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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1776 thru 1800 of 2785 Poems

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Feb 4, 2007, 12:48 am


Out of Our Hands

Never one to presume a day
My Grandma planning used to say
"If the world stands"

Living a century she knew
The future was and will be too
Out of our hands

She never had nor asked for much
Yet gave and left behind her such
A hoard of sense to empty hands
Of those for whom the world still stands

The working wisdom of how to be
Like knowing that with all due respect
Those elected are not the elect
And that only the lonely are free

Minimum wage maximum stress
And social insecurity
Way down here in society
Where the misery percolates

Fancy people fail to impress
Leaving to less expensive fates
The lonely and the lost like me
Something for nothing but still free

Out of our hands
(If the world stands)

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 2, 2007, 6:58 pm


Regret

The unfinished pyramid inverted
Teeters on its small top without the eye
Which closed then left when light was subverted

A nation upside down sees earth for sky
As everything becomes absurdity
Perversion itself becomes perverted
And freedom becomes a new slavery
If tomorrow comes history's pages
Will turn to new orders of the ages

If ever any hope slides down to me
I wonder how to know how to believe
And if such things as hope can ever be
Expected as to when we might receive
Some rising spark some faint encouragement
Or maybe just tell us where the light went

The unfinished pyramid inverted
Teeters on its small top without the eye
Which closed then left when light was subverted

Regret (and "how could this happen?" and "why?")

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 2, 2007, 8:10 am


Geocentricity

In its geocentricity
The world turns like a whirligig
Which might make sense or it might be
Nonsensical not small nor big

A little land and mostly sea
It spins to keep us standing here
To lend our lives some gravity
With what we stand for not quite clear

But standing here is fine with me
(If something happens let me know)
Since standing here I certainly
Am willing to give it a go

The outstanding standing out here agree
The only reason we are is to grow

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 1, 2007, 4:51 am


Eternity

Life on Mars?
Life on Earth!

Life after death?
Life after birth
In every breath

All the stars
Are in your eyes
Right here right now

I realize
That you are all
I need somehow

Lesser lights fall
But not these two
These lights of you

Twin compasses to regulate
This now of you this now of me
This time not too soon nor too late

And is this not eternity?

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 1, 2007, 1:11 am


Playing Chess with My Cat

The tail of my cat is a rattlesnake
Tensile in its strength
Prehensile in length
Dancing deftly now he gives it a shake

On his one end a strategizing mind
Coolly focused on the game
While on his other a scythe out behind

To which it is all the same
To sweep off the chessboard or not

Regardless it always does what
My cat means it to
And always does it gracefully

But what he will do
We will just have to wait and see
Dancing deftly now he gives it a shake
The tail of my cat is a rattlesnake

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 30, 2007, 1:49 pm


Shenanigans

If I were a dancer I would
Dance all night with you if I could
Or (if I couldn't) fake it well

You are an entrancer and you
Deciding to dance with me too
Could fake it till I couldn't tell

We would wear ridiculous hats
And engage in engaging chats
With startled strangers in the street

Chatting them up upside the head
Pass by the passersby we meet
Then giggling tickle into bed

Where using only body heat
We'd more than meet our quota of
Shenanigans in lucky love

Dancing or faking you and me
The motions of our poetry

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 29, 2007, 9:39 pm


A Rising and a Reaching

I never think about what I will write
Nor wonder if I have something to say
It happens automatically at night
My poetry is not thought anyway
But a rising and a reaching toward the light

With practice I might get it right someday
Even though it will not mean anything
To those unwilling to meet me halfway
Though this is a very odd song I sing
Singing this song keeps me from going insane

My new book reached two hundred thousand on
That five million book list at Amazon
And I felt as pleased as with number one
My two hundred thousand book climb begun

(I never really tell anyone of
My book but I carry it with me with love)

This is my own truth my calling my thing
Which I hope you read and understand but
Though it is nice to come in from the rain
I simply have to do this: no matter what

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 29, 2007, 10:11 am


Just About

A brooding darkness follows me
Encroaches on me everywhere
My former shadow swallows me

Absurdity is in the air

We who have suffered know who care
Or care not for our company
Too late but soon when here is there
Absurd yet not a tragedy
Only tragic absurdity
Of that kind we were meant to share

If only this cloud would leave me

If I could ever find the light
And get a crowd to believe me
Then that would be just about right

Between the profit and the loss
A prophet (with an albatross)

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 29, 2007, 12:10 am


No Greater Love

The throbbing ache of a deep-disturbed dream
A riddle as demonic as divine
Worries the bones of hope worn white before

While with futile fists clenched a stifled scream
And a sickened heart for the thousands more
Who must dance before the dance of death ends

I watch them walk into the wall of war

Warriors who lay down their lives for their friends
And they are our kids and some friends of mine

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 25, 2007, 10:11 pm


Nocturne

Late at night alone I remember things

Balloons used to come on sticks before strings
And Mrs. Ash used to threaten Danny
With a balloon stick but he was much too canny

She never caught him as far as I know
Just swished that stick then away he would go
And I would go along with him usually

(...Now at this late hour at last I know why
Each time he prayed our pastor used to cry...)

Mom was the one who taught me how to fence
With curtain rods in the kitchen defense
While hanging sweet fresh curtains dried in the bright sun

My Mom was always the swashbuckling one
Having been married to a Lance you see
Whether parent or child take the time to have fun

And then you too can remember like me

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 25, 2007, 11:44 am


Recognition

The little man in the little store
Was distracted seemed disconsolate
I noticed when I went to pay for
My Diet Coke and a Tootsie Pop

His condition seemed unbearable
A flight before dying flying blind
His face was tied in a knot of care

It must have been something terrible
I tried to help but no matter what
He would not share what he could not bear
Wearing a mask which he would not drop

Certainly not for a well-known nut

Evolving into a madman now
I can see I am not alone
I always felt empathy somehow
For all the madmen I have known

Some people just prefer to keep still
A flight before dying flying blind
As my father flew and always will

As for me I am the talkative kind
My father and that little man are not
And I leave my inhibitions behind
Unlike them for my flight out of my mind

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 25, 2007, 3:35 am


Down

This womb-tomb whence I come and go
Holds secrets no one else could know
Which twisted me and made me grow
Into this being you are seeing now
Only these walls the dead and I know how
But I have come from here so here I go

Heaven above and hell below
The possibilities between
Held close in this place

I hope you can see what I mean
And grant me the grace
Of your intelligent reading
For my scratchings broken and small
Something I find myself needing
To help me understand it all

Held close in this place
The possibilities between
Heaven above and hell below

And so I remain
With pleasure with pain
Again and again
The pleasure the pain
Again and again
Swirling down the drain

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 23, 2007, 1:52 am


The Plaza in Orange California

the hub of my small universe

I sit beside where flocks of sheep once drank
Where ladies planted flowers long ago
And tended stubby palm trees now so tall

My mother pushed my pram here and I thank
The stubborn who had sense enough to know
Our Plaza really is the best of us

The homeless sleep here next to me and I
Can think of no splashier ending than
To dive into the fountain if I can
If it gets warm enough before I die
This is where we say goodbye to it all
This is the place for all the rest of us

I remember life and brush back a tear
Would it be better if I just forgot?
The Sterling Silver rose still blooms right here
Just as I wrote of it so long ago
I did not expect to be understood
Yet I was and it blooms inside of me

I lost it all then got it back again
Right here in this place through lines scratched in pain
Like cuts in the thickening hide of me

But if you read my books I think you could
Get some idea of who I am and why
I linger here these years no matter what

Would it be better if I just forgot?

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 22, 2007, 8:24 am


Sinus Sonnet: An Independent Nose

Deeply determined it has to be free
My nose confronts me with a loss of face
It misbehaves and embarrasses me
Sneezing then running all over the place
Making up its mind independently

Attached as we are I have to give chase
Persuade it to perch with the dignity
Of gentle hypo-allergenic grace
Pointing out the path of civility
But carrying a hanky just in case

Out where the starry-eyed winter wind blows
In where the kind furnace makes my cat purr
Some things stay as true as they always were
Some of us sport an independent nose

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 21, 2007, 4:49 am


My Hiding Place

From the tumult and the trauma
The dysfunctionality
Of the daily psychodrama
In propinquity to me
On the other side of the wall
Round the corner down the hall

I escape into poetry

The only place where I can go
Where reason understands I know
How lonely it is to be me
To tame the chaos of the time
By counted syllable and rhyme
To seek a spark by which to see

And though it seems impossible I know
At least I have this one saving grace
As angry voices fall to rise again
Since all they have in common is their pain
Through chaos I see cosmos and I go
Through loneliness to weep away the stain

Into poetry: my hiding place

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 20, 2007, 7:06 am


Living the Good Life Badly

The only thing I can bring
To leave behind more or less
Is nothingness of something
Like something of nothingness
At last I find my question
Is not answered yet I guess

Commandment or suggestion
Of some faith I should confess
Is answer now no longer
But forgive me: I digress

The time wheel is turning on
To the flarings of the sun
With the ghostly moon and drawn
Automatic once begun

Living the good life badly
The wheel is turning madly

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 19, 2007, 9:01 am


Street Sonnet

Is that blood on the street? You bet it is
What did you think? Some Hollywood effect?
This is where someone determined that his
Money was worth less than his self-respect

The roughest of the rough trade is the truth
That people will die in gutters tonight
The beginning of the ending of youth
The dawning of the distance of the light

However far from home a candle here
Burns in my window until you return
I promise you no matter what you fear
The main thing we are here for is to learn

The beginning of the ending of youth
The roughest of the rough trade is the truth

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 18, 2007, 2:23 pm


Brazil Nuts Over the BBC

The BBC burbled Brazil nuts all night
Or at least bantered them at some length it seemed
And how for the EU they must be just right
"Four parts per billion of..." something... as I dreamed

And along with Brazil nuts I dreamed of you

Since Brazil nuts are something we might enjoy
I would like to share a Brazil nut or two
With you in the EU before they destroy
Those nuts not approved and sent back to Brazil

We might have to get them from Bolivia
Given what I learned tonight we might but still
Somehow I know more than I do through that voice
Of authority by BBC my choice

Which left unattended chirps on through the night
Like the busiest bird in Britannia
From across the sea while the nuts at the store
Are shut up tight with no Brazilians in sight

First thing in the morning I will go explore
Dreaming of you in the EU far away
If we find Brazil nuts eat some then some more
If they come from Bolivia that's OK

We dream of the jungle through the cold grey light
Of our northern dawning of our winter's day

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 17, 2007, 7:36 pm


Franziska and Me and World War III

Franziska at the fall of empire now
As chickens with their heads cut off run blind
Let us embrace while the fire will allow
Baby and maybe go out of our mind

It seems so much the thing to do these days
Flamed-out follies falling down to always
As they do make me wonder if we two
Should fall in and fall out to always too

But whatever whoever else we do
If this is our turn to go down the drain
Then I want to go down the drain with you
As the world shoots-up for world war again

We could snuggle in to give peace a chance
Smuggled in by Franziska and by Lance
Unwilling world-warriors not sitting still
To take it as we take over the place

Although apocalypses make some ill
We both have a certain redeeming grace
Which seems to manifest at times like these
Tinny tawdry total catastrophes

If this is the end of it all then I
Think we might better hurry up and be
Doing and being our best as we die
Rested and ready for the revelry

Of the world turning itself inside out
(And we can share my little stash of doubt)

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 16, 2007, 10:40 pm


The Diet of Worms

I used to sweep the floor at the barber shop
And then sell the hair to Mr. Atherton
Packed by the lug box for a quarter a pop
Who fed it to his worms until he was gone

I had not known worms ate human hair before
But Mr. Atherton assured me they did
And that they would go on to eat a lot more

It was a pretty good living for a kid

Although when I agreed to the position
I only thought of life with lots of money
Not of the riddle of decomposition

Yet in an ending both tragic and funny
And in any case awe-inspiringly weird
The worms I fed consumed Mr. Atherton
A very strange outcome not thought so not feared

Feeding him to his worms until he was gone
Just as he wished I became a magician
And I learned his secrets all at once one day

Mortality is only a worm away

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 16, 2007, 4:25 am


My Last Refuge

sacred to the memory of Mildred Naomi Eckart Graham

A very warm blanket embraces me
Each stitch by hand with love each one by one
A souvenir of death and destiny
My Grandma crocheted until it was done
A deep design of love drawn patiently

And even though she is gone I have this
Living proof of her love a hug a kiss
If sadly in the lonely cold of night
Which though so dark still holds one point of light
The way this blanket embraces me now

I wanted to go with her but could not
Where saints in heaven no more sorrow see
But left behind to muddle through somehow
With no more to lose and cornered I fight
Take everything but this no matter what

Leave me with this one scrap of self-respect
Left here for me by one of the elect
To enshroud my broken remains and be
My last refuge in this bitter twilight
Of ruin and loss and indignity

As strangers disrespect the memory
Of someone who cared and still cares for me

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 14, 2007, 8:07 pm


As If This Were It

I leave it to you to figure out how
But what I would advise you urgently
Is live all you can and do it right now

As if this were it with nothing to come

That you taste hear smell touch all you can see
As much as mortality will allow
All the potential you have and then some

Since it would appear that this might well be
Our singular chance our once-given turn
Our one moment out of eternity

Although we never know we always learn

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 14, 2007, 1:34 am


Lonely Eyes

The cherries of their cigarettes flared
Through the dark simultaneously
Too much in a hurry to be scared
I felt lonely eyes questioning me
Good kids in a bad place cold and bored

I was not what they waited to see
So in a puff of smoke was ignored
In favor of what the night prepared
To cook up out of the day's debris
They smiled as I smiled and turned to go

But it felt good to be understood
Wandering with cold wind in my hair
In my face as theirs and everywhere
Looking for something no longer there
Something I lost a long time ago

Might have mislaid it might have turned wrong
All of us look but none of us know
Where it has gone except far away
Trying to sing a forgotten song
Eyes of the night remember the day

Lonely eyes questioning all night long

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 13, 2007, 5:14 am


Defiance

against one who has wronged me: for those who have not

Shallower people from sunnier climes
Dismiss my poems as "nursery rhymes"
But I construct these puzzles anyway
Word-games which all are invited to play

When I was shallower and sunnier
Mocking old poets seemed much funnier
And yet the joke is on you (if you do)
As it was once on me
Because I know how to do (but do you?)
A few things you might never understand
As some reading agree

I will be around if you need a hand
And I am not offended
(Anymore)
What you started I ended
(At your door)
Poetry is my neighborhood my town
You will never shut me up nor shut me down

Now just one more time
(Although you cannot appreciate it)
A nursery rhyme
(And oh how you know you love to hate it!):

Poetry is my neighborhood my town
You will never shut me up nor shut me down

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 12, 2007, 5:15 am


Night Ravens

When one awakens then the day begins
Today my day began along with night
I slept through afternoon and woke at five
It was already dark as the world spins

But in my case a day of night felt right
Though sick all day here I am still alive
I missed the worst an innocent asleep
No day but night no heaven but no hell

My day was dark and now my night is deep
Yet dark and deep describe my feelings well
Drinking strong tea while hoping for the best
Now I will see what can be done with it

Let others have the day we have the rest
To play and puzzle where our pieces fit
The moon the stars and other nightly things
Like the magic when the night raven sings

For me
And you
I see
We two
Agree

We couple of night ravens you and me

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII











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Displaying Poems 1776 thru 1800 of 2785 Poems

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