is understanding to be done
Today as yesterday you were the one

Not "were" but are
If a bright star
Is and will be
Though veiled awhile by my insanity

Whatever it is we knew what it was
And did it matter? Yes it did (and does)

We might not know where
It went
Nor want to go there
If sent
Back (since the clock went clockwise and we knew)
But I was there (and might be still) with you

Mother of my children wife of my youth
Maria and Stevie and Teddy are
The proof of the existence of that star
Reflected in their eyes it looks like truth

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Mar 10, 2008, 2:00 am

Private Mass

Sunday morning: I could feel religious
But then again too much so to join in
Manhandling the miracle of the mass
So I will just sit with the homeless now
Panhandling for miracles on the grass
Like finding a quarter somebody lost
Writing as honestly as I know how
While keeping to myself how much it cost

Here as everywhere that white-collar sin
Of the influential and prestigious
Redeems the rapists of the ruling class
Wiping their smug souls clean within the hour
With minimal inconvenience to all
So they can rush back to wielding the power
Which binds us in the darkness one and all
They own everything including the priest

We pass no protestant collection plates
But velvet alms-bags stuffed with envelopes
Unrattled by the loose change of the least
By these our masters would control our fates
And since they own them freely dash the hopes
Of those who only ask that they might live
But the best lives now are sold for money
The rest of us just want God to forgive

The joke is on us no longer funny
The priest just another snout at the trough
If they could they would not let me be there
I cannot pass the means-test given here
Nor could my Lord so we have taken off
But I think he is with me everywhere
Except back there with those people I fear
We will stay where life is free and sunny

Out among the broken where the wind blows
While the fat and lazy priest goes to brunch
To root out any crumbs which got away
His snout smells money and he has a hunch
That the swine will be first on Judgment Day
They have theirs now but someday I want mine
"The first shall be last" I heard Jesus say
And it is he who gives the bread and wine

His body and blood unite with my own
His priest went to brunch and we are alone

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Mar 9, 2008, 1:06 am

Two-for-a-Dollar and One Free Song

to honor my friend Sarah


I have not become what I am to be
(I mean to be better moments from now)
But I am becoming gradually
Such as the limits of spacetime allow
Unto those of human mortality
Which limits I have embraced as somehow
That individual sufficiency
Of what I need and what I would ask for

So I will become what I am to be
Beyond which limits I may ask no more


Hot dogs seem made of such horrible things
That two-for-a-dollar or not it brings
Me to eat something else for lunch instead
(They are grey where they once used to be red!)

In my heart I am not a carnivore
But in the most basic necessity
Two-for-a-dollar has worked out for me
I will eat less even as I pay more
If you will forgive me those moments of
Life interfering with the law of love


I am starting to look like Howard Hughes
Not the young daredevil nor the old boss
But how you hear about him at the end

Looking like that thanks for being my friend
Sharing your victory with me (in loss)
Shown openminded by the friends you choose

But what am I going to do when all
Of the money has been burned through at last
So that I have to fall hard when I fall
As I cling with all my strength to the past?


Mere strength does not matter anymore now
We have become so sophisticated
Our strength sublimated to style somehow
By fashion we are fated and mated
Two-by-two as we dance aboard the ark

Not quite as we had anticipated
In our curiosity (in the dark)
But these are shining moments of our days
The ones we live to remember always
As only now forever undated


This is that which can never be rated
When we come together to strike a spark
And feel something nobody could deny
Some think they know life although they do not
(Especially if they need to ask why)

I remember some magic some forgot
Or which perhaps some never really knew
How life should be heaven before we die
If you feel unloved (too?) I could love you
(There is no answer to that question why)

We have forever right now for as long
As two-for-a-dollar and one free song

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Mar 6, 2008, 10:21 pm

Out Here

Being homeless is a hell of a way
To take the air or get a tan or stay
Attuned to the inside-outness of things

Along with the upside-downness this brings
To the perspective of the indoor-bred
Forced thus to think about each night each day
When a bench in the park becomes a bed
And no one gives you orders anymore
Where a lost life becomes a memory

You have to forget to ever be free
So fight to forget what you once fought for
Which is easier than remembering
The shame clinging to you like dew all night
Forgetting seems the most important thing

Being homeless is a hell of a way
To live but more popular every day
There is more to it than just being poor

And although often caused by addiction
Sometimes some existential conviction
Makes someone feel called to go wandering
In search of inscrutable destiny
Blow with the wind and leave nothing behind
But traces which few non-homeless can see

No roof but the skull which prisons the mind
(And maybe that bottle under the tree)
I never want this to happen to me
Yet there are those who come through it all right
If you are home stay in and lock the door

Lest you end up out here remembering
Forgetting seems the most important thing

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Mar 5, 2008, 2:54 am

Forgotten Awhile


"Never use that fine end of your pocket comb"
Grandpa cautioned me as we were walking home
While not doubting his admonishing intent
I nonetheless have no idea what he meant

Perhaps he feared those tiny teeth injurious
Though I may never know now I am curious

Should I ever see him again I might ask
Beyond such misunderstanding as might mask
This mystery of the fine end of the comb
Should we meet again having found our way home


I am new to the zoo but here I am now
Wet behind the ears wearing short years long
But scheming and plotting to escape somehow
As I will do when I finish my song

Why do those old lions look at me that way
With something which looks for the world like pity
Not for the lifers but the daytrippers they
Who are swept each night from this unreal city?

Come and wash off the stain of me with a hose
The zoo is the zoo as (now) everyone knows


This is a snapshot of your existence:
You will get there despite your persistence
And then when you get there you might arrive
Where Charlie surfs and you come home alive

You saddled up and went out on patrol
Without knowing what you were looking for
So they got your body but not your soul

The time returns to saddle up once more
And should you spy me aiming from a tree
Just know that I am not your enemy


I combed with the wide end for all of those years
Until my hair went grey and my whiskers white
I combed and I combed but did I get it right
(I guess maybe not if I still have these fears)?

I finally have to use the fine end now
(Duly admonished) out of necessity
I could never follow anyone but me
There was no one in front of me anyhow

Deep in the jungle forgotten awhile
Walk in those boots if for only a mile

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Mar 3, 2008, 7:55 am


An infinite variety of weather
Unites in fragmentation we who wander
A constancy of change to bring together
Those of us shut outside here left to ponder
Our situation as those who do not fit
Within so find without our when and whether

Liberation for those who are used to it
The challenge of freedom for those who are not
Both ready to soar on tried or untried wings

Our task is to remember what we forgot
As the living epistles of hidden things
Forced to root for our truffles under the sky
We have found what some less adventurous sought
Intuitively in life's interlocked rings
The keys to the cosmos are kept in the heart
Where we found them and keep them by asking why

Not everyone can see such important things
But to embrace their existence is to start
To be embraced by the magic of the day
Which though it surprises comes with a warning

Yet that which is closest seems furthest away
A thousand dimensions in front of our nose

If tomorrow comes it will be that morning
About which this night has had so much to say
When at last we might learn the name of the rose
And we will be ready because we were there
Out under the sky in a change of weather
The further we go the closer together
Without but within nowhere yet everywhere

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 29, 2008, 9:24 am


Hear in the sound of fresh water flowing
Smell in the steam rising from today's bread
See in the round of a young womb growing
Taste in the strawberry luscious and red
The world turn once again to hope today

The waves crash home and cannot be turned back
The tide has turned and will not turn away
Diamond stars ice the night's velvet black
Only to melt into gold with the dawn
When the stars wink out with the moon to play

While there is life hope will never be gone
Despite disappointment dare to believe
The law of love is cause to celebrate
The universe laid for us to receive
As paradise presented on our plate

And if you can make an angry man smile
Just for a moment and against his will
He might come to think about this awhile
Minding the miracle of being still
And life might find another pair of hands

Unclenching from fists embracing to love
Reaching from a heart which now understands
His hand is meant to fit yours like a glove
As yours is meant to fit mine like my own
The world turns all and none need turn alone

Hear in the sound of fresh water flowing
Smell in the steam rising from today's bread
See in the round of a young womb growing
Taste in the strawberry luscious and red
The world turn once again to hope today

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 26, 2008, 8:25 am

Happy Birthday

This is the day you came to join us here
Whose yearly anniversary we mark
Remembered as when a comet came near
A close encounter with a scythe of spark
As welcome interruption of the night
By something more important than we knew
This is the day of the coming of you

Sometimes you wonder about all the fuss
How much of it is heat how much is light
And if you ever gave permission to
Anyone that you should be sent to us
Yet now we would not be whole without you
And so we know in our hearts it is right
That you came as this shooting star we see

To burn through the sky your own answer why
A bridge of light marks your trajectory
Your fireworks blazing a trail of day
Where customary cloud has burned away
To show you really are a shooting star
Something far more important than you knew
This is the day of the coming of you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 17, 2008, 11:45 pm

Our Own Reality

When what-if and then how what-if might be
As effect of a cause no one can know
Keep me awake I try to keep in mind
The future we dread ahead as we go
Becomes the past when we leave it behind

But if you need ask you need not ask me
We each must find our own reality

The past goes fast the future comes too slow
So no one notices the present now
Slip out through a crack in the back nor how
The longer we live the clearer we see
That we are trapped within a tragedy
Heroes and villains as fate will allow
Protagonists of this dying dumbshow
As agonists often in agony

When what-if and how what-if might be then
Beyond the cause and its effect between
When all has come and been and all has gone
Dreams dreamed life lived love lost and found again
When eyes must close to bear what they have seen
Night shades itself in shadow from the dawn
Our time will come though I cannot say when
We come to go and so our life goes on

One thing alone is known and satisfies
All existential questions with a thump
I am not very good at prophecy
But I can tell you everybody dies
So rather than sit on the fence I jump

You want as much as I do to be free
We each must find our own reality

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 15, 2008, 12:46 am

Four for Four

St. Valentine's Day MMVIII


The eye in the sky
As it passes by
Observes and illuminates
Us here as we go
Where we never know
Before and behind our fates
A sign of the real
Designed to reveal
Celestial coordinates
By which we will find
Before and behind
There are no walls only gates
Context to context
Through one to the next
Where light behind darkness waits
As shown to us by
The eye in the sky


Mother Earth I hear you sing
Hear me sing in harmony
As I bring my offering
Knowing that you sing for me
And the rest of humankind
Those who see and those still blind
Out of sight and out of mind
Soil and soul and everything

Only those who serve are free
Fashioned as we are to be
Forged by fire and suffering
Coming out the other side
As refined and clarified
To live past where others died
Mother can you hear me sing?


Apocalyptic people
Strike me as suicidal
Should lightning strike their steeple
They would forget the bridal
Baptismal confirmation
Or other celebration
Of life as God might send it
As some sort of lesser thing
Preferring God just end it

Time to hush and hear life ring
Within like their steeple bell
More of heaven less of hell
And what of the rest of us
Who still have some things to do
Love to give and life to live
People like me and like you
Who live and have love to give?

Apocalyptic people
Think they are the best of us
Are the strong but they are wrong
Strong people are those who stay
Who never find life too long
Nor aspire to slip away
Keep them to the west of us
Toward sunset as we turn east

Apocalyptic people
Come and partake of the feast
Of life on its wedding day
Baptismal confirmation
Or other celebration
For no matter what you say
You will find out you were wrong
When lightning strikes your steeple
Come and see then who is strong

Apocalyptic people
It might be awhile: go long


The rose called Sterling Silver blooms
In crystal in sequestered rooms
Where ivory meets irony
And ebony knows agony
Reluctantly but far too well
Decapitated and full-blown
Where nothing really can be known
And everyone only assumes
That life must be endured alone
While outside in sparkling weather
The sun and moon laugh together
As the roses bury the tombs

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 13, 2008, 5:04 pm

The Finding of Easter Eggs

Thinking better to be underestimated
Than to be a disappointment to anyone
I privately enjoyed what I had created

But now I see some discovery has begun
Of all those hidden Easter eggs of poetry
Which I had decorated and then hid around

I always wondered what people would think of me
And what I left behind should it ever be found
I thought I would have to wait until I was dead

And until then live quietly so poor and small
That posthumous success would not go to my head
Success might not be posthumous now after all

Out practicing my poetry al fresco here
Like Whitman juxtaposing his antipodes
I thought I was anonymous wearing this beard

But either I am known now or I just look weird
Suggesting Santa or summoning Socrates
Because at least here my identity is clear

Given this and my other specificities
Word travels by word-of-mouth and can travel fast
Yet I seldom seem to meet with disapproval

People make me feel like someone nice to be near
Though my fellow wanderers face forced removal
I need not wander anymore but simply be

Of late when I read to them people seem to hear
With interest mingled with curiosity
Word-of-mouth smoothed and rounded like stones from the sea

This suits me fine since I would like to stay awhile
As I begin to believe it will all work out
And that I might not disappoint myself at last

I look back on my life with a bittersweet smile
To think that what the fuss of it was all about
Was the finding of Easter eggs hidden before

That I would bloom in age and that this thing of mine
For hiding things would in the end work out just fine
A secret no more now having slipped out the door

My future my present to lift me from my past
Perhaps I might not disappoint myself at last

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 12, 2008, 8:22 am

Having Come This Far

a little song for Laura

You were so hurt so scared
So small so unprepared
To go down the dark road
Beneath your heavy load
With very few who knew
And fewer still who cared
How it felt to be you
When nobody else dared

Your now is my again
I know and I care too
I would have understood
As lonely now as then
And know you know I would
But I just saw you when
You rose a butterfly
Having fallen a star

New wings caressed my face
Turned upward to the sky
By this uncommon grace
You chose to share with me
To fly across the years
Though broken straight and true
Already dried of tears
Though I might shed a few

Apparently somehow
We are in the same place
My hand is in your hand
We know what words to say
Though we will never tell
Nor want to remember
What we have seen of hell
Back in deep December

But look how strong we are
For having come this far

And since we are here now
Where we are meant to be
Arriving where we are
Having come the hard way
We might as well feel free
To be and have our say
Past the indignity
Of wounds which will not heal

It almost hurts to see
Someone as hurt as me
But look how strong we are
Sharing this strength we feel
Seeing how much we learned
And knowing it is real
With these wings we have earned
For having come this far

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 10, 2008, 11:09 pm

Hear it Ring

Are you almost ready for your freedom yet?
That word you heard something about at school? Or
Would it be better to silently regret
And not resist forgetting what to fight for?
(Do we have any freedom in any case
Or is that just one of the lies of this place?)

Change is coming and cannot come soon enough
Two stolen elections toward dictatorship
A soft-bellied junta of mendacity
Helps the rich get richer while they ream us rough
And they waterboard you for a little lip
So now I suppose they will waterboard me

What I want to ask you is do you feel tough
Enough to strike back at the oligarchy
Or are you just going to sit there and fret
About the big lie and huge hypocrisy
Which would keep you a slave right into your grave?
Are you ready to assert your right to be?

Is your dignity worth your trouble to save
Or have you forgotten about being free?
Do we have any freedom in any case
Or is that just one of the lies of this place?
Hey fat cats! I want you to know what I see
As you loot the coffers and leave in disgrace:

The land of the free and the home of the brave
Will survive you and your pirate's-pillaging
But if freedom is ...you will soon hear it ring

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 10, 2008, 12:56 am

Breadline Solidarity

Fresh-scrubbed bright-eyed corn-fed blonde-haired girls make
A special breadline box for the poet
And boys who look just like them bring it out
They offer absolutely everything
But there is only so much I can take
Since I walked down and the grownups know it
So a volunteer volunteers to bring
Box and poet home having brought about
An eye-opening confirmation class

We pass a hobo lying on the grass
He is already tired and has no place
To go with his Saturday breadline box
But he got a good one in any case
And I see he holds a new pair of socks
Too clean for his feet until later on
When he can step into the fountain's pool
Tonight when the out-of-towners have gone
He knows what to do is nobody's fool
And illustrates the central paradox
Of homelessness where hard knocks go to school
Wherever he is is his place to be

The kids have had their eyes opened today
Their confirmation class taught them to see
That hobos and poets look the same way
At least when hobos are poets like me
Standing in the breadline on Saturday
Thanking God I still have a place to live
If perhaps only temporarily
To put away what opened-eyed kids give
With love in breadline solidarity

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 8, 2008, 9:08 pm


When the sun shines I want to get outside
To feel it warm me and to escape from
The artificial boxes where I hide
Where light is limited with only some
Stray shadows sneaking round the shrouded glass

I want the sun to kiss me in my face
And as the boxes where I hide must pass
So must I too but as I do embrace
This shining sun too bright to understand

Life has been a bitter disappointment
But the kiss of the sun strengthens my hand
To feel able to keep its appointment
With what it is supposed to do for you
For me and for all to do what it must

At last the sun shines! Now what I must do
Is find the diamonds hidden in this dust
For each one I find a dream will come true
Or so I must believe and hope and trust

And if this dust is all I ever find?
Shake it from my shoes ...and leave it behind

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 6, 2008, 8:02 pm


Not from the golden age of radio
Just from the baseball games and from the beach
But after forty-some years I still know
Annoying jingles from just out of reach
Which seem to annoy me less than they did
At that time at this time since they are part
Of that part of me I cannot get rid
Of (that part sequestered within my heart)

Pieces of shrapnel brought back from a war
Of hearts and minds which was lost from the start
It was not clear what we were fighting for
We had an idea but were not so smart
About the secrets of the radio
And we never knew like we never know

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 6, 2008, 3:33 am

A Silent Song of Solidarity

Only one has the power to destroy me
No one else is strong enough for such a task
Except for me but I want to enjoy me
I need a miracle now and so I ask

And I know it will be granted unto me
That I can fly blind into the future now
To a new and unfamiliar destiny
I believe it will be glorious somehow

I have a good reason to embrace my fate
Good reason to be happy and not look back
I was a late bloomer but I have bloomed late
With all I need now and with nothing I lack

I can be extremely persuasive daresay
And I am alive to survive and to thrive
I am here to stay and will not go away
My being alive makes the world more alive

There is hope for me and I can see the day
When the sun comes up and my troubles are gone
In a truly encouraging coming dawn
For which until it comes I stubbornly wait

God is not nor would be finished with me yet
I seize my future with hope without regret
With a silent song of solidarity
Arising when my poems are read by you

And you do read them (thank you) I know you do
It is you who give me the ability
To be able to survive and make it through
Only one has the power to destroy me

No one else is strong enough for such a task
Except for me but you seem to enjoy me
So I will fly blind into the future now
To a new and unfamiliar destiny

I will be luminous and transcendental
And above all else I will always be free
To explore the primal and fundamental
Archetypes of this our shared humanity

Since I have been judged I am not judgmental
All I want to do is share the empathy
Which I have learned the hard way over these years
Love and lift you up and dry away your tears

I can do this since I know about crying
I know what it feels like to be all alone
With not enough living and too much dying
But let us rise up and make our world our own

If it is not for us then who is it for?
Those rich and rapacious monsters out for blood?
We know what is right and we are asking more
For people less for profit: the greater good

The concept today is little understood
We poor are poorer while ever before us
The rich are richer and smirking at us all
They will be surprised when they fall in the fall

No matter how hard they try to ignore us
Because above all else we are always free
To explore the primal and fundamental
Archetypes of this our shared humanity

This is how we are and how we have to be
All we have to do is share our empathy
Our overwhelming human propinquity
Will call to us always to rise and be free

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 3, 2008, 5:05 am

The Unanswered Question

I know it could be the humidity
The lunar phase or the temperature
My biorhythm or my horoscope
Or maybe only my stupidity
That somehow I can feel something like hope
Here in the crosshairs of this aperture
Where the deathwatch is being kept for me

And yet I hear the sound of my own voice
Cry out from this my crucible of pain
"Though I have fallen I will rise again!"
I choose life now and must live with my choice
But can feel how my hand is unsteady
As my heart since how can I be ready
For what lies ahead where no one can see?

The sun has fallen too but now the night
Though we are fallen urges "rise again!"
As time comes for us both to lend our light
To rise from this my crucible of pain
Having chosen now to live with my choice
That somehow I can feel something like hope
(Or maybe only my stupidity)

The deathwatch will be frustrated (for now)
That I can feel something like hope somehow
As eyes adjust to unaccustomed sight
And as neglected wings start to unfold
The lotus blooms for always young or old
But as it blooms will I see I was right
Or maybe only my stupidity?

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Feb 1, 2008, 11:56 pm

Nothing Less Than Everything

This all-consuming
Silent suffering
Is to be a part
As blessing and curse
Of the heart of art
This which pays nothing
And which costs nothing
Less than everything

For better and worse
We are made to make

What we will fight for
More than anything
In the universe
Is just to be free
And to dream awake
As we ask for more
Quite simple really

What we want to do
Is make it better
Creating a door
Brushstroke by letter
From false into true
Breaking our fetter
To get through to you

And we may disperse
But we never break

We live in the dark
As misunderstood
Or live in the park
In your neighborhood
Each of us a part
As blessing and curse
Of the heart of art
This which pays nothing

And which costs nothing
Less than everything

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 30, 2008, 1:57 am

Running in Place


Part of me never became an adult
Having died and returned to life nineteen
And now I am fifty-three the result
Of being myself all these years between

Nor would I want it any other way
Because all I have lived and loved and seen
In a place I went while running in place
From a place I remembered to forget
Makes me the man I know so well today

A quite familiar face in any case
Although you might not quite have met me yet


I do better if I lay off the booze
And there are better options heaven knows
With so much to gain and so much to lose
I wake up each day to see how it goes
It seems to be going at least for now

As the windows open and the doors close
I muddle through as well as I know how
Some say it will never go well enough
But I have gone through much worse long before

I know how it can get when it gets rough
I can get through this and a whole lot more


The dirt is still there swept under the rug
Secrets lie buried out in the backyard
At the bottoms of grave-shaped holes once dug
To be forgotten although they died hard

Leave the rug alone and be careful where
You dig when you plant your garden in spring
No sense in digging up old troubles there
We have enough new ones for anything
From a place I forgot how to forget

A quite familiar place in any case
Although I might not quite have met it yet

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 29, 2008, 4:45 am

Past the Puppet Show

Here in this place it is the shadows we see
This world of confusion is an illusion
Demanding we embrace it desperately
A drama-queen illusion of confusion

And if it is real what does real really mean?

All I know is it never seemed real to me
Therefore I now find myself locked out of doors
Which were opened once for me respectfully
Or held for me on the way out of pity

I wonder if I could come knocking on yours

If I ever escape this unreal city
We could share the illusion of poetry
Wherein every word has been put in its place
So at least the confusion is orderly

I see something real in your heart by your face

Look past the illusion to see it in mine
We understand each other is all I know
I take our empathy as a hopeful sign
We might yet find meaning past the puppet show

Let us pull on their puppet strings as we go

They think they are the bosses bigshots and kings
These privileged pooh-bahs who reckon they rule
But they are only puppets dancing on strings
Looking important when the telephone rings

And each and every one of them is a fool

Here in this place it is the shadows we see
Shadows which would overshadow living things
But the spark in the dark is our empathy
Past the puppet show past the shadows we see

We might find in patches of light in between
What we mean by real and what we really mean

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 26, 2008, 10:19 pm

Twice Winner of the Breadline Milk Lottery

I have been to the breadline and I have returned
I was patient and polite while waiting but stood
Secretly hoping to win the milk lottery

Like I did last week with a purple stick of wood
Which this week was orange and yet I won again

One thing about the milk lottery I have learned
Is those who win it are the patient ones like me
Those in whom civility somehow survives pain

I saw a lot of friends in the breadline today
The most interesting people are all out there
And the few who will talk have the best things to say

The ones who are worst off are the ones who most care
For those with lighter loads on better roads than they

All of us who stand in the breadline learn to share
As suffering transfigures us and breaks the day
Just as hopeful in the breadline as anywhere

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII

Jan 25, 2008, 5:40 pm


We come and go before we know what we came or went for
Even as in the shrouded silence there waits something more
A sad sense of disquietude descends upon the mind
To think about it too much or to fear what one may find
It hurts to find how small our voice how little is our say

But the lotus unfolds as if for the first time today
And we each have a lot to say if only we knew how
But we have been hurt and misunderstood by so many
We have trouble believing we create reality
Especially having hardly experienced any

Could you go to the kitchen and cook up a bunch for me
Or must I figure it out alone at night in my bed
In those prisoned paralytic hours by the telephone
Which (quite apart from creditors!) abandons me alone?
By the time I create reality I might be dead

I think I will just have to muddle through at least for now
Since while seeking to be wise I became a fool instead
And I never could create reality anyway
Being too polite and passive to strut about like God
Though God would never strut and just the thought of that seems odd

We come and go before we know what we came or went for
A sad sense of disquietude descends upon the mind
To think about it too much or to fear what one may find
Even as in the shrouded silence there waits something more
As the lotus unfolds as if for the first time today

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVIII


Displaying Poems 1576 thru 1600 of 2852 Poems

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