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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2051 thru 2075 of 2858 Poems

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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

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


Displaying Poems 2051 thru 2075 of 2858 Poems

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