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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2026 thru 2050 of 2843 Poems

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Jul 3, 2006, 7:18 pm

Blinking into Light

Ungrudging and understanding I have paid
Debts left behind them by those who came before
Those unwitting mistakes my family made
Back when people never talked about certain
Things and who lived in a world which is no more
When no one dared to peek behind the curtain

My Grandma said each person ought to live twice
That a first time just for practice would be nice
Since nobody knows what they are doing when
They are doing it just dumb luck now and then
But as for the big things we just never know
So we see our life come and then watch it go

Once for practice and for real and that is all
Our first rehearsal is our opening night
We blow lines bump into scenery then fall
And the audience is just out of our sight
Where the house might be empty at curtain call
When at last we are led blinking into light

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jul 1, 2006, 2:52 pm

La Copa Mundial and Flags on the Fourth

I watch soccer in Spanish from Germany
I don't get it in English on my TV

I tuned in at the beginning of the song
"Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit" sang along
And through a war of sport which Germany won
I felt I helped though beneath this distant sun
Of California on a sizzling beach day
Was there and here and far and near you might say

In this place or that I am... not quite all there...
Wherever I am in the world anyway
At the same time nowhere and yet everywhere
And I might appear to make no sense at all
But I just try to keep my eye on the ball

Juan was rooting for Argentina of course
He is a good friend who bet on a bad horse

And so this is how Fourth of July weekend
Began for this "rootless cosmopolitan"
But when the big day comes you will see my friend
The flag which I raise will be American
My old one from the Second World War will be
Alongside a new World Cup flag ...from Germany

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 29, 2006, 5:42 pm

Blood Offering

Whose story is history?
The story of those who won
Of how they killed the others

Yet it is no mystery
Each combatant is a son

Victors and defeated die
Each of those sons have mothers
Whose history knows no lie

See the weeping mother bring
Vengeful tears to rain upon
Victors in blood offering?

Forgotten she is not gone

Her son's blood is her glory
When books as flesh lie rotten
Her story is this story:

Blood will not be forgotten

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 28, 2006, 4:44 pm

Between Darkness and Destiny

And now to write
And so good night
Whether anyone reads or not

Some say they do
So maybe you
Have read a little bit of what
I found in the dark
In search of a spark
Of meaning along the way
Gleaned from the gloom observed then brought
Out into the light of day
Returned from where
Among the stars the world is small
Attempting to make some sense of it all

I share from there
Such insight as I might seeking see
In the night between darkness and destiny

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 27, 2006, 6:17 pm

The River

Now is the interruption in the flow
Of the river of before and after
Between where I come from and where I go
At the balance of after and before
This tang of tears this starburst of laughter
This heartbeat this breath no less and no more

Looking behind me I see hopes and fears
And dreams and nightmares some false and some true
With starbursts of laughter and tangs of tears
I can see all of us I can see you

Ahead of me I can see nothing where
The future is not granted me to see
Only the river but as it flows there
It bears along all possibility
The river bears me and all I must bear
Is my simple interruption to be

I am the river the river is me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 26, 2006, 6:17 am

Vow the Now

So many summers but this is the first
In which I pursue the better and best
As now I let go of the worse and worst
To live in the now and forget the rest
The future which never comes and the past
Which I must leave behind me now at last

Put aside what-if and what-might-have-been
To focus on this moment in-between
Since out of all of time is only this
Not what-was-once nor remains-to-be-seen:

I vow the now and seal it ...with a kiss

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 25, 2006, 8:11 pm


When the blind have led the blind
Both have fallen on the way
Now the blind lead the sighted
And unlike those left behind
Just the sighted fall today
Controlled by the benighted
Who are only blind inside

And no matter what we say
How we die how many died
Down their dark road they lead us
As they play upon our fear

They think they do not need us
That we need must heed them here
We are sighted but our voice
Is disengaged from our mind

Rendered mute we see no choice
And we know they cannot see
Will not hear the silent scream
Of our slow-motion nightmare
Falling into their blind dream
From the top to God knows where
Who still sees must hear somehow

Only God can help us now

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 25, 2006, 2:11 am

The Gift

a sonnet

Why do you want the world to end?
What on earth is your hurry?
Life embraces you as a friend
But you sow fear and worry

Saving your soul have you lost your mind
Disdaining those you would leave behind?
The world will end when it is ready
Till then hold on and ride it steady

Life is gentle and will forgive
Your sin of unseemly haste
As for me and mine we will live
Nor let our world go to waste

I wonder: will you ever understand
The gift of life in your impatient hand?

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 24, 2006, 2:33 am

Hitler Farted Constantly

Did you know Hitler farted constantly?
Indeed he did and took pills for it too

A failed painter and tendentious writer
As full of bile as he was full of shit
The servants nicknamed him "Carpet Biter"
Because of his temper (or lack of it)

And quite the pervert he turns out to be
He made his poor niece Geli Raubal sit
On Uncle Adolf's face (to her disgrace)
Yet thought himself top of some master race

Even with twenty-eight drugs just in case
And all his hollering hullabaloo
He still went down farting in history
With his round rump trumpeting: "tootle-oo!"

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 23, 2006, 3:27 pm

Apocalypse Calypso

On an odyssey of idiocy
Where nobody makes any sense it seems
The degradation and indignity
Unfold as in a long night of bad dreams
With no morning no opportunity
To wake and wonder "what happened to me?"

Huddled together completely alone
No past no future the present unknown
Trying too hard to forget what has been
Written on the wall by a spectral hand
Too terrified to think of what will be
Written in our blood on the drifting sand

Just hoping not to see not to be seen
Where nobody could ever understand
Just wishing to disappear quietly
Lunesta midnight and Lexapro noon
Strangers to ourselves in a stranger land
At least they say it will be over soon

They say to follow them so here we go
Doing the Apocalypse Calypso

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 22, 2006, 5:47 pm

Together You and I

I have learned the hard way
To depend on no one
Myself especially
But accept that each day
We turn around the sun
Turns out as it will be

So a wheel once begun
Set turning at my birth
Will turn till I am done
With my turn on the earth

You may look down on me
As many people do
I look at destiny
Look straight across at you
And when I look I see
That you are turning too

So we are turning now
Like pinwheels in the sky
But only God knows how
And for how long and why

Yet still we turn and fast
As at first so at last:

Together you and I

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 21, 2006, 9:11 pm


The ones who really should will never quit
Writing unread till they are dead if not
Beyond (or maybe they already are
For all I know) rant on no matter what

Since they do I too sought to have my say
Hitching my wagon to a falling star
But now embarrassed to end up this way
A self-published self-starved none-of-a-kind

I finally have had enough of it

I wish I had the sense to walk away
Yet the delusion stays stuck in my mind
That maybe I could still make it somehow
And leave all this disappointment behind

But the hour grows late maybe too late now
As night falls hard time to call it a day
Or eyes-wide-shut-oblivious write on
The rest of my way to oblivion

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 20, 2006, 9:12 pm


To wake up in the morning wondering "Why?"

An itch which can be scratched in no other way
Than to resolve to get up and go find out
Is motivation for a meaningful day
In which the wonderer (too busy to die)
Is sustained by curiosity and doubt
To marvel along a trail of inquiry
In search of as much as can be found about
The nature of things: to see what one can see

This is a good day in a good life to me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 19, 2006, 2:15 pm


If I had become a learned lawyer
I might have amounted to something then
But I am just one of the never-were
Outside looking in at the might-have-been

If I had been a famous physician
I might have made a fine fortune that way
Or had I been a better musician
Everyone might have come to hear me play

I ended up a little-known poet
Who lives from day to day and hand to mouth
Nobody much (but at least I know it)

So if my fortunes ever headed south
It would make no difference at all to me
I would just muddle through as I do now
Small change: so how much smaller could it be?

And yet... I like my little life somehow
Under the radar anonymously
As a wanderer and a rambling man
Who slipped through a crack in society

Down at the bottom where it gets muddy
I do what I know as well as I can
But as well as you or anybody

You say you never heard of me? Well... I
Look from the bottom up (but see: bright sky!)

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 18, 2006, 7:23 pm

The Wayfaring Way

for my children on Father's Day

The best part of the wayfaring way
That discarnate portability
Which belongs to a wandering mind
Is what grants one the facility
Whether at midnight or at noonday
To transcend and to leave all behind
Even without going anywhere

This is that joyful ability
Of the free to be not here nor there
But as vagabond to live beyond
Limitation and live everywhere
On a minimum of calories
But maximum curiosity
Vaccinated against the disease
Of that need for control which enslaves
Beyond want and its obesities

To be neither needy nor greedy
Day or night and dark or light the same
One who knows how to bob and to weave
An artful dodger smooth and speedy
Who can find the pattern in the game
Knowing when and when not to believe
How to flow like water my daughter

A wayfaring soul is one who saves
The world my son: may you be one of these

+Steven Curtis Lance

All my love to Maria, Stevie, and Teddy, today and always.

Copyright MMVI

Jun 17, 2006, 2:17 am

Poetry is Not Supposed to Be Hard

Poetry is not supposed to be hard
If it is you might be doing it wrong
Poems hide in plain sight in your backyard
The kettle on the stove is spouting song

And this is not to mention all those birds
Sharing their feathered Promethean fire
Who (if you asked them) would tell you the words
Translated for the page straight from the beak
To English or Chinese or what you speak
Of poems they recite upon the wire

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 16, 2006, 6:05 pm

The Meaning of the Night

At the close of the day
When the door of the night
Opens to the unknown
Illusions fall away
Fade softly with the light
And we are left alone
To sit before a plate
Of things to think about
So much to contemplate
Hope for... dream of... and doubt

We try to penetrate
The riddle of it all
The mystery of fate
And end up feeling small
Yet this is when we grow
When the silence can teach
As we are still and know
And unselfconscious reach
With no one to impress
What light hides from our eyes

And thus blessed then we bless
When from the dark we rise

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 15, 2006, 6:49 pm

Brought to Life by Love

All I would ever want to be
Is to be found worthy of you
All I could ever dream to do
Is cause you to be proud of me
To be a star because you are

However far and high you go
You watch: you wait for me I know

My ever eastward rising star
Rarified beyond all measure
Of matter mass or density
Purest unimagined treasure
Of transcendent intensity

I am pleased to serve your pleasure
As you rise so I am rising
Ever eastward to surprising
Light in the bright immensity
For want of words we call "above"

Led by light: brought to life by love

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 14, 2006, 5:51 pm

Sea Stones

My son said the words of my poetry
Are like stones smoothed and rounded by the sea

Like sea stones I have carried from the beach
I carry his analogy with me
While savoring the sayings all and each
Of his and other hearts in my own heart
As inward echoes after when apart

Love grows down deep like the roots of a tree
And up from these roots through trunk and through stem
Through bud and through bloom the seed comes to be
Smoothed like these sea stones and rounded like them
As life is love so love is poetry

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 13, 2006, 5:09 pm

But Not Without a Fight

Just as I thought nothing more could be done
Criminals were crossing me off their list
Mission accomplished bagged another one
In this case one too depressed to resist
Their inexorable smugness of power
I sensed that something like hope had begun
Had sprung up in the night a sudden flower

With the dawning summer now it rises
To see a crooked lawyer cringe and sweat
In an unblinking yet a winking sun
He sees I am not easy to forget
After all along the way to the fall
So I opt for life as an optimist
Since even the small had better stand tall
As just deserts bloom sudden surprises

They tried to take it all from me and yet
I am the most stubborn person I know
They forgot something they must now regret
That I never never never let go
They were set to drag me from my front door
But here I stand a fighting chance at last
Dead or alive they will fool me no more

I fight for my future honor my past
By standing my ground right here and right now
And I have nailed my colors to the mast
I will beat them or die trying somehow
Dead or alive my honor will survive
If I go down now I go for birthright
Since even the small had better stand tall
After all along the way to the fall

We all must fall: but not without a fight

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 12, 2006, 2:09 pm

God Save Me and Her Majesty

I love the kids at Starbucks but
Their coffee is too strong
Like creosote no matter what
Somehow it has the wrong
Effect on me: I prefer tea

Part of my British heritage
I serve myself at home for free
A kindness in an unkind age

And then... there is the awkward fact
I can no longer pay
Despite their kindness and their tact
Giving their tar to me
I had better have tea today

God save me and Her Majesty

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 12, 2006, 5:53 am

Strong Tea and Hope

I will make strong tea and hope for the best
As I told a kind and well-wishing friend
And the best is better than it once was
Maybe good enough to forget the rest
Or at least the worst has come to an end

But best does not matter nor worst because
Actually I live in the middle
Somewhere between the bottom and the top
If not a joke then at least a riddle
In tea leaves or a microcosmic drop
Wherein my future life is reflected

Or more likely just leavings in a cup
Of the predestined and the elected
Where at the bottom things are looking up

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 11, 2006, 8:12 am

An Opening Flower

What is it about you inspires me so
Making me feel like an opening flower?

I thought I was grown but you make me grow
As I taste your life I share in your power
You fill me with the essence of your youth
Which is nothing more nor less than the truth
Of life the vessel of vitality

Yet only when you yourself have grown old
Will you understand what you mean to me
How you are my warm shelter from the cold
Breath of death as you laugh mortality
Back into the shadows where it must wait

My beautiful girl bright daughter of fate
You bring me into light where I can see
Life is worth living loving forgiving
Inspired by your freedom I too break free
Loving forgiving life is worth living

As I taste your life I share in your power
Making me feel like an opening flower

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 10, 2006, 6:23 pm


The more I know the less I know
I am no prophet nor do I
Hear voices of the dead below
Or angels speaking from the sky
A mere and modest Lutheran
Not active in the ministry
A quiet vegetarian
Teetotaling and scholarly
I scarcely understand what you
The living have to say to me

I hold some things as false some true
Have known sweet joy and bitter grief
Stubbornly clinging to belief
In providential destiny
For me a functional answer
As well as a working question

Along with all humanity
My birthright includes the cancer
We give the name mortality
And yet it is my suggestion
That this arc of the human span
Our rising falling trajectory
What Shakespeare called the ages of man
Is as beautiful as a rainbow
Which we might as well ride all we can
As the more we know the less we know

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 8, 2006, 11:38 pm


My hair now cut militarily
Still grows on a peaceful head
These bristles which could give rise to dread
Guard the gourd of a very
Mild-mannered man instead to keep cool
Through firecracking summer days

Since I was a runty kid in school
The summer buzz-cut always
Brings back past lives which I remember
Boisterous boyhood memories
Of joys between June and September
A buzz-cut is one of these

Hot sidewalks! Hoses! Shells and smells of shore!
Sandstorms! Arizona August rain
Sizzling on the street! Flashback
To splash in a plastic wading-pool!

These are the things which can make time crack
Bright memories to which I now add more
Or just shine up the old ones again
Time dries away! September comes too soon!

Buzz-cut and ready: I jump into June

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI


Displaying Poems 2026 thru 2050 of 2843 Poems

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