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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 1951 thru 1975 of 2804 Poems

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Sep 6, 2006, 6:15 pm

Late Birds

Late birds soaring solitary
Sailing sunset on their unknown
Missions seem to race the very
Sun as they run their course alone

Called away with the close of day
To destinies which only they
Will ever know and as they go
I dream of sky of you and I
Can see that we are late birds too

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Sep 4, 2006, 5:04 am

Through Me

My poems write themselves
Their origins unknown
My fingers scheming elves
With ideas of their own
And what they have to say
Seems up to them alone

I feel them trace their way
In patterns on the page
At midnight and noonday
Plying their pilgrimage
Both whimsical and stern
Doing their daily rounds

And night by day I learn
To touch becomes to see
How life outside the bounds
Of ordinary things
Is fanciful and free
How an opened heart brings
What once was closed to be
As an opened heart sings
Through life to light through me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Sep 3, 2006, 6:25 am

Sea Stones Among "Bestsellers in Poetry" at Blackwell UK

"...and may all our dreams come true."

I have just been so pleasantly surprised by a bit of good news that I feel like sharing it with someone, and who better to share it with than you, my friends and fellow poets?

My new book Sea Stones, ISBN-10: 1847286003 and ISBN-13: 9781847286000, is now to be found among Blackwell UK's "Bestsellers in Poetry."

Although I was born in the USA, the Lances are an English family, as is my father, so it means so much to me on so many levels to be accepted and my work found worthy in the United Kingdom.

Everyone tells me that my new Sea Stones book is by far the best of all my nine thus far. I do hope you will have a look at it, and that you will like it as well. They tell me I am getting better at my work through practice.

Sea Stones is available everywhere now. The global edition, http://www.lulu.com/content/393223, is softcover, but there is a beautiful collectible hardcover edition, http://www.lulu.com/content/393233, also, available directly from the publisher (I love how it looks in hardcover).

Thank you for allowing me to share my happiness with you.

I appreciate everyone eating Lance snacks, but there is no direct benefit to me thereby. It is my little book, Sea Stones, which saves me.

May we all be successful in all we do, and may all our dreams come true.

Respect and solidarity,


Sep 2, 2006, 9:34 pm


I thought someone loved me but she forgot
To tell me how trust had led me astray
Or mention how faithfulness steered me wrong

What I had mistaken for love was not
And she let me dream a little too long
She played me for a sucker all the way

So to hell with love and to hell with her
To hell with lovely dreams which never were
The longer I live the clearer I see
The world is all a lie to her to me
To everyone that we are all deceived
Looking for lovely dreams to be believed
To be treasured and to be tortured by
We die by our dreams as we live a lie

She never loved me nor did she explain
How my wholehearted love had been misplaced
And now I can never find it again

My dream dried to dust and I feel disgraced
To have been ensnared by this world of lies
Where hate only lives and love only dies

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Sep 1, 2006, 3:48 am

Little Big Man

I sing of Little Big Man and you know who I mean
Our false unworthy emperor of what might have been
On whose mad unreasoning the earth is forced to hang
Mispronouncing grave pronouncements in his tangled twang

And if we disagree we are "fascists" you and me
Disloyal to royal and imperial decree
Freedom of speech is relative now as we have seen
Completely unrelated to the Bush family
Democracy seems to be a matter of degree
Good for Iraq but back at home he is not so sure
Especially if our politics are deemed impure

As democracy devolves into theocracy
We evolve into "the enemy" it seems to me

But he is "the decider" and only he knows best
In his brave new world only Little Big Man is free
To say and do what he pleases never mind the rest
Of what is left of what we once called "humanity"

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 29, 2006, 12:03 pm

Stupor Mundi

The effect of yesterday on the hands
Of tomorrow's clock on this day before
Is that "the war" has always been "the war"

What I call "Vietnam" you call "Iraq"
The present of the past forward and back

I wonder if anyone understands

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 27, 2006, 12:07 pm

Come Back to Me

You turn your head and turn away
From what you dare not understand
As darkness overcomes the day

I turn my heart and turn my hand
To reach out in a gesture of
Defiant hope and stubborn love

Believing that you still might see
If through the gloom and fleetingly
My hand extended reaching to
Find yours tonight that we might touch
Across the darkness me and you

To arc the spark of life again
The hope of love we need so much
To get us through this night of pain

We feel the light no longer seen
And I know you know what I mean
By touch we see: come back to me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 26, 2006, 11:11 am

As the Cow Jumps Over the Moon

That know-it-alls know nothing is well-known
What can be known is known unknown alone
And most of what can be is not for me
To know in any case and not my place
Because the more I know the less I know

Once certain I become less so with time
Which shadows me the faster as I slow
Robbing the reason while leaving the rhyme
The dialectic of form and function
Made moot as the cow jumps over the moon

All in a circle joins into junction
The spacetime fabric shrinking small and soon
To form a pinpoint only of the now
Soon to know nothing this suits me somehow
Satisfied to everlastingly be

And to take my turn at eternity

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 25, 2006, 6:18 pm

Paint Plaster and Pandemonium

The relentless rush of renovation
Of my house has crushed my innovation
Grinding my mind to that of a zombie
Or drudge beyond the nudge of poetry

As all summer long my back has been bent
By soulsucking chores which never relent
I finish one and then another one
Or two or three or four must be begun
The past still holding a grudge against me

Miraculously I finished a book
But have scarcely seen time to sneak a look
Or even begin to savor what I
Am adequate at and what I live by

Harnessed to trudge to inadequacy
Instead I have to paint high ceilings blue
Or porch floors green or whatever I do
All a blur and bore I would do no more
Than write poems and seek a little peace

My employee believes he employs me
As he lectures me on the ebb and flow
Of pipes and the truth of the two-by-four
Sore-trying my passive diplomacy

Exhausted heatstricken now stricken dumb
I look forward to locking my front door
On paint plaster and pandemonium
When autumn falls and sacrifices cease
And renovated rise again to soar

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 18, 2006, 9:36 pm

Love's Lightning

Tomorrow is not clear to be
Foreknown while fortune's storm winds blow
But I know you are dear to me
And never mind what comes I know
That I would like you near to me
And side by side ride out the storm

Together whether come or go
We two can come through anything
Or go as we have and we will
Because we share the certainty
Though winds rage love stays rooted still
Down deep in hearts held safe and warm

Despite the storm's intensity
Believe and feel steadfast and real
Above the night beyond the norm
Love spark the dark cloud clear to see
A rainbow bridge of light take form
From you to me and back again

Love's lightning never strikes in vain

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 13, 2006, 8:25 pm

Questions in a Quiet Voice

Standard answers and sophistry
That certain sense of certainty
Prevent me from the ministry
Faith is a gift which I have but
One wonders still no matter what

The freedom of thought to cherish
Intellectual honesty
Albeit at the cost of all
My heritage this heresy
Keeps me from serving a parish

I live by faith and rise or fall
I have to do it honestly
To serve the God who gives me choice
Some questions in a quiet voice
And these nine books of poetry

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 12, 2006, 6:52 pm

The Point of It

One extreme reflects the other
Just as sister is to brother
The bloom of triumph bears the seed
Of its defeat as greed bears need

An alcoholic wet or dry
And addict felled or flying high
Saved from the sin of living die
While yin and yang eternity
Leaves behind raptured you and me
As crusader and jihadi
Find freedom to be slavery
And seek to do wrong to do right

I only seek to kiss your face
And neither slave nor master be
Not black nor white but human race
Past reason and insanity

Sunset moonrise day follows night
As we are complementary
We face each other and we fit
Which seems to me the point of it

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 12, 2006, 7:53 am

Selfmade Unmade

In a voice roughened by regret
I can hear what he has hoped for
And that it has not happened yet
That he has always been so strong
But now he wonders how much more
Disappointment he can endure
Before he leaves it all behind

When he was young he was so sure
He knew the answers or could find
Them if he asked the questions long
Enough or maybe loud enough
But he got lost and things went wrong
He bet it all and lost the bet
And now it hurts inside his mind

So when he talks his voice is rough
Since he is fighting not to cry

How do you live when your dreams die?

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 11, 2006, 11:41 am


on the eve of the birth of my book Sea Stones

Oddly classical and formal
A fastidious fellow I
Am definitely not normal
(If such a thing exists these days)
A solitary simple soul
And a little set in my ways

As unrelentingly I try
To achieve whatever my goal
Might be with cunning courtesy
Like getting good at poetry
Perhaps becoming somebody
Before (maybe after) I die

Believing the dream becomes me
Becoming and coming to be

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 10, 2006, 3:07 am

Pieces of Us Both

Whatever ends up happening to me
I might as well look fate square in the face
No matter where the pieces come to rest

The puzzle will be finished finally
The way it will and that way will be best
Because that way is the way it will be
However the pieces fall into place

That configuration of destiny
Can only be accepted then with grace
Since there will be nothing else I can do
But inhabit my place in time and space

I only hope that I will be with you
And that together someday we might see
The pieces of us both fit in embrace

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 8, 2006, 9:42 pm

Into the Night

I felt a chill and looked within today
To find that my heart has been gnawed away

Though I had felt a growing emptiness
And bit by bit an increasing distress
As if I were losing myself somehow
I find that I have been hollowed-out now

A hole in my soul and nothing I say
None of those clever things I used to do
Can make it any better anymore
Since from this open sore my life leaks too

As if someone forgot to close the door
Let in a chill wind which blew out the light

And what I was slipped out into the night

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 7, 2006, 5:17 pm

To Someone Somehow

A fear to freeze the blood within the veins
In which it runs in panic through the night
A deadly dread's ironic labor pains
Where people all say it will be all right
But it will not because it cannot be
While reason sleeps where rulers have gone blind

In the "New American Century"
My country lost its way then lost its mind
What little light is left is scarcely seen
And if it shines it seldom shines on me
So you might never know now what I mean

You reading this might wonder who I was
Who questioned in an unquestioning age
Might even seek yet not find me because
As a wanderer on a pilgrimage
I was once here but I am long gone now

May my words matter to someone somehow

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 5, 2006, 11:43 pm

Shadow of Despair

There suspended in the air
With its unanswered question
Waits the shadow of despair
Immune to all suggestion
Night might pass light might return

If you have not yet felt this
Welcome to your turn to learn
To receive your virgin kiss
Of that chill which gnaws the soul
Snaking softly night and day
Of that dark which swallows whole
Lives which have been sucked away
By the shadow of despair
Which with patience questions for
All you have and then some more

There suspended in the air
Immune to all suggestion
Waiting for us me and you
With its unanswered question
Where the nightmares all come true

As it waits so too can we
Hold my hand and stay with me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Aug 1, 2006, 9:25 pm


Having rather been a has-been than a never-was
I am grateful to have once believed in Santa Claus

And I look back now with no regrets at all because
It all went down according to how it had to be
For the pieces of the puzzle to become this me
You see today the only me which ever could have been
Because of what I do and did what I see and have seen

For better or worse this is life and I am used to it
The pieces of the puzzle come together and they fit
Just as they are and having come as far as I have now
All I can do is move along and muddle through somehow
So I will see where I will be when this road ends somewhere

We never know until we go and get from here to there
Where we will finally end up but until we arrive

The journey is the destination: on the road ...alive

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jul 30, 2006, 7:18 pm

Instrument of Grace

Your telephone knows and tells you it is time
Mine knows nothing never tells me anything
But thinking of you I feel this poem rhyme
And hope you will tell my telephone to ring
It will only waken when you tell it to

This squatting black slab-like unglamorous thing
Inertly waits here for a signal from you
It knows no tunes no tricks does not dance nor sing
Knows but one bright ring but one right thing to do
When you call it as an instrument of grace

Until you come home when we come face to face

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jul 26, 2006, 4:15 am


When I sold my grave back to the mortician
He said "Mr. Lance you will need it someday"
For him it was a grave breach of tradition
To leave the family plot and move away
He may be a slave to a grave but not me

If I want to join my loved ones I know where
To find them where they always wanted to be
In the water the fire the earth and the air

When I pass from earth through fire then I will see
The glory they taught me and we will be there
With our mortal eyes opened immortally
Together forever together again
Past graves and morticians beyond death and pain

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jul 24, 2006, 7:29 pm

Dying to Find Out

two roads to nowhere

Back in the day they all used to say
"You want to live forever?" "Hell no!"
But it is hell to go the hard way
To be falling apart as you go

Now they are more genteel in their ways
They "live right" up to a point right up
To the moment of the hemlock cup
Twisting the end of the end of days
This could be because death takes longer
When practiced by cigarettes and booze

Old-fashioned patience might seem stronger
People preach and argue pray and shout
Modern self-destroyers like to choose
Yet both still have to die to find out

Both live all they can and then they die
One slow one fast both wondering: "Why?"

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jul 22, 2006, 10:01 pm

Mutual Respect

We need each other but need ourselves more
The self must be in good repair to share
To be we need to know what to be for
To "be there" for you I must first "be there"

If there exists among us an elect
Election is by mutual respect
To love my neighbor as myself I must
First love myself in order to love you
How can I trust you if I cannot trust
My own word when I give it you as true?

We are spirit as sure as we are dust
If "hell is other people" heaven too
I watch your back because I watch my own
We live together but we die alone

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jul 20, 2006, 10:11 pm

A Little Help from Angels Here and There

I have decided to give up worry
As Lenten sacrifice though in July
And I firmly resolve not to hurry
But take life as it comes as time goes by
I mean to mosey to cease to scurry
And live all I can until I must die

Since nothing can be helped by worrying
Except turning whiskers white on my chin
I will not worry about anything
Just let this summer sun come streaming in
Triumphantly into my darkened room
Rejecting death unready for the tomb

Under this brilliant blue high summer sky
Where hummingbirds and butterflies abound
I cherish the simple belief that I
Though I had lost my way have now been found
By life itself and rescued from despair
My night washed away by the light of day

Hope falls gently like snow without a sound
Here in July through bright blue summer air
Falling like manna to me on the ground
Which when I gather it blooms in my hand
And I need not question nor understand
A little help from angels here and there

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jul 19, 2006, 9:03 pm


Like Skinner's superstitious pigeon we
Repeat strange patterns in the hope of love
Wasting life waiting for eternity
Hopping foot to foot while glancing above
Anxiously this way and that faithfully
In pursuit of the utterly opaque
Pecking each other when we disagree
Worrying lest we might make some mistake

Wise pigeons say we never know until
Someday when the box is opened at last
But as things stand now it looks like we will
Ignore our present to play out our past
Hopping and hoping for bits of birdseed
Watching the feathers fly as pigeons die
Pecking each other in need or in greed
And flapping our clipped wings as life flies by

At night we dream that when the box is gone
A pigeon might transfigure to a swan

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI


Displaying Poems 1951 thru 1975 of 2804 Poems

Pages:                     10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79   80   81   82   83   84   85   86   87   88   89   90   91   92   93   94   95   96   97   98   99   100   101   102   103   104   105   106   107   108   109   110   111   112   113 

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