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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2126 thru 2150 of 2844 Poems

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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

Mar 6, 2006, 5:14 am


When I refused to be
Could I begin to grow

There was nobody there
There was
Nobody anywhere

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

Now I refuse to be

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


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


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


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

Feb 17, 2006, 9:28 am

My Truth is in Your Beauty

People and trees are marked by the times in which they grow
Both shaped by the storms and bent by the winds as they blow
Even rocks and mountains rise and fall as do we all
People have so little time to notice as they go
We never see where we are going till we are there

By then it is too late to notice too late to care
And we never know why just as we never know where
We arrive if we do how or why we are alive

Nonetheless here we are: both of us left to wonder

And not about arrival but simply survival
I have given up trying to find out what is true
The one known in this unknown is that I feel alone
All I know is that survival feels better with you
My truth is in your beauty and that will have to do

I want to make love to you before we go under

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Feb 15, 2006, 10:14 am


Valentine's Day turned out to be
Quietly meaningful for me
Content and continent I know
The love of those I love will grow
I washed my clothes and hung them out
To dry along with all the doubt
I had and held beneath bright sun
That even this heart has someone
To love with whom its love to share

I reach out and find she is there
That she was waiting all along
That life is good that love is strong
That there is hope that I can see
That love makes both of us more free
Than we could ever be alone
Franziska! You have always known
While I have been a little slow
To know what you will always know

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Feb 14, 2006, 9:18 am

Curtain Call

Now as I write myself out of the play
Time comes and goes and brings a change of scene
I live I love say what I mean to say
But there is no one to know what I mean

With the audience I will fade away
Along with you who will fade away too
Yet all of us as one now we who fade
Encore the light as we pass into shade

After a good run when the play is done
As we fade together then you and I
As all who are born and who live must die
In birth and death as in life we are one

The curtain is certain to fall on us all

And so we write ourselves out of the play
Time comes and goes and brings a change of scene
I lived I loved said what I meant to say
But there was no one to know what I mean

Let all of us as one now we who fade
Although we fade vow not to fade away
Encore the light as we pass into shade
The end of the play surprises this way

The curtain must fall before our curtain call

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Feb 10, 2006, 4:54 am

Souvenirs in Winter

for my son Stevie

My son brought me a bag of rosebuds of which to make tea
And when the water meets them then they bloom
A Valentine's present profoundly inspiring to me
When they spread rosebud-fragrance through the room

Like the ancient breath of angels preserved
As treasure reverentially reserved
For only the highest and holiest days
I will not make tea of them after all

Instead I will cherish them sacred always
My souvenirs in winter of the fall

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Feb 8, 2006, 5:05 am

Black Star

The hills are on fire now it is raining ash
The cremated remains of the might-have-been
Ashes to ashes as panoramas crash
Like the stock market does every now and then
In the biggest magic circle you have seen
Down here in town the air is brown and the sky
Looks like hell which makes me never want to die

Burn to turn to burn to learn
Purify my heart by fire
Burn away my dross and bring
Out my gold by suffering
Purify my heart's desire
Burn to learn to burn to turn
Purify my heart by fire

It sprang up in Black Star Canyon where I spent
So many magic nights indeed the whole of
My adolescence with amorous intent
And there I learned well the gentle art of love
Black Star Canyon is pleasure and never pain
No houses are burning just nature turning
It all burns black but then it all grows back again

Burn to learn to burn to turn
Purify my heart by fire
Burn away my dross and bring
Out my gold by suffering
Purify my heart's desire
Burn to turn to burn to learn
Purify my heart by fire

Tonight the winds will howl the flames will rise
Burning turning learning turning burning
As Black Star Canyon magic fills the skies

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Feb 7, 2006, 8:01 pm

Bright Red

Three kids a cat a book which is bright red
I hold it in hardcover and I say
"I hope one of my kids will call today"
While a cat purrs his friendship by my head
This book has nothing to do with the one
Who posed as my wife once to steal my life
Nor any of those other horrors done
To me taking advantage of my trust

Three kids a cat a book no boom no bust

The kids have all grown up and gone away
Today the only child left here is me
And I will never grow up but someday
They will come back to scatter on the sea
My elemental essence which will be
Close-followed by a book which is bright red
The cat will be all right with his nine lives
Along with the kids their husbands and wives

The big wheel keeps on turning so they say

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Feb 7, 2006, 1:33 am

Hope Rising

Once I loved madly
And so I believed
Someone who badly
Abused and deceived
My absolute trust

When tears rained sadly
My gold turned to rust
All I had received
Was false fairy-dust

I was a mouse for a kitten at play
To whom I never mattered anyway

But: do you know what?

I get the last laugh
She wounded me but
Now comes the next half
They popped her bubble
Shut down her con game

She is in trouble
Now buried in blame
As her woes double
Along with her shame

So: justice is not dead and I can see
Out of these ruins hope rising for me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Feb 5, 2006, 5:51 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1424:
Escape into Light

Sunday morning: I would go to church but for
The fact that I am afraid to go outside
Sooner or later I would go to the store
But for the fact of slow-motion suicide

I wonder if anyone knows what I mean
Or if anyone bothers to read between
These lines all perfected and polished to grace
Or if one can see the skull behind this face
Come clearer and nearer and dearer to me
As it smiles at me and speaks of destiny?

Sunday afternoon: I think about the night
I wonder if anyone knows what I mean?
The meaning is found in the spaces between
The places where trapped souls escape into light

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI

Feb 4, 2006, 10:22 pm

I Choose "Be"

Most of us here in this world are lonely
You have to be lonely to see it though
We search for love so earnestly only
To find it always just beyond our reach

In the end only we lonely ones know
Among the ruins of us all and each
That what we sing of love is just not so
That those who find it soon lose it again
Having tasted heaven then fall to hell

Only we lonely ones really know pain
This world is hell enough we know too well
But heaven flashes every now and then
Probably just a cruel illusion

And yet we still hope never knowing when
Lightning might strike to end our confusion

All of this teaches me celibacy

No light just pretty lies and weeping skies
Empty arms and "To be or not to be?"

Alone and accepting it I choose "be"

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMVI


Displaying Poems 2126 thru 2150 of 2844 Poems

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