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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1801 thru 1825 of 2843 Poems

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Mar 11, 2007, 8:47 pm


Rise

Gravity sucks and the whole world falls
What is of earth to earth is drawn down
What I want to do is leap these walls
And fly in the sky over my town
To soar through the night in the moonlight

In his world he could never be himself
So he surrendering to family
Lived as a dusty knick-knack on a shelf
Not any sort of life as all could see
Except for him but he could not be free

Or is it that he would not be? The fear
Of disappointing and shattering things
Which are there to be shattered always brings
That sense of ultimate futility
Which fashioned his politely modest mask
Pleasing his parents but proving to be
Ultimately unworthy of his task

And so he shot himself one day and died
Buying the gun from a scary stranger
Who saved his soul by ending the danger
Of being understood for who he was
His parents and clients and pastor sighed
But out at Fairlawn it was nice because
His dusty knick-knack friends all came and cried

Gravity sucks and the whole world falls
What is of earth to earth is drawn down
What I want to do is leap these walls
And fly in the sky over my town
To soar through the night in the moonlight

I am of earth but also of sky
One my left hand the other my right
So to spend half my time in the sky
Is both my birthright and my delight
The same thing is just as true for you

We have to rise whatever we do

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 11, 2007, 1:39 am


Electric Freefall

Fever is singing in my ears tonight
Tomorrow I hope it might go away
If I don't matter and it doesn't mind
I wish tomorrow could have been today
But time only flies until it is chased
I fear catching it and leaving behind
All of these blue stars and this blue moonlight
Which leaves me wondering if I should say
Let fever sing without unseemly haste

I choke down aspirins doing my best
To live because I have no time to waste
If life is what I am supposed to do
Since I seem to have a knack for the now
You might miss me and I know I'd miss you
Having done this much I could do the rest
Should mortality and the flu allow
But I just get so sick of getting sick
I want to develop immunity
Getting well seems an existential trick
Of our illusion of impunity
Since no one escapes from this place alive

Here where when one flu takes its leave of me
It's only so the next one can arrive
In some unhealthful continuity
Where run-amok TVs squawk down the hall
Looking for me with their sickly blue light
Burbling broadcasting electric freefall
Like fever singing in my ears tonight
A night it looks now I might leave behind
If I don't matter and it doesn't mind

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 9, 2007, 8:53 am


Volunteers in Waste Places

Nobody plants them nobody but God
And they could not be planted better than
They are as they grow though you might not see
Where they are blooming as fast as they can
In so-called waste places broken and odd
Which they turn into paradises of
Beauty where ugliness gives up to love
Where brokenness is kissed by harmony

These are the flowers we call volunteers
They fruit and seed and are scattered to be
Sown in the shadows and watered with tears
Yet bloom bold even heroic somehow
Like angels who dance where devils have trod
We always need them but especially now
That so little else and so few are free
I understand you friends: be strong stand tall

Bloom through our darkness point us toward the light
You just might be the ones to save us all
Brighten our brief day before our long night
In so-called waste places broken and odd
Which you turn into paradises of
Beauty where ugliness gives up to love
Like angels who dance where devils have trod
Nobody plants you nobody but God

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 8, 2007, 5:46 am


Still Way Too Tough to Die

Our 1958 Packard was pink
And long of fin with an underbite chin
It looked rather like a big shark I think
A big fish in any pond it was in
(Where sharks are allowed to be pink) something
Long of fin and of tooth enough to bring
Astonishment to the cars we passed by
A pink sort of shock without suffering
When our big pink Packard took off to fly

But then they only saw it from the rear
Fins unfurled and dual exhausts throbbing
Since Grandpa liked to punch the "passing gear"
He was good with knobs and at hobnobbing

MCAS Yuma was where we had
"Factory air" and we needed it bad
Not in the Packard but in the new car
Where I beat the heat in the huge backseat
It was like a walk-in freezer back there
My Grandpa drove it smoking a cigar
A big fish in any pond anywhere
His dream car that '65 Chrysler I
Still drive today still way too tough to die

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 6, 2007, 8:23 pm


Redeeming the Time

My hair has grown beyond the collars of
Those autumn winter jackets I so love
But this has now come just in time for spring
When jackets are only worn at evening
Or at morning but I am asleep then
And I wear my jackets no matter when

Sweet spring come breathe on me and let me live
As those who will leave a mark on their art
To as I have been given freely give
Enough to change the world or just my heart

I have no money for a haircut now
Nor food nor dental care nor anything
But stumble starving as handouts allow
As one more than ready to see the spring

As the spring sun rises I might rise too
Finding myself in a forgiving clime
And maybe we all could just start anew
Redeeming ourselves redeeming the time

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 5, 2007, 10:35 pm


To Us

Nobody wants existential despair
Nobody goes looking for misery
But the trouble is it is always there
I never sought it but it sure found me

It lurks within the shadows everywhere
It stalks the unsuspecting wanderer
Who walks too far out on the thinning ice
All the philosophers who never were
It claims for itself and never thinks twice
Of such details as the him or the her
In fact it never really thinks at all
Leaving that to us when at last we fall

Wrestling with the angel I guess I lost
Waiting on the Lord I am waiting still
I paid as much as I could but it cost
More than I have more than I ever will

Unlike my loved ones who followed before
Leading me to believe I could find peace
I gave up everything but it cost more
Than I could ever have to find release
From this fragmenting fear which shreds my soul
And draws me deeper into this black hole
To sink fully conscious under these chill
Seas of broken minds and dreams great and small

Nobody wants existential despair
None seeks to swallow such a bitter pill
But the trouble is it is always there
Inside of us never thinking at all

Leaving that to us when at last we fall

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 5, 2007, 1:52 pm


Drifting

I feel myself drifting slowly away
Far from the safe shallows of sanity
Nocturnal agony poisons the day
Dawning my death knell in a minor key

I wish I knew and I wish I could say
What catastrophe is coming for me
But I feel it advancing just the same

I hear its heavy footfalls in the night
The chilling wind is whispering my name
The squatting clouds have blotted out the light
The dark descends to cover me with shame

The waters all around me dank and deep
Are rising now and rocking me to sleep
With lullabies of bitterness and blame

What catastrophe is coming for me
I wish I knew and I wish I could say
Far from the safe shallows of sanity
I feel myself drifting slowly away

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 3, 2007, 6:49 pm


Come Turn the Key

When time and space and distance loss and gain
Present themselves simultaneously
When differing paths meet to cross again
Having carried us here separately
Converge to a point neither first nor last
With the future almost touching the past

The most plausible possibility
For this pinwheel of pleasure paired with pain
Is that this is the now reminding you
To remind me to remind you to be
Here in the moment and not turn away

Not even a moment is guaranteed
Let alone an hour never mind a day
Yet this moment alone is all we need
Where we are alone with nothing to say
Out of the reach of the hands of the clock
There are no words for such things anyway

Come turn the key as we open the lock
Although unable to go back to when
Such things mattered they will not matter then
Because there will be no then anymore
When then becomes now in the anyhow

Anything is possible in the now
Come turn the key as we open the door

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 2, 2007, 5:44 pm


Little Big Boy!

Thirty years old and going nowhere fast
I know because I have been there before
If this is your chance it might be your last
Inflated by our worship now to soar

But I am an unbeliever in you:
I think you are an enormous baby

If you have a dream it might not come true
Can you keep your trophy lover? Maybe
But I think she might be part of the crew
Of a ship which never sails anywhere
Fortunately you are too vain to care

Just call your mother and she will explain
Or better she could tell you over lunch
(For which she pays of course) about how pain
Could make you more thoughtful in what you do
And what Ecstasy has done to your brain

Little Big Boy! Mommy loves you a bunch!
She just wants you to be happy at last!

But baby you are living in the past

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 1, 2007, 9:32 pm


Visual Reality

Cud-chewing on her exit line
She had an inspiration:
Show righteous indignation!

She decided that would be fine
That whatever she said was not
The point of it but rather what
And how effective the effect

Correct just as one might expect
In visual reality
A ray of hope for the elect
Who having eyes use them to see
Her exit line although banal
Effect-effective after all

But we who wonder with our words
Would like our words to matter
Appreciated like the birds
As pleasant background chatter
One hopes and at the very least
A word be heard in season when
We all have lost our reason then

Cud-chewing on my exit line
I have an inspiration:
Show peaceful resignation

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Mar 1, 2007, 7:56 am


Broken

Is it still a poem if it is broken?
I can only write a broken poem now
As a broken poet in a broken house
Where things are done which can never be spoken
By unsentimental people who know how
To destroy what must seem like a broken mouse
To them just the doomed and forsaken heir of
A personalized death at the unclean hands
Of these conquerors none of whom understands
They poisoned me with suffering killed my love
And destroyed first my home then my sanity

Should I have sold when I was told and fled when
It got so cold and I got old and bled then
With memories of scenes like these? To bed then
(My cat and I) afraid to die but still more
Afraid of my life and what I lost it for
Hiding in my bedroom behind the locked door

Father have mercy on your wandering son
Receive my soul and spare my children from this
Take me home to my true home grant the sweet kiss
Of your forgiveness to this your broken one
It simply hurts too much now for me to be
I want to see my Grandma see my mother
And my Grandpa who loved me like no other
I gave my all but nothing is left for me
Where things are done which can never be spoken
As a broken poet in a broken house
I can only write a broken poem now

Is it still a poem if it is broken?

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 28, 2007, 12:52 am


Suddenly Now

Every single morning is a victory
Every time the sun comes up I feel I win
To be anywhere is a good place to be
As good as any so let this day begin
The rest of my life all of a sudden now
And let it be as great as fate will allow

I came late to the table I realize
With the time left to me not what it once was
The great clock of the universe is running
But adventure still beckons in every size
As to the end things spin out from the first cause

The view from anywhere is still as stunning
As ever it was this morning because of
All of the things which have always made it so
Things felt more than seen like hope and faith and love
As if questions the answers to which I know

I only get this one chance in the world here
So I might as well enjoy it after all
After half a lifetime of living in fear
It might just be time for some dragons to fall
So let me be as great as fate will allow
As the rest of my life comes suddenly now

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 27, 2007, 12:35 pm


Existential Baseball

This is an existential baseball game
Twi-night double-header extra innings
Nobody wins but nobody to blame
I lost and now must pick up my winnings

I see everybody else lost the same
As me but they don't realize it yet
The scoreboards are wrong whatever they say
I just take the winnings of my losing
And vow to remember never to bet
On some insane game not of my choosing
Ever again just head the other way

(Why does this sort of thing happen to me?)

I heard they won't let anybody leave
That we are spectators here forever
But I will dig my way out day by day
Escape tomorrow or maybe never

I have to do something have to believe
That there was a meaning in here somewhere
And I am too exhausted now to grieve
Anymore at this field of life and death
Each step between swinging from here to there
I offer back this heartbeat with this breath
And picking up my winnings take strike three

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 26, 2007, 4:37 am


New Pants in a Spacetime Anomaly

From mirror to mirror before and behind
High-stepping reflections step out of my mind
In a chorus line although I never dance
Like that but truth be told never had the chance
Before somehow but I am doing it now
With all the grace which two dimensions allow

Anyone could look good if the light is right
But I had no intention to dance tonight
So I am surprised to see me supersized
Multiplied and stretching to infinity
Yet I see who is dancing and it is me
Inscrutably if stylishly realized

I came here with the most mundane intention
I just wanted to try on a pair of pants
And the dressing room man forgot to mention
How these magic mirrors make one preen and prance
But even if I never come out again
There are worse ways to go and there is no pain:

"In multiplicity for eternity
With new pants in a spacetime anomaly
Dressing Room Eight presents: Steven Curtis Lance"

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 25, 2007, 7:00 am


Gone

When the night opens its arms to receive
A wanderer otherwise deeply lost
Something within him begins to believe
That it was worth it whatever it cost
That whoever he is will be all right
Being embraced in the arms of the night

A good night's journey and a good day's rest
Although he is not going anywhere
The wanderer looks to the flaming west
At dusk and then the burning east at dawn
But he has already been here been there
And more than anything likes to be gone
Just to look up into the sky and stare
To the night's dark heart where the bright stars shine
And see he has been granted his request
"What lies in-between dusk and dawn is mine"

You never know when you get home until
The scattered things gather and then you feel
The rightness of it and he always will
Find home in the dark which the stars reveal
He prefers midnight to the dusk and dawn
And more than anything likes to be gone

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 24, 2007, 11:05 pm


I Hope

Although today I feel like hell
No stupid sickness can drop me
I hope tomorrow to be well
And not let anything stop me

Should anybody wonder why
My hope defies mortality
I live by curiosity
And still too curious to die
No choice remains me but remain
To get things done to see them through
To ask the questions once again
And maybe get some answers yet

If anybody will I bet
I will although I have to do
My best to make my hope come true
Now having seen how time can fly
But hopeful as I ever was
And just a little stubborn too
I think I can survive because
I feel too curious to die

Of course I also feel like hell
But called by curiosity
My hope defies mortality
I hope tomorrow to be well

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 23, 2007, 7:29 pm


I Wish I Could Write a Poem Today

(but Happy Birthday to Franziska anyway)

I wish I could write a poem today
But life has ground me down to nothing now
If I could I would make a poem say
The things I find unspeakable somehow
As touching how this life is touching me
Today in a way I find unpleasant
In a word roughly or abusively
And not really worth living at present
Given the disappointment the sorrow
To say nothing of the hopelessness when
Yesterday is gone with no tomorrow
But maybe I can write a poem then
Or the day after or maybe next week

Or maybe it may never be at all
If today is it is too much to speak
The problems too big the poet too small
The chasm between the two yawning wide
As a deep shadow is cast like a pall
As I await the fate of the helpless
As I am devoured by my destiny
Having already piled up poetry
Enough for anybody now I guess
If I could I would make a poem say
The things I find unspeakable somehow
But life has ground me down to nothing now
I wish I could write a poem today

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 21, 2007, 11:47 pm


The Learning Curve

for my friends Aurora Harris, Richard Rohm, and Matt Fisher

I used to enjoy the spinning around
Which life seemed to be at least formerly
But now am being run into the ground
Pursuing freedom finding slavery

Were life some crazy spinning carousel
What started here would finish here as well
But life seems a train run right off the track
Which would not appear to be coming back

Riding for my life on a learning curve
With hairpin turns a shudder and a swerve
And the wonder what I did to deserve
Riding for my life on a learning curve

From the frying pan of conventional
Ideas to the fire of alternative
Realities or unrealities
Manifold and multidimensional

I find myself challenged by times like these
And glad I am not a conservative
Those are the ones who are really upset
Not even seeing what has happened yet

I used to enjoy the hustle and flow
Of life on the fly as it barrels by
Of not knowing where it is that I go
But getting there just along for the ride

I see now it is true that I must die
And what a spectacular accident
It smells like someone has already died
As from a distance I hear the lament

The locomotive careens crazily
The cars fall on their sides this way and that
I wonder if that lament is for me
And whether I should get my coat and hat

No: I will ride to the end of the line
Although there is no line here anymore
This railroad is crazy but it is mine
Although I never knew what it was for

Riding for my life on a learning curve
With hairpin turns a shudder and a swerve
And the wonder what I did to deserve
Riding for my life on a learning curve

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 21, 2007, 3:29 am


Old Soldier

Once he was really someone long ago
It was amazing what he did back then
He has a story but no one to know
Who he used to be in the way-back-when
He refuses to talk about it now
Bearing his secrets to the grave below

So no one knows exactly as to how
It was that destiny chose him to be
A hero but he is a hero still
And if he were to talk he might well say
Those who were there never talk never will
Old soldiers do not die they fade away

He lost his heart in the Second World War
He bet it all and never won it back
Still marching but only he knows what for
I wonder what he thinks about Iraq

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 19, 2007, 9:40 pm


Sick Enough

When you get sick enough nothing matters
As the world shrinks down to heartbeat and breath
One criticizes another flatters
While I am trying not to cough to death

Exhausted I wonder how to make it
Till my doctor's appointment on Tuesday
But people smile at me and I fake it
Still trying to act all right anyway

Unable to buy an aspirin now
I wish that I had gotten my flu shot
As muddling through the best I can somehow
I lie to people and say I forgot

When the truth is I was too sad to care
Back then if I got a flu shot or not
But the complications are terrible
So much so I despair of making it

Waiting is becoming unbearable
And now I am finding that faking it
Becomes impossible this far along
Since sickness is stronger than we are strong

It bears us away at the close of day
A stupid way to commit suicide
But a poetic way to fade away
And more efficient than other ways tried

When you get sick enough nothing matters

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 18, 2007, 10:51 pm


The Art of Poetry

When the subject of the poem cannot be
Determined at all at least not precisely
Because it is nothing less than everything
And so instead has to be experienced
Rather than read felt by flesh like a bee sting

When that is the sort of a poem you find
In which everything at once is referenced
Which speaks not only to the heart but the mind
And deeper to plumb seas of reality
Or unreality not that you must choose

When you see the magic which nobody sees
And when the roulette wheel will not let you lose
So you are left satisfied yet wanting more
When the poem like an incantation frees
All sorts of things you never thought of before

A hidden door opening to galaxies
The summer the winter the fall and the spring
All things all at once in the dance of the ring
Then you have tasted the art of poetry
Which art is the art I have chosen for me

Because it is nothing less than everything

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 17, 2007, 2:46 pm


Shot by Cupid

If you still want to be shot by Cupid
Then go ahead but I think it's stupid
I never take his arrows anymore
Since having been shot by Cupid before
Turned out to be such painful injury
My heart like Humpty Dumpty in free fall
And having avoided cupidity
I would prefer not to be shot at all

I've lived too close to couples who tussle
Claw like cats in the hustle and bustle
Of gross dysfunction and indignity
If that's what coupling is it's not for me
And what of those couples with peaceful ways?
One of them does what the other one says
While others shout what they say together
Loudly in stridently stormy weather

If you still want to be shot by Cupid
Nothing I say will stop you anyway
Until you too end up feeling stupid
And duped like me at the end of the day

My good old cat and I will be just fine
The next heart shot by Cupid won't be mine

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 14, 2007, 7:33 pm


For Right Now

Happy to be here and there
After all at this late hour
Happy to be anywhere
Still with style still without power
Happy still in any case
Still to care and not to care
To exist in any place

Do I know where I might be
Tomorrow or the next day?
Someone might know but not me
Living here or passed away
Sailing or else cast to sea
Ashes into memory
Still I will have had my say
Riddled into poetry
Left behind beyond my stay

As long as there are stars in
The sky to wink at our sin
I might as well enjoy me
No one else can destroy me
So the thing to do is be
Happy to be here and there
To exist in any place

Happy to be anywhere
For right now in any case

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 13, 2007, 2:24 pm


Stop

I worry that having failed in the war
Now having completely destroyed Iraq
This administration will look for more
Shenanigans to make and carry on
Pretty much more of the same to Iran
Now on the ledge to go over the edge
Taking us too far to ever come back

Will the people wake up and prove willing
Seeing the president's ship going down
To end this endless cycle of killing
While we bury beautiful kids from town?
Take back the future from the unclean hand
Which stole it and can never understand
That to increase the war cannot bring peace

Peace must be nurtured and grown patiently
And for it to bloom the bleeding must cease
Preemptive war used to be viewed as sin
But they have forgotten diplomacy
Now from a distance they send our kids in
I worry that having failed in the war
This administration will just make more

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Feb 13, 2007, 4:38 am


Dry Flowers

I

Only a heartbeat at a time
Only a breath from death
Only a soft bamboo windchime
Carried on the sky's breath

II

One wants love one needs to be kissed
One craves human propinquity
Lest the point of it all be missed
One who is one is me

III

At the end now they are alone
Pickled and fit to die
Soon they will be gone who have known
So well to live a lie

IV

My upbringing was a warning
The worthless feel most worth
I must get up in the morning
And go and save the earth

V

The lavender ribbon she wore
A cloth of gingham check
Was like some fruit a lotus bore
Delicious on her neck

VI

Only a stubborn stunted star
On a very dark night
I never meant to come this far
But I still have my light

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII











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