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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1801 thru 1825 of 2799 Poems

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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








Jan 11, 2007, 10:36 am


Another Loser of the Human Race

From anxiety down through depression
Was a digression from society
Life took me on between my then and now
If anxious and depressed at least to be
Who I am what I dream and dare and must
At least try with a question on my face

We speak in unknown tongues nor understand
What we say but smile and try to adjust
As we build our Babel of the unknown
And when chaos calls and the tower falls
Because it was built of but wind and sand
Again and more each time we are alone

I wish I had someone to hold my hand
The ones who did once died and in their place
Left me a stranger lost in their strange land
Picking up pennies of hope as somehow
Though orphaned with an unreturned embrace
Of nothing yet I struggle and I stand

A stubborn son of Babel grasping grace
Another loser of the human race

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 10, 2007, 5:29 am


Infinitude

My cat comprehends how alone we are
And stays as close to me as any dog
Ever trotted alongside a master
Although no one is master of a cat
Nor he of me but love and that is that

I want to walk but have to take the car
Or he will follow me into the clog
Of cars where each is bigger and faster
Than the one before and then there are more

When I return he is watching for me
Between the lace curtains or possibly
There under my mother's funeral tree
If someone let him out so he could wait
For me to see I escaped disaster
Such as I had warned him about before
He marks the time and marks the time as late

And I go back to my room alone
To die when I die nor force the spring
With the best friend I have ever known

In an attitude of infinitude
Feeling the meaning of everything

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 8, 2007, 12:45 am


Secret

The secret he carried was wrapped with regret
And he was just not ready to share it yet
But said when he was I would be first to know
I could see that he was afraid to let go
Of something he feared might make him be loved less
And death interfered before he could confess

I think in his heart he knew I knew because
I had known all along what the secret was
We all knew and loved him more for it somehow
As much in solidarity then as now

Yet I still feel sad for him about
His living a lie he believed had to be
He was never able to come out
And because of this he never could be free

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 7, 2007, 2:03 am


Refraction

As beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Perfection is refracted by the judging eye

We wisen as we wizen smarter but older
Pursuing perfection albeit with a sigh
When it seems just right to me it might not to you

But see perfection each our way is what we do
Live briefly and imperfectly then soon we die
After a lifetime of looking for something true

And whether this is it or something more
As beauty is in the eye of the beholder
May we both find what we were looking for

Perfection as refracted by a judging eye

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 5, 2007, 9:51 am


Pigs of the Sky!

A tornado blew seven pigs away
But only whirled them around in the air
Keeping them up there a night and a day

And when it got tired it put them back where
They had been found eating down on the ground
After their whirlwind ballet in the round

They had been busy and they were dizzy
Wondering how big they would have to be
Before they could no longer ride for free

Yet after awhile they forgot about
All their excitement and started to doubt
If they had really flown up in the sky

Until a pig-shaped pink puff cloud passed by...

And seven snouts pointed heavenward high
They were relieved shook fat heads and believed
Sharing their secret with porcine laughter

Pigs of the sky! Seven pigs of the air
Who are now best friends forever after
Recalling down here they once flew up there

When a pig-shaped pink puff cloud passes by...

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 5, 2007, 3:09 am


And Two Stars: Free

Without knowing the secrets of the sun I see
That within its bright self it seems to smile
I have no doubt it is smiling at you and me
So come closer as we smile back awhile

It will have no doubt what we are smiling about
Everyone knows about the sun and fun
Even early this morning before it came out
I felt it dawn on me a new life had begun

Without seeing the secrets of the moon I know
That it is making magic silently
And I can see in the sky wherever I go
That palest of eyes there winking at me

But my favorite heavenly body is you
Just you yourself right there just as you are
So encouraged by what the sun and the moon do
And with their blessing I name you my star

Without knowing the secrets I only guess why
But if you are a star then I must be
And I would love to join you up there in the sky
Smiling sun... winking moon... and two stars: free

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 4, 2007, 5:57 pm


Curiosity and Me

I read encyclopedias all night
Consult the dictionary all day long
And while for me my style of life seems right
For those less curious it might be wrong

But my birthright is curiosity
I like to have a working theory why
Things are as they are here all around me
I was born a very curious guy
To a very curious family
And yet I do not know the answers to
The questions I wonder about all day
As you might and as many people do

For me the questions never go away
And if curiosity killed some cat
If I should die it would not be of that
For me not to wonder would be to die

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 3, 2007, 9:10 pm


On a Blue Cloud of Dreams

If only I could sleep until I die
Soaring the sky on a blue cloud of dreams
Far beyond all this madness up so high
Where nothing matters anymore it seems

Let the other shoe drop for all I care
Excreted from the body politic
I want to feel the night-wind in my hair
Where war and folly no more make me sick

Since I fail to see waking hope for me
Except I sleep until I die and fly
Anywhere but here I have broken free
Broken by the earth to take to the sky

But do not wake me when it all ends please
If I cannot die at least let me sleep
If barred from the sky then let me sink deep
I want no more waking indignities

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 2, 2007, 11:49 pm


The Stubbornness of Self-Sacrifice

I have struggled so stubbornly to stay
Because I simply have nowhere to go
They always told me it was mere delay
That I had to sell out and they should know

But I would not be moved not go away
Nor face the sad reality and so
I got my wish at the end of the day
And now I am a complete stranger here
In my own house gnawed by the rats of fear
Be careful what you wish for by the way

Although it is always up in the air
Although I can know no security
And in spite of what those wiser might say
I intend to keep my heritage where
My legacy can enjoy it someday

Someday they will say "that poet lived there
Even though it was impossible to
Endure what he chose to endure to be
A link in the chain of his family
He did just what he felt he had to do"

And so I live with strangers now but I
Will leave it to my children when I die
And if they should have more money than me
They can replace strangers with family
Forget about some old man and his pain
There will be children laughing here again

Although it is always up in the air
Although I can know no security
And in spite of what those wiser might say
I intend to keep my heritage where
My legacy can enjoy it someday

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Jan 2, 2007, 3:38 am


New Year's Resolution

for Franziska with love

I seek to purify myself this year
To do my uttermost in all I do
I seek to forget the feeling of fear
And to be unafraid of loving you

I seek to celebrate your beauty now
To know who my friends are that you are one
I know I want to be with you somehow

To enjoy this life and to have some fun
As much for as long as time will allow
To see how far I can go with my best
And do all I can before I am done

That you might be pleased and forgive the rest

I would like to find our place in the sun
To flourish strong and sturdy stubbornly
Staying in the light of the state of mind
Of struggling to be the best I can be

I look deep within my heart and I find
I want most for you to be proud of me
So I will do my best and start today

If you would like to be with me come on
And we can have a great time come what may
With what there is left until it is gone
Since nothing lasts forever anyway

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVII








Dec 31, 2006, 5:20 pm


Human After All?

I try not to care
But then: she is there!
And try as I might
Her humanity
Brings mine out in me

It simply feels right

So am I human after all?
At least I would be
In good company

This leap of faith ends not in fall
But in rising creative desire
A lifting to love while tried by fire

Because she is there

Always as now
Beckoning to me
I guess I will care
Reckoning that she
Will show me how

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI











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Displaying Poems 1801 thru 1825 of 2799 Poems

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