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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2051 thru 2075 of 2845 Poems

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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

Jun 7, 2006, 12:26 pm


Today finds yesterday forgotten fast
Six-Seven-Six arrives and finds us here
The triple-six apocalypse has passed
Into the Y2K of yesteryear
As just another day nor yet the last
But good for fun and folly played on fear

We had an election
Yet still our infection
There seems to be no end
Of rot no matter what
No way to break nor bend
Our chains

More war another hurricane or two
And then the sleeping giant will arise
No devil-face but one with human eyes
To see what true apocalypse can do
On just another day nor yet the last
Tomorrow finds today forgotten fast

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 6, 2006, 5:25 am


When we are left with nothing to say
And can only look on helplessly
Our hesitant voices dried away
To a desert of uncertainty
When darkness falls to bury the day
Then I hope you will remember me

When the time of troubles has begun
And all debates and arguments cease
As both rich and poor fall one by one
To a calm which seems almost like peace
Into the night when the day is done
Then I hope I will remember you

When we find out this was all a lie
And we were sheep misled and deceived
Only one idea will never die
With nothing else left to be believed
Love will be our wings and we will fly
To finally find out: it was true

Then I know you will remember me
Then I know I will remember you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 5, 2006, 7:55 am

Prelude and Fugue: Hamster Treadmill Universe

Having awakened from hours of nightmare
To a waking reality made worse
By the fact my only escape lies there
Trapped in a hamster treadmill universe
Which I cannot bear awake or asleep
I wonder: what on earth do I do now?

I have lost my ability to weep
My tears have all dehydrated away
Only the absurdity of laughter
In the face of death gets me through the day
Then I am left feeling empty after
Where grief used to be is nothing somehow

Nothing is fitting since nothing fits me
Nor do I fit anything anywhere
(A typical existential lament)
Why am I telling you? What do you care?
Your seeing eyes are blind my blind eyes see
Yet we share a common predicament:

We are human here at the end of days
As some of you call this time when we live
Like feathers borne on the breath of always
I wish I could persuade you to forgive
Each other and me but I forgive you
As my hamster treadmill nightmare comes true

Faster and faster I spin round and round
I only wish I had gotten to know
What it meant to be human after all
I open my mouth to scream but no sound
I open my eyes to see but no light
I open my arms to fly but I fall

With only nothingness waiting below
Perhaps I was wrong perhaps you were right
But nothing really matters anymore
I quested my best and I was impaled
Upon the sacred spear drowned in the grail
In death to succeed as in life to fail

I saw three ships and in the last one ...sailed

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 3, 2006, 3:55 am

The Wise Live by Surprise

I walk beneath the waxing crescent moon
Alone but embraced by the waning night
Between the second and the third of June
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Around half past night and quarter to day
It seems like the sun might refuse to rise
Who knows? It might have always been this way
What if night is only day in disguise?
I get so tired I can no longer tell
If these skies are playing tricks on my eyes

Yet here and now is heaven more than hell
Because I am held in such soft embrace
I choose to believe things will turn out right
For wanderers like me in need of grace
And so I walk by faith and not by sight
Step by step because there is no hurry
I take my time because this is no race
And you walk in circles when you worry
In any case out here beneath these skies
By night or day the wise live by surprise

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 1, 2006, 5:32 pm

The Golden Light of Summer

The golden light of summer dawns
And rising takes me by surprise
By dancing lightly on the lawns
To lift my heavy winter eyes
Which barely looked up through the spring
Time turns as each year lives and dies
But summer conquers everything
Now as this golden light I see
Looks very much like hope to me

May golden light of summer bring
Us home to simpler kinder ways
And may we lose our suffering
Within those brighter better days
Which summer was and is always

Remember who you are and were
As you unfold as you will be
Remember him remember her
All of those friends and family
On whom this golden light now dawns
Shining within the memory
And dancing lightly on the lawns
Who rising take us by surprise
To lift our heavy winter eyes

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Jun 1, 2006, 6:59 am


Now as I reach the age they were back when
The old ones were silent and serious
I know how it felt to be German then
Their silence no longer mysterious

The yoke of history is hard to wear
So heavy even if "we were nowhere
Near and knew nothing about it at all"

Raised voices are lowered after the fall
In dust and ashes lies the memory
As silence becomes the witness we bear
To bury the burden of history

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 31, 2006, 8:34 am


The season is turning
As all living things do
Summer is returning
And warms me through and through

I feel myself learning
How much I care for you
And to appreciate
How your soul and my soul
How your fate and my fate
Are parts of one great whole
Unending unbegun

And love is the reason
A whisper in the air
Turning with the season
Returning with the sun

All living things are one
Forever everywhere

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 30, 2006, 12:32 am

The Evening Sacrifice

In my youth the dentist was Doctor Weld
A philosopher who was kind to me
The organist at church was Doctor Held
We sang Bach and then talked of destiny
Odd memories realities no more
I learned to write chorales like Bach myself
Such things as these the verities to soar
At Concordia University
Now my doctor has my books on his shelf

I think a lot about philosophy
Perhaps now is after then was before
But what? I think of them both now and then
Of whom? Of Doctor Weld and Doctor Held
Like: do they live or die? And: how or when?
How do I live or die? Not very well
(In te Domine speravi) today!
I did not have to die to go to hell
(Non confundar in aeternum I pray)

If philosophers live in limbo I
Suppose this is where I am live or die
Now: no then no how no when and no more
Since now is neither after nor before
I have nowhere to go and so I stay
(In te Domine speravi) Today
Is the lifting up of my empty hands
(Non confundar in aeternum I pray)
The evening sacrifice God understands

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 28, 2006, 12:48 am

Never and Always

If I should see those lips being kissed
By another unworthy of her
Then I would see those joys I have missed
Which will always be yet never were
How they could never belong to me
We will always be a fantasy

Dreams never die but I do and you
No one can live as long as dreams do
I have had enough of dreams and pain
To last me past the end of my days
I hope I never see her again
But I will remember her always

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 27, 2006, 11:27 am

When I Hold Hands With You

It comes to a point where there are no more words
Just dewdrops sparkling diamonds in the sun
Drying birth-dying and flying into one
Reality gathers to scatter like birds
As the universe is born anew today
But day and night are terms which do not apply

Night is on holiday having flown away
To turn our tears to stars to dance in the sky
Which takes time but is well worth it I am told
Matters of time matter not since you and I
Have jumped its fence to grow yet never grow old
Here past day and night and all the former things
Beyond the limitations of life and death

Where consciousness spirals in concentric rings
Or floats forever free lifted by the breath
Of All we fall to rise in skies always new
Into the limitless blue which is the mind
Of All we fall to rise past lies to the True
Taking the best we leave all the rest behind

This is how it is when I hold hands with you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 26, 2006, 2:45 am

Bowl Riddle

My empty hands before me form a bowl
Which might look empty yet is filled with grace
The yin and yang which represent my soul
These hands filled with manna before my face
Are incomplete apart together whole
My bowl by which to catch heavenly rain
Two hands at the crossing of time and space
And I need not hunger nor thirst again

Stand here at the crossing of life and death
With me for a time and keep watch with me
Feel how your heart beats listen to your breath
Make a bowl of your hands and destiny
Will fill your empty hands with grace so real
That they become great wings by which to soar

Most people who seem alive never feel
Nor know there are whole realms of being more
Than anything they could conceive before
Life blooms like a rose it turns like a wheel
We are more than beasts not only birds fly
We journey the universe standing still
The earth and the sea the fire and the sky
Belong to those with empty hands to fill

Now may you know the riddle of my song
You had your bowl there with you all along

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 25, 2006, 11:43 am

Just Before Dawn

At a time when life can be hard to bear
Both clarifying and terrifying
I celebrate those people of good will
Who in the face of discouragement dare
Despite the despair in the air to still
Have open minds and arms and hearts who care
For those like me less fortunate than they
And out from the faithful heart's fountain share
The communion of their kindness today
Meeting us at the point of our need where
They could have but they did not turn away

I never knew winning until I lost
I never succeeded until I failed
I never realized what freedom cost
My ship never came in until it sailed
I needed nothing until all was gone
First terrifying then clarifying
Now it is darkest yet just before dawn

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 23, 2006, 7:25 pm


When day and night are one
With neither moon nor sun
When I can find no star

Drowning in the dark with the light too far
Away to bless my distress too depressed
To further fight too heavily oppressed
To float now sinking ready to let go
The will to survive arrives and I know
There must be a reason I am still here
And instead of death comes the death of fear

This is the birth of grace
The dawn before my face
That the light is in me

The everlasting daystar of my destiny
Surprises me rises and I see: I am free!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 22, 2006, 11:36 pm


I have given my clothes
To my son who outgrows
Then returns them to me

He keeps getting taller
I keep looking smaller
Than all my family
Just by staying the same
While the son with my name
Grows like a mighty tree

And he is not alone
He is but one of three
Descendants who arise
To make me realize
What I have always known
Their descent is ascent

I stand admiringly
In loving shadows now
Of hope which I can see

Life passed me by somehow
But I know where it went

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 21, 2006, 1:32 am

Frowning Upside Down

"How are you?" is an existential question
Ultimately unanswerable to me
What does this mean and what kind of suggestion
Does this make for my moment in history?
It is not as if it were just me alone
When asked this I think about society
The world and fate the state of which is unknown
But because I am asked while standing in line
I have learned the expected answer is "fine"

Inasmuch as I do not have cancer nor
Am I in other than existential pain
With the usual plagues pestilence and war
Next time they expect me to be "fine" again
For a moment suspending dubiety
That absurdity's grace might be mine again
To keep dancing let the Titanic slide down
While maintaining my proper propriety
Without making trouble frowning upside down

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 20, 2006, 3:04 am

May it Make You Free!

My daughter wept when Bush was re-elected
But it turned out just as I had expected
Nonetheless it broke my heart for her to see
There is no justice in an oligarchy

And I used to wonder when all this took place
When democracy turned out to be a lie
Yet they always lied to us right to our face
Kept us numbed with television hypnotized
Stole from us and sent us off to war to die

I was about her age when I realized
That all their fancy words meant nothing at all

We are not important we do not matter
They step on us consume us and get fatter
I have seen them strutting all my fifty years
And now I can see them stumble see them fall
To drown in our sea of disillusioned tears

My child if there is a future you will be
One who will know the truth: may it make you free!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 19, 2006, 9:53 am

Look Us in the Eyes

I have noticed that for some to feel snug
Living in their skins dying in their sins
They find it necessary to be smug
Looking down on others as thus begins
Their disconnect from commonality
With us as though on islands all their own
Living their lives devoid of empathy

Having left us for dead they live alone
In shrink-wrap without solidarity
With those of us outside here looking in
We who find snugness alternatively
Together in exclusion skin to skin

Their smugness stings their selfishness brings pain
But they will pay dearly and soon someday
They will never look down on us again

We face them as they squirm to look away

They fear us more than anything on earth
They know their days are numbered as we rise
They see their death awaken in our birth
We see their smugness falter as we say
Our time has come now: look us in the eyes

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 18, 2006, 10:53 am

On the Sword We Live By

He would singlehandedly save the republic
Except for the fact he cannot catch the public
Eye (ay ay ay): he was not born to be a star

When playing at poetry he is at his worst
He will not be the last as he is not the first
To find himself deluded by ego in vain

And (oops) here comes another monster hurricane
To blow his party line away and rearrange
The climate of his thinking on our climate change

(Poor man! No one will tell you what a fool you are)
Trying to talk to a nut on the Internet
Is the most futile exercise conceived of yet

Those who sit in judgment find themselves judged instead
When ideology
Becomes idiocy

Assuming and presuming until life is dead
As we live so we die
On the sword we live by

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 17, 2006, 10:12 am

Manatee Man

The manatee man cannot see his penis
He guesses if it were longer he could
Guesses again if it were longer would
He be in his dilemma? No matter:
He is on the go while growing fatter
Out on the town now in search of his Venus

Huffing and puffing smiling but bluffing
Sweating profusely hoping obtusely
As only an amorous manatee man
With a will and a way and money can do

Money can be glamorous (he knows it can)
And he is willing to spend
Whatever they charge
For a temporary friend
Looking to live large
With a will and a way and dinner for two

Or maybe for three for four or for more
When pigs fly and when manatee men soar

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 16, 2006, 8:22 am

Rose Riddle

A single rose bloomed and then there were two
Seeing the second one I thought of you
When next I noticed in a moment more
Roses surrounded me two three and four

And now the vine runs red nor can I count
Captured sunsets rising reaching for sky
The universe expands beyond amount
Past figure and sum to totality

Blooming in spring it surprises and I
Am utterly transfigured by a rose
Forgotten long ago and left to die
It whispers the secrets of life to me:

How everything grows (as every rose knows)
How now is all there can be (no "to be")
How looking ahead or looking behind
Makes fools fall down because they have gone blind

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 15, 2006, 10:41 am


A finger is better than any ring
The sea more meaningful than any ship
For nature is the anthem the birds sing

My nature is to kiss you lip to lip

We two whose parts fit into perfect one
By nature drawn together hip to hip
Are bound not by a ring nor anything
But life itself yet there is nothing more
Our children after our parents before
The here and now of us is everything

A mind is not a matter of degree
The spacetime fabric elastic and whole
Transcends artificial conformity

Face to face we kiss as soul touches soul

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 14, 2006, 3:43 am

My Pet and His

A feline dugong shaped fit for the sea
My cat is a landlubbing manatee
Overstuffed in plushest upholstery
And yet I would never call it blubber
He is soft and warm quite unlike rubber
Also unlike dugongs lest I forget
The last thing he would want to be is wet

Freddie Noodles needs me and I need him
I guess that is why I overfeed him
He asks me he tasks me to give it to
Him: cat food kitty treats all night all day
Charmed by his chubbiness I cannot say
No though I know I should but what to do
When the cat eats enough for a household?

He eats for the both of us anyway
And yet he keeps active as he grows old
Even leaps about like a kangaroo
As I have written and as perhaps you
Recall from other poems and pages
My landlubbing manatee is a true
Literary fat cat for the ages

He eats I write and that is what we do
He is my pet but I am his pet too

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

May 13, 2006, 8:20 am


A soothing song at twilight
Is something we might need
Cool-dawning with the moonlight
As balm for those who bleed

A lullaby at midnight
Is something we could use
Sparkling the dark a highlight
Which I would not refuse

Could love songs in the morning
Right when they first wake up
Steal softly give no warning
And make the foes make up?

A soothing song at twilight
As balm for those who bleed
Cool-dawning with the moonlight
Is what I think we need

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI


Displaying Poems 2051 thru 2075 of 2845 Poems

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