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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2101 thru 2125 of 2828 Poems

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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


Flash

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


Ghost

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








Mar 6, 2006, 5:14 am


No

Only
When I refused to be
Lonely
Could I begin to grow

Because
There was nobody there
There was
Nobody anywhere

Before
I had refused to see:
No more

Now I know there is no
Other who would ever
Stay one who would never
Disappoint nor hurt me

No: all would desert me

Only
Now I refuse to be
Lonely

No visitors no phone
No lies just what is true
One needs to be alone
For that which I must do

Fashioned in darkness from smoke into flame
When you see these ashes: ...remember ...my ...name

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Mar 4, 2006, 11:20 am


Dream

Child of an awkward age
And hard to understand
On nightly pilgrimage
Within a darkened land
I would no longer stay
Where plastic wraps the rot

We have no more to say
Your eye avoids my eye
We know that we know not
I shake my head you sigh
And I go on my way
To find what we forgot

Long shadows drown the day
And sunken lies the sun
Now night will turn the page
A chapter now begun
In darkness for the mage
Whose work is not yet done

The road embraces me
Here night and day are one
No false light mocks my eyes
I need no light to see
Right through the world of lies
Past false "reality"

To dream and to be: free

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Mar 2, 2006, 9:57 pm


Circle Song



Apricot blossoms adorn an old tree
Once planted by a child who grew to be

Me

And now bees and finches are visiting
As the early spring birds nearby nesting

Sing

A circle song of continuity



+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Mar 2, 2006, 12:21 am


Life is a Wheel

Everyone seeks to leave something behind
Something by which to be remembered when
As we pass into the dark flying blind
And know we will not be coming back then
It is our hope that someone will recall
Something of us as wings fail and we fall

Something which could continue to be part
Of the fabric of life woven into
The quilt which warms the universal heart
Made up of the hearts of me and of you
But that which is born never really dies
And monuments mean little in the end

Old faded life lives on in bright young eyes
In those moments like these we share my friend
With the whole human race through time through space
Through life through death we share heartbeat share breath
We are as it were out of many one
And everyone is found in anyone

Everyone seeks to leave something and does
But that which is left is not made of stone
Or stocks or gold or real estate because
Only life lives and no one lives alone
Life is a wheel perpetually spun
Each ending a new turning is begun

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Mar 1, 2006, 1:38 am


If I Should Fade Away

If I should fade away
At least I have said
Just what I meant to say
And at least you read
What I wrote you today

I gave you my heart
Which is more than most have done
Expressed through my art
Finished what was first begun
When my world fell down around me
To reveal a better one
Became the man I meant to be
Rode the rising setting sun
And wrote it down as poetry

Having had my say and day if small
I might not even fade away ...at all

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Feb 26, 2006, 8:28 pm


Sidewalk Semper Fi

I hugged that boy from Concert Choir tonight
Right out of high school he joined the Marines
And he told me he had just gotten back
From his third tour of duty in Iraq

I hugged him grateful that he seemed all right

Standing on the sidewalk here at home means
So much more now having been wounded there
In Fallujah second tour and my prayer
Is that all these kids will come back to me

Then I saw that edge of war in his eyes

From first blood on the blade of destiny
Adrenaline flash smoke flame dust and fear
Twenty-one fifty-one both realize
Whether in war or on the sidewalk here:

Life is never how we thought it would be

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Feb 25, 2006, 10:31 pm


Sure as the Sunrise Stalks the Night

I have done a lot of grieving
But I did it all believing
That someday things would turn out right

And even through all my straying
I have done a lot of praying
That I might never lose that light
Which once my mother gave to me
Even in this darkness I see
Hope: small ...so faraway ...yet bright

I stalk it still I must I will
A mortal ill with mortal chill
Sure as the sunrise stalks the night

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Feb 24, 2006, 11:28 pm


Dancing Naked in a Haunted House

The inscription on the back cover says it all: "I have not lived in vain but lived for this." Since my Collected Poems were published in 2004, I have lived and learned, loved and lost, and lived to love again. This is the journal of my journey, contained within these three hundred pieces of my heart. This is my best, and never mind the rest.

As the title indicates, I write from my heart to yours, "dancing naked" as it were as I deal with disability and struggle to survive in this house haunted by a hundred years of the colorful history of my strange family.

The poems cover the entire spectrum of human experience from tragedy to triumph, despair to delight, and all my adventures between along the way. I am a wanderer, a lone wolf, an outsider looking in. This is my story, this is my heart in three hundred pieces. I offer it to you with love and the pride of an honest craftsman, in both softcover and collectible hardcover editions:

Softcover Edition, $12.95: http://www.lulu.com/content/236341

Collectible Hardcover Edition, $22.95: http://www.lulu.com/content/236404

Respect and solidarity,

+Steven Curtis Lance








Feb 22, 2006, 11:40 pm


Touching Hands and Hearts as We Do

for Franziska on her birthday

Civil war in Iraq
And plague is coming back
This time around known as bird flu

Our people are in pain
Our leaders are insane
What on earth are they thinking of?

We can only wonder
But if we go under
I want to go under with you

However hard we try
We live awhile then die
Win and lose laugh and cry

What we are looking for is love

We simply want to be
At peace and safe and free
To live with dignity

Not to be beneath nor above
Touching hands and hearts as we do

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Feb 20, 2006, 10:14 am


Dusty Lace Spun Round and Round

Violet incense on the air
Existential absurdity
Dusty lace curtains everywhere
And a bloodstain on the carpet
Like the things I cannot forget
Make this the only home for me
I tell the kids and I tell you
Never explain your poetry
Because those who will get it do

The rest will never be impressed
Though they seem cross they are depressed
They say their freedom is not free
And so it seems yet in their dreams
They fly up to where they can see
My house down here where I am found
Wreathed in violet smoke and bound
By dusty lace spun round and round
On transcendental fantasy

I wave to them and say good night
Their bubbles burst upon first light

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Feb 20, 2006, 2:49 am


The Death Penalty for Suicide

Is suicide against the law?
And what is the penalty? Death?
All I know is I saw what I saw
And it took away my breath
As well as perhaps my dignity
But by that time there was bound to be
Trouble and my bubble burst in any case
Tell me: why did I come here in the first place?

Come to think of it I never came
Certainly not voluntarily
I am not really the one to blame
For the rupture of reality
How on earth I should come to birth
Remains a mystery to me
Yet here I am for what it is worth
Now if only fleetingly

The death penalty for suicide
A governmental answer
Strong deterrent and statement beside
No one allowed to outrun the clock's tick-tock
Let people die of cancer
Or heart disease but naturally
If that is more natural than
Being killed by one's fellow man

I think I will just have to run out the clock

Stupid people stupefy
Muddled people mystify
Suicidal people die
In my case I think that I
Must muddle through along with you
As best (tick) I (tock) can

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI








Feb 19, 2006, 2:52 pm


Tending the Light

fiat justitia ruat mundus: fiat lux

Humankind seems hell-bent on being unkind
As if shedding the skin of humanity
Like a snake wriggling out of its higher mind
No more content to agree to disagree
Now everyone must be absolutely right
Generating so much heat so little light

Those who are locked-out look from the outside in
The last having least the most generous here
Who cannot compete and therefore cannot win
But neither can they lose and are used to fear
And these are my people out here in the night
Have your heat inside: out here we tend the light

+Steven Curtis Lance



Copyright MMVI











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