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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1651 thru 1675 of 2858 Poems

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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

Nov 4, 2007, 9:01 am


I realize I have no hope to see
My future but this is all right with me
What I hope to see is my here and now
(As well as I can see it anyhow)

And then again I wonder if I could
Stand to see just how little understood
Or much misunderstood I am: I guess
Such present knowledge might just make a mess...
But if I could make sense of it I would

I love somebody who may never know
Yet still I aspire to find out someday
What love tastes like before time comes to go
I need to know before I go away
The hope of love holds fast and it dies slow

After my life's work is done for my pay
I want something real and not just for show
To seal my life with meaning like a kiss
I have so little else to leave behind
What I would like to leave behind is this:

Somebody loved me (they say love is blind)
Somebody loved me a long time ago...

And who am I? Your fellow leaf in fall
Borne by the breeze bound wherever we blow:
November is the deepest month of all
(And December is not for us to know)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Nov 3, 2007, 5:23 am

Still Free

I felt unwanted by polite society
Though I struggled politely to make it better
Polite society seemed impolite to me
So I built my own context letter by letter
And line by line my personal sanctuary
Of thousands of poems interlocking like bricks
With walls constructed seamlessly of prosody
Life can throw at me what it likes but nothing sticks

My personal society is quite polite
Graced as it is with specific gentility
Albeit with a certain eccentricity
Though it is always autumn here and always night
The moon is always full the stars shine dazzlingly
Against the deep blue velvet sky and diamond bright
The ancient everlasting light by which I see
And it is all for me and it is quite all right

Far from the garish glare and incivility
Of the plastic fantastic unreality
Of the bloated distended Wal-Mart world out there
Supersized and hypnotized by lies and madness
Where most have forgotten what it meant to play fair
Where antidepressants cannot heal the sadness
Nor tranquilizers blot out the anxiety
Of a most impolite polite society

I will spend my days in solitude with gladness
Though my democracy is dead I am still free

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Nov 1, 2007, 4:53 am

Promise the Dust

May those who make promises then break them
Airily merry with nary a thought
Be sharply recalled to what they forgot
May their self-satisfaction forsake them
And may they feel what their breaking has brought
Good and hard so to get their attention
May we find the love they hid as we sought
Yet never found now as the wheel comes round

We have been hurt we need hardly mention
But having seen promises broken and
Hearts along with them the same as our own
To reach out in vain for the withdrawn hand
Of someone you trusted and fall alone
We have felt all this so we understand
How it feels to be yesterday's flavor
To be once known and then at once unknown

But seeing the truth can make us braver
Though it might cost us a part of our trust
The rain has fallen and the wind has blown
The moon has tricked the sea to lick the land
And left only ruin and rot and rust
Where castles of promises made of sand
Are broken like bubbles and overthrown
We leave the breakers to promise the dust

May we find the love they hid as we sought
Yet never found now as the wheel comes round

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 29, 2007, 10:08 pm

Sickbed with Cat

In the end all that
I have is this cat
It is only he
With me now I see
A culture of two
One might say (I do)

Only us as we
Attempt to contend
However we can
Odd couple we are
Fat cat and thin man
With what fate might send

Whatever it sends
Freddie Noodles is
My friend I am his
We two are true friends
We have come this far
And we will get by

I do not know how
Nor am I sure why
Yet not knowing still
Believe that we will
Survive how hard fall
Fell this year somehow

We struggle each day
To get from it all
Some sense of fair play
In life through this loss
Detritus and dross
Entangling our way

But we will get through
Because we have to

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 27, 2007, 7:19 am


I want to sail to the strong-shouldered coast
Of pure imagination and arrive
At somewhere I can be my uttermost
Discover what it means to be alive
And find out what it takes to be a me

Whether I know it or not I am free:
Though I might seem imprisoned even here
Where I always thought I was meant to be
By something as simple as simple fear
Since what I loved best disappointed most

How beautiful it is no matter what
I suffered then or now how late the day
Some understand me and many do not
Or would not or could not as some might say
The day slants away but the night purrs near

Whether we know it or not we are free:
If I could ask you anything at all
It would be to sing the morning of spring
Recall the golden afternoon of fall
I would ask you remember everything

Pure imagination is what is true
A place where we can be our uttermost
Discover what it means to be alive
And find out what it takes to be a we
Not someplace else but inside me and you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 25, 2007, 9:54 pm

Never Quite

for the "Weekend America" program on NPR
with my thanks for their interest in my poetry

Being insane can make one insecure:
To be out of touch with the normative...
However certain still never quite sure
If one's own senses are informative

Not wanting (of course) to be a bother
And yet bothered simultaneously
Madness is no escape but is rather
A great complication (at least for me)

Somehow and for some reason I endure
My senses uniquely informative
Though antipodal to the normative
However certain still never... quite... sure...

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 23, 2007, 10:11 pm

Our Time Will Come

What is right for one moment might devolve
To be wrong for another moment when
As the cycles of the seasons revolve
Then becomes now the way now became then
As if only situationally
I have always found it helpful to see
The pulse of the pattern of back and forth

Reality changes from hour to hour
The pendulum swings for all it is worth
To say nothing of our perception of
What is and how we shape what this might be
The name we call it which gives it its power
Could be anything but it seems to me
What really makes the seasons turn is Love

The sun which opens the heart like a flower
Love is the light we see reflected by
The moon the sparkle we see in a star
The flame which flashes from a lover's eye
What keeps us going when the goal is far
Away and down the road as you and I
Perceive the pattern of the pendulum

We keep going knowing our time will come

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 21, 2007, 9:14 pm

The Golden Frame

Today though the tomorrow of yesterday
Is no longer tomorrow only today
But then tomorrow never comes anyway

Living in the future in tomorrow's past
Yesterday's tomorrow came today at last
I am happy to be here in any case
The future seems to me a familiar place
As though today seems to be yesterday's more

But you and I have never been now before
Tomorrow might say that today was the day
I died for all I know as it slipped away

No before nor after now only today
So I will make the most of it I will do
My best today as I share this now with you
And timely it is to ride the sweeping hands
Of the clock of now with one who understands:

That we are not going anywhere
That still in the moment we are there
For here in the now is everywhere

Hands brush its face while time smiles on the same
The paintings change yet not the golden frame
Of now

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 20, 2007, 2:21 am

Not Until

The dry bean yet hopeful seed is immersed
Into mother water and rejoices
To swell up pregnant with life soon to burst

No one can win an argument with fate

The water boiled soothingly and surprised
The bean instead before it realized

One might be early another one late
But no one will ever know until when
What happens happens and not until then

To make sense of why things are as they are
It helps to think about this "not until"
And wonder if chances could be choices

(That there is no sense to make of is far
More than most know or than most ever will)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 18, 2007, 3:00 am

The Bifocal Perspective of Being

We live on more than one plane at a time:
On one plane in the action of our play
And one above this one (up a short climb)
From which we watch (a dimension away)
Ourselves from above (though we are below)
Just far enough away that we can say
"Be careful down there" yet enjoy the show

This observational ability
Is ours whenever we take the long view
To look at ourselves and look honestly
Wonder about why we do what we do
And having seen us then to see us grow

From the vantage point of the higher me
I have seen this cycle turn around so
Many seasons in a pattern so small
That I have to hope it must mean something
(If anything means anything at all)
Whatever it means it is the one thing
I have and also what I share with you

We speak our lines then learn them as we go
From the sublimated to the sublime
Floodlit and firelit blinded by seeing
Up close at a distance high beams and low
Each like a bell which hears its echo chime

The bifocal perspective of being

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 17, 2007, 2:06 am

Iron Grey

in my family our hair turns iron grey in time as mine has now

The housekeeper leaves bits of fruit for me
As ancestral demon or deity

Old Chrysler keys are always upside down
As mine are (my ignition in my hand)
I have enough gas to get out of town
But will not since I have no place to go
And do have a place where I have to stay

I wonder if the neighbors understand
That I live in death and that (yes) I know?

Where I live it is always yesterday
Here is a place of everlasting when
Which functions as a neverending where
And if you were not here from now to then
Look in and back and you might see it (there)

I seem to be the caretaker the host
The sacrifice maker become the ghost

I too at last have become iron grey
I went to Grandma's house and stayed until
It got too late to ever leave again
Born in the thunder left out in the rain
Came home here: always have (we always will)

The dead live here with their iron grey hair
Heavy in the heavily mortgaged air

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 15, 2007, 12:46 am

The Bubble Now

Our present realities can be seen
By the meaningful patterns of our past
Past patterns are buoys in the fog ahead
As dreams and nightmares coming true at last
With several surprises in between

We will always be who we are yet change
Albeit each by pattern each our way
What to one is normal another strange
Flows on like water as night follows day
And as we have come so we will go more

It has to mean something that we are here
In the midst of all this complexity
With no brakes and not knowing how to steer
And then beyond the how there is the why
As you remain you while I become me

We recognize ourselves our patterns clear
No matter how we live evolve and die
Whether past or present reality
Because reality is always now
Whatever was or is or is to be

The bubble now cannot be burst somehow
To look back or ahead is not to see
Our spectrum of possibility for
Within what the bubble now will allow
We are freed from time for eternity

Eternity begins now one might say
No one can find its beginning nor end
We enter the river midstream instead:
May you enjoy eternity my friend
Right here and right now forever today

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 13, 2007, 5:51 pm

Night Rain After Disappointment

I listen to rain falling through the night
As it lands and runs beneath the window
As it slides down the sky from a great height
Its drops joining into a stream below
And I think maybe I will be all right

I can feel the stream and feel in its flow
That I too am a raindrop after all
A stone in the desert star in the sky
A snowflake in winter leaf in the fall
Through good days and bad days wet years and dry
A piece of the puzzle however small

I was surprised by this rain when it came
As one is by an unexpected gift

I hurt but I see no one is to blame
Am disappointed yet I feel the lift
Of the night tears of heaven just the same
Outside the window joining mine inside
Though mine are stinging salt and of small size
A puzzle piece a raindrop after all

Those drops without and these within confide
I join with unnumbered and unseen eyes

Rain fall and flow and carry me away
That I become at one with everything
To ride the tide tonight into today
A piece to speak my piece unquestioning
Rain touch and teach my tongue what it must say

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 13, 2007, 3:31 am

What Fred Said

Sitting on my bed alone with my cat
Recovering from dentistry gone wrong
(Miscarriage of such a good intention
Gone too far nor enough or just gone bad
Requiring medical intervention)
He sleepily hears me implore "Now what?"
Of no one or none in particular
(Too far now from that last pain pill I had)

He opens one eye as he thinks awhile
Then both and meows "Forget about all that
And just enjoy what little we have got:
Remember those troubles we might have seen
Which worried you so and yet never were?
Get up and take a pain pill (we have more)"

He reminds me we are both fortunate
To stay cool in a world grown much too hot
And rather more too shallow than too deep
Awash in absurdity he stays strong:
"You will get over this then you will soar
Let those antibiotics do their part
And rest up now since it will not be long
Curl up your tail and go to sleep: take heart"

Able to be cheerfully celibate
Lucky to avoid scenes which might have been
Far from the dramas of cats which are not
He yawns and purrs "Time now to go to sleep"
And that is that because he is a cat
But if cats do I swear I saw him smile

As he curls close and winks his green jade eyes
I realize which one of us is wise

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 10, 2007, 6:53 pm

Pick a Star

Winter is not what it used to be
Waiting in autumn growing older
As the days grow shorter I can see
My days grow shorter too (and colder)

Those I took care of take care of me
My son with my name will be bolder
In life than me: my other son too
Will go much further than I have gone
Which is as it should be after all

I am ill now in increasing pain
I see someone else in my mirror
A stranger to the me I once knew
Yet somehow I see myself clearer
With poor eyesight and a damaged brain

Autumn in balance is rise and fall
And life just does what it has to do
The pyre of leaves burns smoky and small
But dusk of winter burns into dawn
Into a day which belongs to you

Some people seem to live on and on
Steadily if uneventfully
But I have lived (and would live again)
Eventfully if unsteadily
Does anyone know? I never knew

Winter is not what it used to be
But then winter was never like this
Come spring I hope you remember me
Pick a star then and blow me a kiss

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 8, 2007, 10:59 am

De Rerum Natura

That nether hair is there for our protection
The keep through which the castle works erection
That portcullis whence we sally forth to see
How the other half lives: entangled within
The portcullis of another even as
Our elements combine underneath our skin
In a dance of life which causes life to be
And then rests tender (here) as it always has
In softly saline human propinquity

Your father knew of this and your mother too
As mine and everyone's to cause me and you
To repeat the pattern to know what they knew

It feels awkward to imagine them like this
But there they were and here we are: in this kiss
To repeat the pattern of past human bliss
Then turn side by side as our world turns around
Having found as seeking humans always found
"It is not good for the man to be alone"
Nor the woman as you have so warmly shown
And here we are as there they were: in this kiss
Just as those who came before had always known

I would not wax just as I would not wane
The moon now waxes both of us (again)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 7, 2007, 10:59 pm

Alone with God ...and You

for someone who paid for treatment when I needed it

Everyone has troubles malignant or benign
May yours be more the latter than the former and
May they in any case not be as hard as mine
Have been... but having troubles you will understand
When I say (as you know) that nothing feels so good
As when troubles feared malignant turn out: just fine
Hope shared is squared and life blooms when the news is good

When good news comes it comes on time but not too soon
And thus enhanced by this element of surprise
Can turn an inward dirge into a jaunty tune
Mortality if for a moment washed from eyes
Which blink in the light of hope from the dark of fears

In a moment like this is when we realize
Other eyes were there to share not just smiles but tears
Which cover up the light of hope to blind our eyes
And so we feel alone because we fail to see
Other eyes loved and loving weeping with us then

Though I care for you I forget you care for me
But since my eyes are clear now I see you again
Here at my door as you have always been before

It takes the malignant to bring out the benign
Apparently and it is after crisis when
I can see that you really are a friend of mine

And these eyes washed clean by suffering can see too
Now that I am free from where troubles had taken
That God is with us both just as he always was
As if waiting in the night for me to waken
To see my guiding light my original cause
Waiting there as you here: I was not forsaken
Not merely alone but alone with God ...and you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 4, 2007, 12:45 pm

To Have a Because

I have struggled stubbornly since my birth
(What a massive inconvenience THAT was!)
To justify my presence here on earth

I feel like I have to have a Because

This could be from my being unwanted
Or the fact my family is haunted

Whatever the reason I have been sad
As I scaled heights and reaching them took flight
(If only to float away aimlessly)
Never enjoying whatever I had
(Although whatever I had had had me)
Because I had no time to sleep at night
And if I did such dreams as came were bad

I have to work harder than other men
Although I never make any money

I am in constant pain except for when
You think a poem of mine is funny

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 3, 2007, 4:07 pm

Answered by Silence

We wanderers do not need very much
To gratify our curiosity
Nor do we have to wander very far
To enjoy bright stars and shining moonlight
The morning star to sparkle up the east
And bring the day up rested from the night
To satisfy the turning of the wheel
Which comes before and after when we are

The sun going up and then coming down
The ways of stars the moon the sun and such
These greatest entertainments cost the least
In which the gift of now itself is star
Where all are already admitted free
The sky itself the greatest show in town
Above the town for everyone to see
En masse or in intimate company

Or maybe in the desert all alone
An audience of one which comes to feel
The universe as university
A place to wonder consider and dream
Of things which can and which cannot be known
In which thoughts and stones are equally real
Where questions are answered personally
No matter how universal they seem

Ultimate questions are personal ones
Those campfire questions wondered silently
Asked by wanderers of infinite suns
And answered by silence ultimately

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Oct 1, 2007, 9:45 pm

The Boy is Father to the Man

I am disappointed by the mirror
But disappointment edges with surprise
When my clouding image looms up clearer
And I think I see madness in my eyes

When I was a boy I waited to see
If my eyes could mark the miles of life as
Time and its tumult made a man of me
And now since I have lived so long it has
Been ever more clear I never got near
To life except by serendipity

Whatever a man is I do not think
That this is what I had in mind at all
If man is fallen this must be his fall
That is what I see here: I see the brink
Just beyond yet behind where stained eyes strain
Out of what was to what is and must be

I cringe at this image over this sink
Surrounded by bathroom banality
Where once I stood in boyhood dreaming here
I see my boyhood eyes destroyed by pain
Burned in the darkness and branded with fear
Trapped in this life-death mask mortality

Is this how it happens? Where is that boy
Who had no idea it would be this way
Who waited to mark the miles and enjoy
What seemed to him some endless holiday?

This is not what that boy waited to see
I shudder to think of how he must feel
I am too disappointed to explain
But he is blind now not to see again
And having gone I hope he has gone free
Where nightmares shown in mirrors are not real

What vision disappointment left surprise
Took that when he saw madness in my eyes
And though I age it was he who made me
So I would like to find him if I can
To say I was sorry to see him go
And that he was me just so he would know

A boy like that might fear this crazy man
Perhaps we will meet in eternity
Where we could forget about all of this
Enlightened there by sheer lucidity
Disappointed eyes surprised by a kiss
To make a man of him a boy of me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 30, 2007, 2:20 am


Would that cigarettes were everlasting
Nor burn up so expensively so fast
Would that they would not kill me as they do
Would weight fly away today through fasting
Defining my true self beneath false skin
And would that you loved me as I love you
Both God and you forgiving me my sin
My sacrifice acceptable at last

If wishes were horses beggars would ride
This beggar would like to ride a big horse
So I could ride read-and-respected now
Though beggars cannot be choosers of course
But if you see me riding up astride
Some noble steed then mine came true somehow
As noble deeds and begging needs allow
Or I could simply ride away and hide

I never had an adolescence then
Pruned by puritan prunes for Vietnam
And marrying beyond my means back when
I should have been king (or queen) of the prom
An adolescent now at fifty-two
My adolescent friends say just be free
And live and love and laugh now while we see
If the wishes of beggars can come true

Just barely beginning to live now I
Commit to this life to the death (daresay)
And despite my late start test wings to fly
More hurried than worried up and away
To have my say by turning night to day
And celebrate the seasons of the moon
Which though it has waned will wax again soon
When finally I get my chance to play

So never mind Uncle Jack what you did
And how we "lived" and how my people died
You came and I went to my room and hid
Fox talking henhouse hens squawking about
Farewell old man those tears have all been cried
I bet it all to try and put things right
Found out what that fox was talking about
The hens squawked all day but then said good night

I will fly high as a kite till I drop
And then will drop extraordinarily
Or just might fly so high I never stop
Till I become who I was born to be
My issues my tissues my rhyme my time
Those loved and lost had such high hopes for me
Then left me here alone without a dime
But left this ticket to eternity

Would that cigarettes were everlasting
Nor burn up so expensively so fast
Would that they would not kill me as they do
Would weight fly away today through fasting
Defining my true self beneath false skin
And would that you loved me as I love you
Both God and you forgiving me my sin
My sacrifice acceptable at last

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII


Displaying Poems 1651 thru 1675 of 2858 Poems

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