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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1676 thru 1700 of 2843 Poems

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Sep 12, 2007, 7:24 pm

Now and Then

for Bart Wolffe

Have I finally suffered enough to see
Now as really always (both effect and cause)?
Nothing in my pocket nothing in my hand
No smoke no mirrors and nothing up my sleeve
This is it and this is what is left to me
That understanding is not to understand

The letting go of what really never was
Is like leaving to come or coming to leave
This essential potential which still can be
Though ragged by the roadside still can be found
Gathered from the ashes and sacrificed at
Bonfires of my vanities I dance around
My burnt offerings the smoke by which I see
The crossing is the focus of clarity

As I have no future so I have no past
As death becomes nearer life becomes dearer
I just want to slow it down and make it last
As each night fades away each day comes clearer
And what I touch has never been touched before
This moment which is the crossing: I see that
Now is always true no matter who thinks when
This being the ultimate I have no more

Now is always the beginning of the game
Once dealt the cards have to be dealt with this way
Whether fifteen or fifty it is the same
Crossing: the point at which all intersects now
Balancing on the brink between night and day
Before after always and never somehow

There is only now as there is never then

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 11, 2007, 4:50 pm

Phone Home From the Twilight Zone

"Is that loud man schizophrenic
Or on his mobile phone?"

She asked since I taught this tactic
Once when we were alone
How when somebody is talking
To some unseen unknown
We discern which type of squawking
We hear just by the tone

My teaching failed though I accept no blame
Since it turned out both were one and the same

If you wonder: "schizophrenic
Or on his mobile phone?"
It could turn out both or neither
Or maybe neither nor
But whichever of the either
What are they shouting for?

I do not like their tone

The type of phone which I prefer
Sits quietly and still
As mine does and as all phones were
And has a modest bill
Because the bored utility
Throws the poor a bone rate for a landline

My mental disability
Although not schizophrenia says: "fine"

Now we can phone home from the Twilight Zone
Stay lonely in a crowd
Argue with ourselves in a drumming drone
But must we be so loud?
I might offer a word
Of advice with a cord:

"Come home with me speak softly and use mine"

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 10, 2007, 6:49 pm


We tend wounds left by those who desert us
We work out the hurts of those who hurt us
Torture ourselves as they tortured us and
Never forget they let go of our hand

We will not eat because they forced us to
Not out of nurture but out of control
We starve ourselves through a hole in our soul
Not good enough no matter what we do

Beaten and broken we nonetheless rise
Through brokenness we triumph after all
Look closer and see the pain in our eyes
We rise to beat back the scene of our fall

We are those matchstick people you might see
Brief candles burning through internal night
Perfection-bound by internal decree
Strike anywhere and we will share our light

Some mock at us and call it all in vain
"Just eat something!" "Get over it!" they say
We keep the secret weep the stain away
But we have to show them: never again

We tend wounds left by those who desert us
We work out the hurts of those who hurt us
Torture ourselves as they tortured us and
Never forget they let go of our hand

We smoke because we are on fire and yet
We light the world consuming our regret

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 10, 2007, 1:39 am

One Love

No time like the present
However unpleasant
The only time we have is only now

And if we can bear it
We learn as we share it
To turn the lead of life to gold somehow

It is this alchemy
Gives hope to you and me
As we transcend the limits of our day

And if we don't lose heart
At least we make a start
To live our most at least and have our say

One life one hope one moment in the sun
One love by which our world is new-begun

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 9, 2007, 10:32 pm


Pausing here at the threshold of my age
My youth appears chaotic to me now
At this more peaceful place along the way
A rest stop on this road of pilgrimage
I thank God I survived it all somehow

The road is long and I have far to go
But I will be at peace at close of day
And until then I will wander and grow
As curious as ever and even more
With better understanding of the quest

I see there is still so much more to know
Yet know more clearly now what I quest for
And after contemplation rise refreshed
With pockets full of treasures I have found
Which are ideas and are not hard to bear

They comfort me here and lead me to where
The journey ends in quiet victory
My steps toward the future stacked on the past
Create this work-in-progress which is me
Joy in the journey and peace at the last

I enter this the threshold of my age
My pockets full of souvenirs of when
These ideas which help me understand now
And what I do not know I will know then
Embracing such days as God will allow

I must be on my way now homeward bound

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 9, 2007, 5:31 am

A Misfit Born and Bred

(for all the pretty girls)

A misfit born and bred I do
Exactly as I please
But kindly as my mother taught
("God bless you" if you sneeze)

And if I spend the night with you
I'll thank you in the morn
For all the wonders we have wrought
(How lovely to be born!)

The world has turned and I have learned
A trick (or maybe two)
While hardly working I have earned
A place in poetry
A "name" though I have never sought
To turn the world to me

And best of all (as falls the fall)
I've had a roaring time
If quietly if poor and small
Mucking about with rhyme

A misfit born and bred I do
Exactly as I please
But love to entertain you too
With nonsense-lines like these

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII Mind the Cows

Sep 8, 2007, 5:14 am

I Just Want Him to Love Me

a tale of two fathers

Howling at the hollow sky above me
Alone and lonely waiting out the night
I only ask of God that he love me
And if he would please would he put things right

Haunted unwanted I wait for good news
With so little warmth and even less light
Drowning in words not knowing what to say
From what they tell me why would he refuse
To hear the cry of one lost lapped by waves?

I feel his presence if from far away
A sailor becalmed too far from the shore
Afraid of night yet more of coming day
With both hands full of emptiness held tight
Alone where it is love alone which saves

Down deep hope flickers if ever less so
Yet deeper still the hope of hope burns bright
Too smudged and smoked and stained to light my way
Drowning in debt which can never be paid

I founder as I flounder here alone
On this rising tide with no place to hide
I was not present when these plans were laid
My past is full of those who loved but died
And of my future nothing can be known

I ask for now not for eternity
But ask and ask God grant what I ask for
In memory of promises once made
I stand like Peter sinking on the sea
I just want him to love me: nothing more

God of my fathers my father is gone
It was your will not his I came to be
Although I fear it: bring me to your dawn
O God if you are there remember me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 6, 2007, 6:59 pm

The Dance of Life

The dance of life continues as it always has
Surrounded by and lifted by the dead
We dance and we die without knowing why: we dance

Eschewing little deaths I choose instead
To dance myself to death the way I was
As my soul rides the wheel on three and red

Not bled away on penny bets but One Great Chance
I would rather be wrong than stay too long: I go
But as I go now I go all at once: I know

The dance of life continues as it always has
The living lifted carried by unnumbered hands
Which turn the wheel which carries me on three and red

I am a fool yet one who understands
That those who would live must dance with the dead
I will go dancing instead of to bed

O you with eyes which smile at mine would you dance too?
The dance of life continues to continue: You!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 5, 2007, 7:22 am

Along the Way

You never know except you always do

Animal cunning saved your life today
And though you might not quite admit it yet
You will remember (and maybe regret)
Things your mind does while your heart is away
Each needing each as one nature is two

The game of life is not so hard to play
And if you play too hard you get played too
A truth which is too easy to forget
When you fail to distinguish false from true

Take care of yourself and also of those
Who exist because of the way you chose
If the ones you love should have feet of clay
Forgive their trespasses as they your debt
And as to your answer? Only God knows

But enjoy your question along the way

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 4, 2007, 7:17 am

Among Friends

for all my friends with all my love

Favored by friends from far and near
I know I can be happy here
Renouncing renunciation
To embrace the liberation
Which pleasant company affords

Communion which requires no words
Or we can speak or laugh or sing
Of humanness in harmony
Which is no less than everything
Our lifegiving propinquity

This to me is reality
As beautiful as I can bear
Here dancing on the window's ledge
Where there is here and we are there
Balancing on the razor's edge

Now is the Tao of you and me
Transcending fortune fame and fear
What are we here for but to be?
Never early and never late
No time like now to celebrate

Life in all its intensity

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 2, 2007, 8:09 pm

Thank You for Being Friends with Me

Between one and the other lies
The difference which specifies
This our complementarity

What we share is that rarity
Where you like me and I like you
For and in spite of what we do

We get along I mean to say
And in a happy healthy way
Friendship like ours is seldom seen

But you my friend know what I mean
(You always know just what I mean)

Our paths diverge yet always cross

Beyond the profit and the loss
We stood the bad times with the good
And all of it was understood

You are the best friend I have had
Nor will there yet a better be
Thank you for being friends with me

The world devolves as it revolves
And only friendship like ours solves
The riddle of what might have been

And I my friend know what you mean
(I always know just what you mean)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 2, 2007, 5:24 pm

These Snorting Snouts

I tend to walk hesitantly
Tentative on uncertain feet
Hoping the cars will wait for me
When I attempt to cross the street
On existential pilgrimage

They just as soon would run me down
Were it not for legal reasons
Round the roundabout here in town
As I to be or not to be
Advancing through my middle age
Step gingerly through the seasons

So I attempt to smile and greet
Them as they pause reluctantly
These snorting snouts of cars I meet
Accepting they will wait for me
As my act of faith in their grace

Therefore I thank the ones which wait
While dodging like a matador
Those which make plain they feel it late
To contemplate in time of war
They do not care to hesitate
With one who seems less than their more

I hope someday that more might see
Life as a journey than a race
Till then these snorting snouts and I
One at a time and warily
Negotiate the day I die

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Sep 1, 2007, 11:39 pm

Butts on my Butt

My cause of death in my pocket
Destined to be worn by me
Like a cursed and poisoned locket
My own memento mori

These darts of death remind
Of what I left behind

What should my diagnosis be?
A death wish I suppose?
Perhaps I crave eternity
And what else heaven knows

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 31, 2007, 10:47 pm

An Obscure Eccentric Poet Wonders About Being Discovered

As I await a kiss from fate
I have my high times and my low
Times some are fast and others slow
Before you see what I can be

But I will be the last to know
The first and yet the last to know

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 31, 2007, 8:38 pm


If I should die before I wake
I hope before I do I make
Love with you

You may not want to be with me
Now but I hope when you are free
You hope too

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 31, 2007, 6:50 pm


The lonely lover of my soul
Who of the dust created me
That he and I might both be whole
Is source and life and destiny
My origin and yet my goal
And all I have to do is be
Reflecting as the moon the sun
The light of love by which I see
The neverending unbegun
Bow of my soul's trajectory
The spectrum shining in the air
A rainbow bridge across the sky
Where there is here and here is there
To live a love which cannot die
By which we sojourn you and I
Bound in the arms which make us free
Above the broken chains which lie
Forgotten rusting at our feet
A cross the point at which we meet
Invincible in unity

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 29, 2007, 7:01 pm


My favorite greeting is "Mind the Cows"
I feel fragile when the going gets tough
I am not very good at whys nor hows
And yet under fire seem agile enough
To have dodged danger a very long while
Wearing my mentally-disabled smile

I like drinking tea and going to sea
And I want to live in England someday
The government here is not fond of me
And might likely like me to move away
I am kind to cats I like friendly dogs
I like to hear crickets at night (and frogs)

I am afraid of ladies but love them
I love to read my poetry out loud
I love young people and have three of them
Life makes me humble but they make me proud
I have a weakness for good cigarettes
I have only bad ones but no regrets

I am as poor as a person can be
Yet am not homeless nor do I need much
I am rich in friends who care about me
I am at once both in and out of touch
I get depressed yet know that I am blessed
So "Mind the Cows" (and never mind the rest)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 29, 2007, 4:09 am

I Chose to Live

In the end all saw his wisdom so they say
Of renunciation acceptance of fate
Will I have wisdom someone can see someday?
I reach for it hoping it is not too late
I may never get it but at least I tried
And I hope they see I lived before I died

My son my Golden Bear at Cal makes me proud
As does my other son still in high school now
The sort of pride which is quiet never loud
Yet which warms me from the inside out somehow
I may never be wise but at least I tried
And I hope they see I lived before I died

As for my daughter she is ashamed of me
Although I am just as proud of her as those
Who are proud of me and unashamed to be
The children of a father they never chose
She may never understand me but I tried
And she knows I chose to live before I died

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 28, 2007, 7:53 am


for Katherine Donovan

Come with me into the garden
I will sing a mystery
How a seed of fall and woe
Grew to become a healing tree

Garden dawn and fruit was sweet
But bitter bore the seed anon
Of that tree where good and evil's
Secrets whispered thereupon

Garden dusk received the seed
Cast down but watered by dawn's tears
That in time of deepest need
Another tree would heal the years

When the gardener came to pray
Bright drops of red fell where he knelt
He stooped and cleared the thorns away
And all their stinging sharpness felt

As his blood dropped to the earth
The seed awakened where it lay
Cruciform that healing tree
Which bloomed his resurrection day

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 27, 2007, 10:06 pm

Because Because Is

It hurts us so to be misunderstood
I hope you found what you were looking for
That is if you remember what it was
It hurts to reach so hard yet not be good
Enough (and then to only reach the more)

And when we cry we find out just because
But what because is we may never know
Except to be together as we go

Wash me in the river! Wash me away!

It hurt me so to be misunderstood
I never found what I was looking for
Nor can I now remember what it was

I enter another river today
But this is where I entered once before

Take me home river! Take me take away!

Because because is what we never know
Except to be together as we go

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 27, 2007, 4:12 am

Nightfall in the Garden

for my friends Steve and Amber

I sacrifice my loneliness to you
I offer it wrapped in my hollow heart
Since lonely dreams lifted only come true
When hope learns trust so the healing can start

Lifting empty hands is all I can do
When the heart is pure and the only cure
Is reaching the impossible by faith
Through unrelenting striving toward the light
As from the struggle love brings life from death
Beneath the stars where flowers bloom in the night

I stand at nightfall in the garden now
Back from this morning a lifetime ago
To find such light as the dark will allow
At last I believe and soon I will know

Lifting empty hands is all I can do
I sacrifice my loneliness to you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 25, 2007, 7:16 pm

My Own Universe

a sonnet

Never again! I must never depend
Upon another for my happiness
Elusive as it is as I suspend
Between what I deny and I confess

It is just I need so to be loved and
Find it is so impossible to be
If you cannot love me then understand
This aspect of my human frailty

I wish I could be utterly alone
Yet that is not what I want in the end
But rather to be known as I am known
My want and wish is that I had a friend

Now just as always for better or worse
I keep to myself my own universe

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 25, 2007, 7:17 am

Sibling Rivalry

That which you wish with to impress
We mere who wait our quite-late bus
Soul-seen by us serves to express
The truth that you are one of us

Carried now you command a car
Combative as you sit too high
Though lost and falling like a star
You smile by smirk and sidle by
Commanding from your armored tank

You smirk and pass we smile and sigh
To know (unlike you?) whom to thank
That we are nothing less than you
Though how and why you might deny
Despite this we are human too
Resolved in our mere way to try

Not high nor low just you and me
We live and dream alike then die
We are now and will always be
Not high nor low just you and I

Siblings of the same family
Sequestered by our rivalry

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 23, 2007, 2:46 am

Each One a Star

People ask "who am I?" and I say "You"
(I am "Me"): let the answered question shine
The questioned answer manifest to see
That we are who we are and that is fine
With me and I trust you find it fine too
As we agree to be (or not to be)

One-shoe-dropped awaiting the other shoe
We tend to forget in the to-and-fro
Within all our inscrutability
We share a knowing grin behind our face

Beneath the skin we all are much the same
Our differential specificity
Intended to our credit not our blame
So let us live it up and down with grace

On fundamental questions we agree
And hope to have some fun before we go
As we cooperate to play this game
Of life which we win by having been born
From bud to full-blown bloom effectively
Surviving the rose and also the thorn
Ferreting out the false to find the true

We never have much time we never know
Embodying Socratic irony
We learn but to find out we never knew
But have been are and will be even so

Recycling most things creating a few
Our thoughts have wings our best ideas are free
And if to be (or not to be) we are
Within our galaxy each one a star

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII

Aug 21, 2007, 9:22 pm

Birthday Song for Teddy

for my son born 21 August 1990

Clutching a moment which could be the last
Since moments scrabble and dribble away
Like sand sifting through this glass of today
To join their fallen fellows in the past
Which were and are no more but had their say
And still remember what they might have been
Before and after left lonely between
I hide within my hand what cannot stay
An ice cube melting running down my wrist

Why must I be an existentialist?

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVII


Displaying Poems 1676 thru 1700 of 2843 Poems

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