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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1651 thru 1675 of 2764 Poems

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Jul 2, 2007, 11:04 pm

One of Those Places

the Plaza park in my hometown

A twilit Monday quiet as any I can
Recall since an old child once turned to a young man
Who went on to become then this old child again

I walk to my customary place in the square
In the Plaza at the hub of the circle there

I consider caramel-apple suckers where
One blown-away day I sat close with another
Eating caramel-apple suckers in the rain

Now she is far away from me as yesterday
The days blow away while only their ghosts remain

This is where the others worried to my mother
About her child and thought they might take me away

And yet here I am and I listen to the train
Blowing a song about winners who lose it all
About how money can cost you your family

The water around the fountain swirls down the drain
To be drawn back up to dance the patterns I see

There are some places where it should always be fall
And this is one of those places (at least to me)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jul 1, 2007, 3:18 am

Stay Hungry

What is it again we are looking for?
If we ever find it then it might be
Enough for awhile until we want more

An appetizer toward satiety
A spirit-snack as the need increases
To stimulate our curiosity

Nature abhors a vacuum nor ceases
To make hungry hunters of you and me
I hope I only find it at the end

I want to keep wandering all night long
One who has found it seems no more a friend
But smug and flaccid where I would be strong

I want to stay hungry all the way up
Or down however you choose to see it
My bowl half-empty with a half-full cup

Some ask the question but I want to be it
Some shout their answer at me but I say
I only hear their self-satisfaction

They never asked the question anyway
Distracted to unthinking inaction
By deductive reductive redaction

To those who must shout answers I say please
Look around you at our diversity
Remember there are more satieties
Than one-size-fits-all answers you would shove
Down the throats of all in the name of love

So if you love me let me disagree
I may never taste of satiety
That intoxicated sobriety
Staying hungry but curiosity
Is the food of hungry hunters like me

Although satiety might be nice
My curiosity will suffice

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 30, 2007, 2:18 am

Dark Mirror

Gnawing disinterestedly on
A slice of radish till it is gone
Reaching for another to repeat
The process I process the defeat
Of sense by the senselessness I see
Above below and all around me

Not that I have any sense either
Sensible senseless both and neither
I live the Socratic irony
That the more I know the less I know

All I have left is what I believe
To keep me from stumbling as I go
By faith if not sight hoping to grow
Passively prepared to stay or leave
Not fearing death but happy to live
Aging against the alternative

I never like to walk out of a play
Before it concludes and the players bow
The play of tomorrow and yesterday
Inevitably climaxes today
The best part of the tragedy is now
When it is seen to be a comedy

Surrounding me on the stage I see
Each of the players is only me
Reflected in the dark mirror of
Life and death by hope by faith by love

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 28, 2007, 3:20 am

Beyond the Illusion

Beyond the illusion and vanity
Of the mask we choose for others to see
The truth of us is found in what they say
When we are out of earshot well away
From what is said of us when we are gone

Despite our performance when we are on
It is when we are off the stage that we
Beyond applause are evaluated
When we are weighed considered and rated

We have no redress no way to change this
Third party peer review this curse or kiss
This love or hate this to appreciate
Or not which depends on what we have done

The wheel we set in motion once begun
Will turn until we turn to dust and then
Let judgment of another kind begin
But those who are kind need never despair

Judgment is kind to those willing to care
For others and not just for what they say
When we are out of earshot well away
While going to tomorrow growing there
Together on and off this stage we share

Let us create before it is too late
Our fate tomorrow being kind today

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 26, 2007, 11:52 pm


I cannot afford to lose the lottery
I never have the ticket price to spare
The daydream of wealth by serendipity
The poor man's castle of clouds in the air
Will just have to go on shining without me

If I won it Social Security
Would take every cent of it anyway
To keep my income where it is today

I cannot afford to win the lottery
Just as I cannot afford to lose
Nor can I even afford to care

Having no choice means not having to choose

Prosperity chased finds new places to hide
But I am not chasing it: God will provide

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 25, 2007, 12:45 am

Farewell My Child

I ask no more than this affinity
This small shared circumstance of being Lance
Proceeding from our consanguinity
Which leads us down the decades in a dance
Of life and death and what we wish ...or not

And as there is no luck there is no chance
Escaping haunting by what we forgot

Although forgotten still we linger here
Remembering despite ourselves we are
Within our flesh and blood and bone so near
While yet within our heart and mind so far

Farewell my child as you go run your course
My destiny as I remain your source

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 24, 2007, 12:43 am

Meeting Aurora at Spiro's for Dinner

a sonnet

As the smoking flesh of sacrificed beasts
Brings bloodlust satiety to the feasts
Of the overwrought overweight and fraught
Lamenters of their frustrations and ills
I wait head-down invisible as taught

As angry obesities pay their bills
Complaining of chicken-fried steaks they bought
And wondering if they forgot their pills
I wait to see someone who waits for me
While wondering what we are waiting for

And if they have found their satiety
Why do these people keep looking for more?
Their eyes are hungry wily and wary

Satiety must be temporary

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 22, 2007, 1:35 am

My Misplaced Destiny

Tonight I could see
Your little blue star
Once more it made me
Wonder where you are

You are here somewhere
Though lost to me now
The sightings are rare
I never know when

Yet I see somehow
A toss of your hair
An arch of your brow
Every now and then

Clean sheets on my bed
But lost dreams of you
Turning in my head
Can never come true

I can no longer see
Dark tears have made me blind
Nor can I forget you
In the darkness behind

You will not forget me
Your heart will not let you
Wherever you may be
My misplaced destiny

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 19, 2007, 5:07 am

A Sonnet Upon It

Elasticizing to eternity
The spacetime fabric yields so is not torn
Metastasizing the return of me
Life quietly prepares me to be born
Anew with you as I am born each day
Too old for death too young for life are we
Unnumbered timeless beings one might say
Our days behind before infinity

And when we meet out on the street and greet
It always is a cry of victory
Invulnerable we know no defeat
Since all we have to do to win is be
And though we know this might seem rather odd
No one belongs to anyone but God

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 16, 2007, 10:10 pm

Specific Leaves

Particularities and specificities
All those uniquenesses which cause you to be you
In which one sees into the forest through the trees
To find within this breathing leaf life proven true
Distinctly realized from possibilities
And permutations far beyond the reckoning
Of one leaf of another waving beckoning

One greets and celebrates the other glad to be
Specific leaves alive in moments such as these
Respiring and aspiring here until the fall
When you and I shall fly into infinity
And our particularities fit into All
Our permutations reckoned in the reckoning
Of leaves and trees and forests waving beckoning

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 15, 2007, 12:49 am

Life's Tender Kiss

I will live out my days in peace and love content
To be a little candle in the growing dark
And though I am poor and unimportant and small
Though dark is growing deeper I will be a spark
Which just might bring some light to this world after all

I joined in an anti-war protest yesterday
With passing cars honking in solidarity
And it made me feel empowered in that same way
As I feel in church when taking the sacrament
The word made flesh and the gospel practiced in me

I humbled the pro-war heckler with humble words
Dona nobis pacem O Jesu Domine
And I in turn was humbled by the song of birds
Their hymn to life so heartfelt I could only say
Deus meus et omnia adoro te

Life's tender kiss so brief war's brutal rape so long
The angry and the empty of the right are wrong

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII + Dona nobis pacem

Jun 13, 2007, 9:56 pm

Poets' Corner

for Franziska

I write myself into then out of a corner
As if with my own Christmas pie like Jack Horner
When I am written in I write right out again
Since I have stuck in my thumb and pulled out a plum

And that as much as anything is poetry
Explained as much as such a thing can ever be
This art which I practice yet which practices me
In a self-induced altered state of consciousness

"A drug" you say and ask "Is it addictive?" Yes
A corner with a door in the floor if you should
Go inside to ride the tide and find yourself good
At pulling plums in the corner from Christmas pie

If you care to and dare to be misunderstood
Well then Franziska we are poets you and I

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 12, 2007, 1:04 am

Life Lives Belief

for Aurora

The interconnectedness of all things
Lived in interlocking concentric rings
As we touch each other for weal or woe
Is an observable phenomenon

We are not alone wherever we go
Our footprints behind us when we have gone
Are like those before us leading us on
Life lives belief for us until we know

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 9, 2007, 10:01 am

If This is Sociopathy Then Sign Me Up

Cold tea by my bed from the night before
Will have to suffice until I make more
But to do that I must leave my safe bed

I think I will drink this cold tea instead
Of going anyplace nor show my face
(As I reach to turn off my telephone)
The company I keep best is my own

To not be alone in the universe
Is a concept prized as an abstraction
Yet in reality it can be worse
A deeper loneliness through distraction

And also I have learned to my despair
It seems improbable others might care
(As much as they care for themselves) for me

So I find it reassuring to be
Safe and secure in the arms of the known
(To be alone is to be truly free)
With me myself and I at peace: alone

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 6, 2007, 4:32 am

Oral Fixation

Smoking to keep from eating
Eating to keep from smoking
And through it all the lonely heart keeps beating
"If this is life" you say "you must be joking"
(Except this is not really funny)

What the searching mouth seeks cannot be found
Life drifts away like smoke
The heart is run to ground
Bleeding out its life in love like honey
A sweet yet tasteless joke

The cycle repeats again and again
Reducing all to feces and to ash
Into the trash and down the drain
Down the drain and into the trash
Curiously thrilling if not without pain

Horrifyingly satisfying dying
Like watching a train in a slow-motion crash
"If this is life" you say "you must be joking"
(Except this is not really funny)
Trying to keep from choking

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 3, 2007, 11:59 am

Paris Moon

Her face a fly's eye view my vision marginalized
Multifaceted multifoliate fractalized
She had a high I. Q. I knew as I realized
I had embraced her face fascinated until dawn
Then misplaced her grace until breakfast ...when she was gone

O midnight morning why must you fade away so soon?
We will always have Paris but I prefer the moon

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 3, 2007, 5:27 am

For Grandma

Grandma I went home to St. John's today
To have a proper German Mass at last
And it was just like when you went away
My future present embraced by our past

I felt you there as you sat beside me
The window said "Ich bin das Licht der Welt"
I heard your voice and felt what I once felt
With you and Mom and all our family

I wandered the wilderness went astray
But I went home today and found you there
I know I can make it now come what may
Because of your love and your answered prayer

Three days from now on St. Boniface Day
I will gather oak leaves and think of you
And celebrate evergreen memories
Volunteer nasturtiums and wild sweet peas

All that you taught me turns out to be true

Oak of my life Grandma an Gottes Segen
Gott sei Dank Grandma ist Alles gelegen

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 2, 2007, 8:22 am

The Queen of Spades in Exile

I picked the Queen of Spades up off the street
And put her in my wallet just like that
Her house of cards fallen Jack in retreat
Her cardboard King lost impotent and flat

She lives in exile now rescued by one
Who understands her secret after all
And here with me her new life has begun
With one who knows what it feels like to fall

I think it must mean something that I found
Then lifted from dishonor and disgrace
The Queen of Spades there face up on the ground
The only game of cards I ever won

I hoped she brought me luck but maybe I
Who understand the anguish in her face
Am meant to change her life before we die
When all the loss of her winning is done

The sort of woman I could live with now
The only woman who would live with me
Here in my back pocket feels right somehow
But when the time comes I will set her free

I picked the Queen of Spades up off the street
Understanding her secret after all
I put her in my wallet just like that
Because I know what it feels like to fall

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Jun 1, 2007, 1:03 am


I have lived a long time and learned a few things
Become increasingly good at forgetting
Have worn several hats and various rings

Spent altogether too much time regretting
Yet have felt the hand of God on my shoulder
Through every sort of trial one could conceive

I feel it more firmly as I grow older
As I have and do and always will believe
That there is more to life than what I can see

Wherever I go and whatever I do
I believe in God and that he cares for me
And that should you ask him God would care for you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

May 30, 2007, 4:05 pm

When My Cat and I Have Tea

My cat becomes a man sometimes and we have tea
When he makes the change he is naked of course so
I lend him clothes since he wears the same size as me

We are both adults now and will no longer grow
(His cat-self grows fatter but that does not matter)
Though as a man he grows taller than when he is
A cat of course so when he changes back the clothes
Seem absurdly large enveloping all but his
Rattlesnake-tail at one end and his pink-tipped nose
At the other as we both marvel at it all

How can he change from man-size-large to cat-size-small
And back again whenever the fancy strikes him?
Yet cat or man everyone who knows him likes him

When he and I have tea we like our privacy
So most times I am the only one who can see
Him turn into a man and I am used to it

But you should see the surprise in my neighbors' eyes
If they see him with his cup held delicately
As he enjoys the feline way my trousers fit
Or when he steps off the porch to sniff at a rose
Forgetting himself in man-shape wearing my clothes

I tell them he is my visiting cousin then
We both laugh at how easy it is to fool men
When after we have tea he is my cat again

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

May 29, 2007, 10:41 pm

Anticipated Reality

Better to wonder than to find out
Anticipation is greater than
Realization she teased at me
I sniffed at this with impatient doubt
Being a very curious man
Yet by and by I knew I would see
How right she was and how worth the wait
Nor had she ever been wrong before

Waiting for the moment to arrive
Needing her then but loving her more
For making me glad to be alive
With something beautiful to expect
Love dreaming sweeter for waking late
My ardor mingled with my respect
For the one who had become my fate
Who knew what she was talking about

Anticipated reality
Is realized as nothing can be

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

May 29, 2007, 2:12 am


I think we play roles
To fill up the holes
Torn out from our souls
By injuries sustained along the way
And so we engage in our shadow play

I went to the holy woman and said
I could play no more and wished to be dead
But she healed and anointed me instead

So here I am now
Not quite knowing how
Yet somehow believing that I must live
That my creator delights to forgive
And welcome me a prodigal home free

You might not believe me but watch and see
That soon within the blue moon I will rise
Surprising my own disbelieving eyes
Opening now to my birthright my prize
By which I am blooming nightwings to soar

I have sung before but you will hear more
Deeply of me as I sing destiny
The moon is waxing I am growing strong
My birth approaches nor will it be long
Until created I create my song

No more role no more hole not in this soul
As I rise blue moon soon strong free and whole

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

May 27, 2007, 10:13 pm

In the Firmament Between Always and Never

I used to think that life was like a mountain and
For the first half we climbed steadily toward the top
From which like Moses we could see the Promised Land

Followed by a steady imperceptible drop
Which was in its own way a blessing in the end
It was gentle and you could go with one you love

But now like Elijah what if you just ascend
Rising higher and higher above the above
Until you are lifted so high you disappear?

Somehow I think this is what I am doing here
It feels wonderful and scary like a thrill ride
Yet I have completely forgotten about fear

It tingles inside me like infatuation
Whereas I used to sequester myself and hide
Away with myself and my new situation

Now I want to rise gloriously like the sun
The light of life is echoed and expressed in me
The dawning of my eternity has begun

So this then is what it means after all to be
In the firmament between always and never
I will rise with the sun forever and ever

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

May 27, 2007, 12:47 am

I Believe in You

I thought I was alone
As I wandered out here
Destination unknown
And yet you were so near
Too near for me to see
Right here inside of me

What held me back was fear

Somewhere along the line
Through all my wandering
Somehow I became shy
From all these scars of mine
I won from suffering
Yet could not (would not) die

I never understood

And only God knows why
But I know what is good
I can feel what is true
So this one thing is clear
Within my muddied mind
True friends are hard to find

But I believe in you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

May 25, 2007, 5:17 pm

Beautiful Complex Humanity

It is not easy to be human but
It can be a lot of fun
Success or failure depends less on what
Than how what we do is done

This is a small world with no place to hide
(There is no "army of one")
So live it with style and enjoy the ride
Of our moment in the sun

Life teaches us that if we sincerely
Respect one another here
We can enjoy our pleasant company
As we throw away our fear
And jump right into the exciting sea
Of beautiful complex humanity

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII


Displaying Poems 1651 thru 1675 of 2764 Poems

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