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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2026 thru 2050 of 2765 Poems

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Apr 5, 2006, 9:44 am

Lone Wolf

Over the course of our lives we make choices
Based on what is what could be and might have been
What both external and internal voices
Have to say on the way and what these things mean
In terms of our emerging destiny here
And hereafter balancing boldness with fear
Action reaction hope and hesitation
Most of all we are just trying to get by
Our ups and downs middled by mitigation
Trying to live all we can before we die

I have always dreamed of being one of those
Misfit souls who manages to be unique
I could feel I was born for this so I chose
To follow my nose no matter what and seek
To avoid becoming a cog in the wheel
At all costs and yes it has cost me dearly
But my life is meaningful honest and real
I have developed insight to see clearly
Through the masks and facades of society
Which while they fool others will never fool me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Apr 3, 2006, 4:44 pm

Absolute Us

The chirping voice of the Happy McNews
Take it or leave it whichever you choose
If you believe it or not and refuse
There is not a lot you can do today
To make the bad news good nor go away

The Happy McNews does not speak for me
And all I can do is write poetry
With which you may agree or disagree
But I would like to make you smile awhile
Stimulate discussion and spark some style
Into the darkness of this evening hour

Where now as ever poetry has power
Arising from surprising turns of phrase
In anticipation of better days
An emancipation of words to dance
Brought to you by a little man called Lance

When reader and writer reach synergy
This is that divine spark that energy
Of the craft of story the art of speech
Where meanings are manifold each to each
From one to another relative to
The absolute us of me and of you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Apr 2, 2006, 11:29 pm

Sweet Spring at Last

Now I have sprung forward and changed the clocks
Taken a leap of faith and changed the locks
That winter be locked out nor find the key

Come quickly spring and shine your light on me
Come keep me company and bring with you
Your youthful dreams and make them all come true

Against the stealthy stillness of the dark
Bring buzz and bloom and leap and singing lark
Ascending where descending once held sway

Let loose your love on me lengthen this day
Which holds such promise bears such hope to be
A better brighter bolder destiny

Break bitterness now as I break my fast
And I will feast on you sweet spring at last

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Apr 2, 2006, 7:19 am

For Love

second thoughts: "to go down with my ship"?

I wonder: how can I follow this plan?
I think I have to go down with my ship
Although sensible for some other man
Less steadily held in history's grip
His common sense seems mere nonsense to me

"On to the future! Leave behind the past!"
They say to me yet how can I agree?
I have no future from what I can see
So take my stand as first I did at last
To do what the others only dreamed of

And if I do this: it will be for love

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Apr 2, 2006, 12:58 am

Transcendental Sonnet #1425 and Final:
On Learning I Must Sell Out and Move Away

The sky is falling down at last
Life ends as life begins
The rain comes down to drown my past
And wash away the sins
Of generations lived and died
What we stood and fell for

Our good and evil shame and pride
Now fades to leave no more
Than faint stain when the rain has dried
The battle and the war
Now lost to me because the cost
Was more than I could bear

An autumn leaf the wind has tossed
To nowhere yet to everywhere

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 31, 2006, 8:24 pm

High Tide

The headless-chicken heralds of catastrophe
Identical grotesque in lockstep one and all
Trot to and fro and threaten to spill blood on me
But I am only waiting for the rain to fall

They bear bird flu wage war and rule the fool by fear
As polar ice caps melt to make the oceans rise
The hurricanes will be the biggest yet this year
But I am only haunted by black velvet eyes

The ocean here is just eleven miles away
And when we meet on Cleveland Street the sea will be
Ascending on a daily basis steadily
Up from the west until this is our beach someday

As hand in hand along the strand of our front yard
We scry the tips of towers sticking from the sea
And see what washes up our curiosity
Will question why our elders took it all so hard

Our house was built for floods and we are up the hill
Upslope from crooked lawyers and their mortgage schemes
The tide will wash them clean but we will be here still
To laugh last and laugh best that we held to our dreams

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 30, 2006, 3:45 am


The rain came then went
Having laundered my town
The clouds are all spent
So the sun can pour down
Bright gold on the scene

The air is brilliant blue
The earth is washed clean
Old leaves and new buds too
With that urgent green
Early spring vibrancy

I am glad to be
Alive right now right here
As once-blind eyes see
This blooming of the year
Life returns to me

The blood flows in my veins
Like sap in a tree
After the labor pains
Of the birth of spring
As life itself explains:

Hope is everything

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 29, 2006, 5:05 am

Lights and Shadows

Sense for its own sake music on the make
Sound all around beating heart of the earth
Pounding the sounding that all is at stake
Grab hold and hang on for all you are worth

Love for your lives these parallel journeys
All of us are lost but we find the way
We are more than those bodies on gurneys
Soon shrouded and slabbed to silence someday

Inside of us the twinkle of laughter
The tickle of hope the sparkle of love
Twinkles and tickles and sparkles above
The commonday toward the ever-after

Everyone has answers nobody knows
Some have no questions just stick us the hose
Which life soon amputates nor hesitates
As the great wheel turns and time comes and goes

For know-nothing know-it-alls a surprise:
Reality? The universe? The fates?
Unreal! Non-universal! Just your eyes!
To each being its own reality

Manifold truths multifoliate lies
Varying dazzlingly from you to me
To each its unique specificity
Twinkles! Tickles! Sparkles! Lights and shadows

So you had better start having some fun
The wheel never stops once it has begun

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 28, 2006, 6:41 am

If I Fall I Fall in Love

Saint Ignatius good and gracious
What is a wanderer to do?
Shenanigans afoot I see
Come thick and fast out of the blue
As I end up where I begin

This world does not agree with me
And quite possibly not with you
Wary with no sanctuary
Death is scary but life is too
Armor is not efficacious
Against a foe which waits within

All I have left is poetry
The earth beneath the sky above
One too cramped one too capacious
I like the sea where sirens sing
And if I fall I fall in love

But love is all and everything

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 28, 2006, 12:10 am

Could Be Worse

So it turns out the attorney is a crook?
What else is new?
I nevertheless have a rather impressive book
And I have you
So I can say now I have all I need today

The crookery is so intense
Those in the know keep me in deep suspense
Reluctant to say just how bad just now
Forgetting to be upsetting to me
Conveniently and for the best

I just hope they put things right then put him away
To make an example of him for the rest

But bookery is so sublime
For me such a grateful and graceful time
No matter what nor the manner how
He further enriched himself at my expense
I have my dreams and nothing else matters now

He can neither take this book from me nor rhyme
His way out of his ways so he will do his
Time in the text of the next book a textbook cad
Another inspiration in reverse
A sharp eye blinded dodging for the dime

One should never be surprised yet always is
When the attorney is a crook
What else is new?
I still have a very nice book
I still have you

Not too bad
Could be worse

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 26, 2006, 11:59 am

Nor Does it Matter Anyway

For me the best antidote to futility
Is a well-developed sense of absurdity
Otherwise swimming upstream in a world gone blind
Deaf and dumber than ever I would lose my mind
Which now that I think of it I might have misplaced
Happy are those whose memories have been erased
The more aware you are these days the more depressed

How fortunate the stupid how blessed the repressed
"Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise"
Those words were meant for here and now I realize
As a twenty-first century American
Free to kill or be killed as an army of one
No future no past no present under the tree
In the family plot there is no place for me

So I guess I will have to die another day
Live well laugh last nor does it matter anyway

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 25, 2006, 10:12 am

Paradox of Equinox

Without adventure nobody wins
Motion is stopped by paralysis
Experience by analysis

At the equinox of day and night
Where yin and yang in the balance hang
In the equipoise of dark and light

At the still point of the hurricane
The locus of death where life begins
The blind eye opens to labor pain

The seed now sown is reaped grown in the fall
Life is the reason spring is the season
When life commits to death and bets it all

Vernal to autumnal and back again
This is the paradox of equinox

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 24, 2006, 1:19 am

Of Eternal Joy

for Franziska

At the apex of all madness
Star atop the Christmas tree
Sparkles that sweet shining gladness
Of the light you share with me

In the joy of the eternal
Past the mad beyond the sane
The celestial and infernal
Burden blessing boon and bane

Friskaziska Franziskana
How I love your German name
Here post-Pax Americana
We are peaceful just the same

In the midst of sin and sadness
Burns a higher nobler flame
In its everlasting beauty
I find all I need of fame

In our existential duty
To transcend the shit and shame
Of a brutal and barbaric age
With Franziska on a pilgrimage

Of eternal joy though sanity cease
One girl one boy: practitioners of peace

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 22, 2006, 8:13 pm

Spring Rising

Spring has come bringing a new chance for me
Past the hard winter of my discontent
To get outside and see what I can see
Having survived with half my life unspent
And feeling that my best is yet to be
I mean to bloom and nothing can prevent
The realization of destiny

Having never been fashionable
I never go out of style
Conservatives say I am trouble
Number me with terrorists
Mark me down on little lists
But now in spring we could bloom awhile

The people who run the world are insane
Their boots on our necks the long winter through
Spring is the time when life rises again
And I would like to rise again with you
As hand in hand we take a stand to bloom
And rising by our sun of spring to smile
Defeating their winter of dark and doom

Spring is the time when life rises again
And I would like to rise again with you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 22, 2006, 12:49 am

Still Here

When the Democratic Party calls me
I always give them another ten bucks
Since this junta we have now appalls me
With blood on its hands the while as it fucks
Me over reads my emails taps my phone

The only consolation I have is
I begin to see I am not alone
Apparently some few agree with me
I give ten bucks to the A. C. L. U.
Whenever they call and gratefully too

For if they will fight against Bush and his
War on brain-damaged poets who keep cats
Eight billion a month but eight hundred for
We disabled who give to Democrats
Maybe the A. C. L. U. could help you

I am grateful for those who fight this beast
Which prays as it preys on the last and least

I spend as much time as I can asleep
These days and am otherwise despairing
Yet there are those who bridge the dark and deep
Franziska and my kids wake me caring
And this is my cat Freddie's tenth birthday

I am still here and will not go away

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 21, 2006, 1:21 am


Given enough time the dust of our days
Embeds us within the quilt of always
Foot to head the mother blanket is spread
Until the living are one with the dead
Turning back from birth turning back to earth

And so when our destiny comes calling
We answer it first rising then falling
An arc which begins and ends in the dark
Before and after destiny is done
With us beginning and ending are one

But at the zenith closest to the light
When we are soaring highest in mid-flight
How heady and how thrilling are those days!

Alone on our own to and from always
How ready and how willingly we fly
From womb to tomb bright as our life streaks by!

And there is nothing else for us but this
Flash on our way from and to the abyss

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 18, 2006, 11:55 am

Break Your Chains Now!

Through the teeth the times have broken
Mocked maligned misunderstood
Truth is now but faintly spoken

They do badly those who would
Give their lives as sign in token
Of the greater common good

Left unarmed and branded fools
By that which sucks our souls away
That which rules with iron tools

That which controls the earth today
Yet whines of liberal bias
Smothers to silence what we say

Our masters know best what we need
Porcine weekdays Sundays pious
We exist to gratify greed
To satisfy their church of chains
Of phallus-fetish superpower

But I can feel the labor pains
Even at this hell-darkened hour
Of overthrow of brawn by brains
Unfolding as the lotus flower
A new revolution is begun:

Break your chains now! Rise up like the sun!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 17, 2006, 2:12 am

Deus ex Machina

Ringing at my door to change my religion you
Indulge in a fundamental futility
I am the least likely patsy or pigeon to
Re-create in your image fundamentally
Although you say you are not fundamentalists
I watch as you mark me down in your little lists
Methodically although you are no Methodists

Long published by the Methodist publishing house
Despite being existentialist Lutheran
I know a thing or two about people like you
So I urge you cats to move on to the next mouse
Just walk on by and give up as hopeless the man
Who lives here cross him off your lists one more lost soul
Who will learn soon enough if what you say is true

Sorry if you fall short of your recruitment goal
But all fall short of the glory of God they say
And from the looks of us we both fall short today
You simply cannot capture before your "rapture"
Those you annoy by interrupting anyway
When the morning comes by faith I will see the light
Nor need real gods sell door-to-door ...therefore: good night

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 15, 2006, 2:37 am

A Working Theory of Poetics Expressed in Quotations of the Wise

"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." - Henry James (1843-1916) American Author

"When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them as if their reason had left them. When it has left a place where we have always found it, it is like shipwreck; we drop from security into something malevolent and bottomless." - Willa Sibert Cather (1873-1947) American Novelist

"Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here." - Marianne Williamson (1952~) American Author, Lecturer

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting - a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Poet, Essayist

"If you want to be happy, be." - Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) [Count Lev Tolstoi] Russian Novelist, Moral Philosopher, Mystic

"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina nor softened the fibre of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) 32nd U.S. President (1933-45)

"I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn." - John Wesley (1703-1791) English Preacher, Founder of Methodism

"Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow." - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) German Poet, Dramatist, Novelist

"Crimes of which a people is ashamed constitute its real history. The same is true of man." - Jean Genet (1910-1986) French Playwright, Novelist

"Whereas it has long been known and declared that the poor have no right to the property of the rich, I wish it also to be known and declared that the rich have no right to the property of the poor." - John Ruskin (1819-1900) English Writer, Art Critic

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) 35th U.S. President (1961-63)

"Some of us might find happiness if we would quit struggling so desperately for it." - William Feather (1889-1981) American Publisher, Author

"There is no reality, but the one contained within." - Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss Novelist, Poet

"If we discovered that we had only five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them." - Christopher Darlington Morley (1890-1957) American Author, Journalist

"Love conquers everything [Amor vincit omnia]: let us, too, yield to love." - Virgil (70-19BC) [Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil] Roman Epic Poet

"True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen. [Maxims]" - Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French Classical Writer, Moralist

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." - Sir Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) Bengali Poet, Novelist, Composer

"Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire." - Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) Argentinean Author

"Time goes, you say? Ah, no! Alas, Time stays, we go." - Austin Dobson (1840-1921) English Author

"For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is to let it rain." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American Poet

"Wisdom begins in wonder." - Socrates (469-399BC) Greek Philosopher of Athens

"Nothing that is God's is obtainable by money." - Tertullian (160-240) Roman Christian Author, Polemicist

"Of course, it all depends upon what we are praying for. If we are whimpering, and sniveling, and begging to be spared the discipline of life that is sent to knock some smatterings of manhood into us, the answer to that prayer may never come at all. Thank God! - If you are not bleating to get off, but asking to be given grace and strength to see this through with honour, 'the very day' you pray that prayer, the answer always comes." - A. J. Gossip (1873-1954) Scottish Theologian, Preacher

"The World is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything." - Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-born American Physicist

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Poet, Essayist

"Critics are those who have failed in literature and art." - Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) English Statesman, Author, Prime Minister (1868, 1874-80)

"You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it." - Neil Richard Gaiman (1960~) British Author

"The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business." - John Steinbeck (1902-1968) American Author

"In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary, 'patriotism' is defined as the last resort of the scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913) American Author, Editor, Journalist

"All grand thoughts come from the heart." - Marquis De Vauvenargues (1715-1747) French Soldier, Moralist

"Make me immortal with a kiss." - Christopher Marlowe (1565-1593) English Dramatist, Poet

"Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always." - Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian Epic Poet, Philosopher

Mar 15, 2006, 2:32 am

Wink Everlasting

Through a naked pecan tree
The Morning Star winked at me
Though now I see it is gone
My heart tells me it shines on
Beyond sunshine behind rain

Tomorrow if there is one
It will wink at me again
And even if there is not
In my heart shines this bright spot
Through a naked pecan tree

Pinpoint puncturing of light
From the Morning Star to me
Hopeful still of happiness
After a bad day sad night
I never give up I guess

Hoping against common sense
Confidence is recompense
When the Morning Star comes by
Winking encouragingly
To dreamers watching the sky

When something goes wrong you find out who your friends are
When everything goes wrong you find yourself alone
My present is uncertain my future unknown
But shining on in my heart winks the Morning Star

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 12, 2006, 9:24 pm

Lost Soul Found

Lights burning darkly day or night always
Three beds in the house and I sleep in none
Mattress-stuffed memories sterile of joy
Shades of the dead toss and turn in each one
I can no more nor need tell nights from days
An infantile and eternal lost boy
Lies quiet on the front room couch unknown
The shade the least alive here is my own

I went to a psychiatrist and he
Said I must move out immediately
A quarter-century ago so I
Took his advice but have come back to die
At last if least since this is what we do
All generations give or take a few
Who died elsewhere then came home here like me
For falling leaves home is the place to be

The circle once unfinished joins complete
The wheel once broken turning is made whole
May choice absolve by triumph my defeat
May God have mercy on my misfit soul
But it is mine to give to take to keep
Death in the last of life's surprises dies
As now I lay me down to wake to sleep
A lost soul found and freed arises flies

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 11, 2006, 7:02 am


You speculate on what survives within
This shuttered shattered sepulcher you see
Where the night does not end nor day begin
Where dappled in the twilight shadows play

Stained with the stinging unguent of abuse
Descending generations death and sin
In living death one soul still flickers there
No explanation given nor excuse

Too many things to tell so none to say
Tethered by taproot deeply dungeoned where
A crust once human to the dust gives way
Emily Dickinsonian recluse

You pass by on the sidewalk and know not
The tales these darkened windows weep tonight
Heavy debt a head-shaking attorney
The living bearing what the dead forgot

Birth-broken wings flap their futility
Futureless featureless backwards journey
Bright sunshine on all sides but here no light
There never was nor will there ever be

In rotting graciousness the grave lies deep
A black hole where the doomed and damned await
Dark ancestors scold from unquiet sleep
Unending grief inherited from fate

The ghost which haunts this haunted house is me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 10, 2006, 1:03 am

On the Universal Specificity of Reality

The zenith of the whole celestial sphere
As well as its nadir are both right here
The celestial sphere is here inside me
It is also true it is inside you

Reality has specificity
Specific gravities unique to each
And each reality its lessons teach
As all the stars glisten: look and listen

Unreal to me are war and eating meat
Also alcohol drugs and folderol
And those who enjoy their war in Iraq
Should go fight it there and save their attack
For their imagined enemies not these
Mothers and others who worry and reach
Out to seek peace when the world has gone mad

If Bush and Blair love war so let them go
And fight it themselves and I would be glad
But leaders are liars as all now see
I do not consume what others excrete

Each and every consciousness has its own
Specific universe: leave mine alone

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 8, 2006, 10:09 pm

First Nasturtium

The first nasturtium of spring
A gift my Grandma gave me
Volunteering offering
Ancestral light to save me
From the dark of my despair

Petals of flame spell my name
In simple hope which burns there
In this microcosmic sun
Solitary like the one
Which warms us both above me

We two stand remembering
The loved and lost who love me
Still as always and who will
Through the thawing winter's chill
Reaching from eternity

As above so even here
Through my sickness through my fear:

This nasturtium blooms for me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Mar 6, 2006, 4:44 pm

Dime Time

They tell me tomorrow will never come
But insists on staying a day away
In which case then we had better make some
Mischief by which to remember today

What of yesterday? I say forget it
And let tomorrow never come what may
Make the most of now and not regret it
This is all we ever have anyway

Moment by moment each one at a time
Shiny and small as a new-minted dime

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI


Displaying Poems 2026 thru 2050 of 2765 Poems

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