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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2201 thru 2225 of 2837 Poems

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Nov 28, 2005, 10:32 pm

Avocados and Pomegranates and Crystal Meth

On this startlingly sparkling autumn day
I went out in my backyard and I found
Two big ripe avocados on the ground

I never eat them but give them away
Left in a shopping bag for my neighbor
Who gives me pomegranates in return

I never eat those either but I learn
Dynamics of friendship trade and labor
Backyard fruit becomes currency exchange
Barter economics if rather strange
Practiced with green and red commodities

Avocados and pomegranates are
Coin of the realm in neighborhoods like these
Subtropical fruitful communities
Trading in subtropical oddities
Nobody here keeps their fruit in a jar

I only wish I had an apple tree
Now there is a fruit on which we agree
If I had apples I would eat them all

A crazy man came screaming down our street
Pushing a shopping cart and pulled by death
Shopping for something which we do not grow

And somewhere within his bone-chilling call
I heard somebody who might like to eat
A pomegranate or avocado

I also heard the cry of crystal meth

But he was so angry he scared me so
For now it looks like I may never know

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 27, 2005, 10:32 pm

At the Brink of Time

The light of the sun is rearranging
Reality by shadow every day
From furthest point of east to furthest west
Day for night and night for day exchanging
Those exchanges the moments I love best

The world keeps turning I keep moving on
The lotus unfolding before my eyes
Led by the light I celebrate the sun
Embrace the skies to trace its set and rise
When day is best just ended just begun

When light has just arrived or has just gone
The world seems more alive as we all spin
There on the threshold at the brink of time
Light manifests most lucid most sublime
Where life and death as day and night begin

Sometimes I wonder who I am and why
I find myself revolving on this ball
What to do how to live and how to die
And then there are those times I realize
I rather wish I were not here at all

But I look to the horizon and sigh
When light has just arrived or has just gone
No matter what the reason I am here
The world keeps turning I keep moving on
The lotus unfolding before my eyes

So I hold on and look to dusk and dawn
It seems the trick is not to yield to fear
Light always returns although it may hide
Each dawn each dusk is still a sweet surprise
The coming and the going make the ride

At the brink of time on a spinning sphere

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 26, 2005, 10:38 am


All of the same difficulties remain
Which had vexed me so a few days ago
They have gone nowhere they are still right there
Where I left them where they had caused such pain
The difference is I no longer care
Having found my sense of humor again
By which to laugh at frustrated folly

If educated I am "elitist"
If I ask questions I am "defeatist"
Not idiotic? "Unpatriotic!"
They have found their problem and it is me

There is no logical explanation
Why I should feel such a jolly Chahlie
Except what my mother old-fashionedly
Referred to as "righteous indignation"

Which is simply another way to say
That I refuse to be dragged down today
To where their nattering inanities
Wheedling would lure me to degradation
But my faith in my friends and family
Life's virtues instead of its vanities
And my love for you will carry me through

I resolve to get up go on the town
And never let the bastards get me down

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 25, 2005, 1:09 am

Fasting on Thanksgiving

Perception is reality
What we believe is what is real
Existing in the way we see
Reality is what we feel
Just as we discern it to be
Your truth while absolute to you
Is only relative to me

Illusion is that deception
Subscribed to by one who believes
Being the myth agreed upon
Because of hope in what deceives
A dream by which to muddle through
Most often no real harm is done
It seems the dreams sometimes come true

Reality is perception
Falling into the mind like leaves
Of many colors in the fall
Fluttering life down from the tree
These days of our lives one by one
Passing before our widened eyes
Pieces of you pieces of me

Beautiful truths beautiful lies
Beautiful chosen parts of all
And then it ends to great surprise
We know death comes yet never see
The mirror of mortality
That unrelieved that unbelieved
Last unperceived reality

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 23, 2005, 4:21 pm

Happy Thanksgiving

White moon winking through newly naked trees
Sparkly stars
Rusty Mars
Friendly voices like windchimes on the breeze
Fuzzy hats
Cozy cats

Coming together on evenings like these
Through the miles
Our shy smiles
Tonight are mixing up good memories
Old and new
Me and you

Stars and Mars and the moon likes what she sees

Loving and living
Happy Thanksgiving

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 22, 2005, 1:43 am

The Light of Autumn

The days are short but sharp and shining
Brilliantly bright and perfectly clear
Before the smiling sun reclining
Welcomes the moon as the stars appear
The sky itself deftly defining
The clarity of this time of year
When the heart is called to contemplate
Answers of life and questions of death
Matters of faith fame fortune and fate
In every heartbeat on every breath

We wonder but it is not too late
No never too late to leave behind
The mistaken notions of our past
We can think a new way change our mind
We can make the dream come true at last

In the light of autumn we can see
Reflected there in the sparkling sky
That we can do better here below
Better than this and we have to try
We look within our heart and we know:

The future is up to you and me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 20, 2005, 6:16 pm

A Love Song for Thanksgiving

At the turn of time on an eve this fair
With the sky this open the night this clear
The scent of windblown sagebrush on the air
And the intuition I belong here
Feeling strangely now I should be kissing
I find that old existential despair
At least for tonight has turned up missing

What do you do when this happens to you?
A situation I do not know well
Wary I wonder if this could be true
Since most often I spend the night in hell
I can only conclude a change of mood
Along with the season is the reason
The scent of windblown sagebrush on the air

Seems like Advent might be the advent of
Something like hope even something like love
At the turn of time on an eve this fair
As Thanksgiving comes I am thankful for
My life and I would like to live some more
What do you do when this happens to you?
I take what God sends and see how this ends

What I will be as this happens to me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 19, 2005, 12:48 am

Hollow Stone

I keep filling myself with emptiness
Diet cola from the grocery store
If I am not dead already I guess
I might as well wait around a few more
Days for a few more ways to go crazy

If reality is it is hazy
I used to be so sure of things before
Which now seem to me to be meaningless
If that is not too decided a word
Perhaps a better term might be "absurd"

What the hell was all the drama about?
Flopping around like a fish on the pier
Death-throes of innocence? Birth-pangs of doubt?
The hour is late: time to get out of here
I would go home if I knew where to go

Holiday hearts echo like hollow stone
Fear over here over there the unknown
I guess you have to die to really know
Flopping around like a fish on the pier
The hour is late: time to get out of here

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 18, 2005, 4:47 am


The leaves which had turned
To flame have been burned
Away in the ire
Of the wind's cold fire
Impatient to sweep
In a change of scene
Harvest will not wait

The trees go to sleep
Knowing that the lean
Time of year has come
If only for some
While others grow fat
With secrets to keep
As the hour grows late

I think about that
Feeling like a tree
In a change of scene
Swept impatiently
Something which has been
A season before
A once present date

But not anymore
It is not for now
Yet will be again
As time will allow
To bloom when the rain
Wakens everything
At the turn of spring

No doubt no debate
Darkness encroaches
Winter approaches
And as it begins
Becoming clearer
Mortality grins
Back from the mirror

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 17, 2005, 5:12 am


When you have nothing to lose you have nothing to worry
About anymore and there is no reason to hurry
So people like me find ourselves living calmly content
Beyond having and holding profit and loss continent
Within the irreducible borders of our remains

*Accepting I have nothing I inherit everything

Beyond caring anymore past the passions pathos pains
Which spin the normal self in a personal tornado
Of ego up down round and round until away they blow
Like dry leaves in autumn when it is over just like me
In the end the fact I know this is that which makes me free

*Accepting I have nothing I inherit everything

Deep in my heart I have always known to let it all go
Is the only way to break free of the things which weigh me
Down prevent me hold me back my possessions betray me
The material world would bury me in its embrace
Smothering and entombing me in context held in place

*Accepting I have nothing I inherit everything

Very well then destiny take me: I let it all go
I must die to the earth if I would be born to the sky
The flower must dry away the seed must fall away to grow
This caterpillar would at last become a butterfly
Very well then destiny take me: I let it all go

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 15, 2005, 4:32 pm

Out of the Dark the Magic is Rising

Tonight beneath a soon full rising moon
A crackle of excitement sparks the air
On this eve of a full moon rising soon
A surging energy as it expands
Draws you and me and the sea everywhere

Everyone feels its magnetic demands
To open our hearts our minds now to dare
To offer our spirits with open hands
"Open" it beckons us: "open again"
Love will fall in the full moon's light like rain

Out of the dark the magic is rising
May you be one who shines who understands
That the moon's rhythms are real and remain
Up there outside down here inside of you
The pulse of life which no one need explain

Come open with us now we happy few
The favored who do not find surprising
That the moon is alive is filled with power
And never more so than the full moon hour
Love will fall in the full moon's light like rain

When the moon unfolds like the lotus flower
"Open" it beckons us: "open again"

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 14, 2005, 10:07 pm

Shared in a Kiss

A posse of paranoid preachers runs my government
Fingering strings of their figurehead puppet-president
I might be out of my mind but humankind should be kind
So it would seem to me but that is my insanity
Though I might be as Christian as my judges I am not
Worth listening to since I remind them what they forgot

Should these overlords cut off my Social Security
To punish me now for speaking my mind
That way when I die in the gutter I will die for free
Medi-Cal and Medi-Care just like life remain unfair

They talk about us being left behind
All I know is those who have been the most unkind to me
Say the least loudest have seeing eyes blind
Because they dare not open them to see us as we are
Their religion and politics mix to hypocrisy
The love taught in the gospels dried up in an airless jar

Or is it that we lesser creatures lack humanity?
Some of us live in this world here and now and their rapture
Which will whisk them out of the mess they made
Leaves us in their plan as prisoners fit for their capture

They huff and puff but I am not afraid
I trust in you and me and common sense
My peace of mind sufficient recompense
To fight with my last heartbeat to the end
My love for humankind my last defense
My last breath shared in a kiss with a friend

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 13, 2005, 10:24 am

Orange Public Library Construction Site at Night

Where the new library will be
Massive iron arms rise facing
The racing avenue and me

I stand there before them under
The shadow of their embracing
Sculpted soaring wings with wonder
Knowing they will embrace me soon

Iron sailing November skies
Rising by the light of the moon
Flight of fancy literally

Literary and otherwise
Third incarnation library
On this same patch of earth to rise

Place of pilgrimage where I learned
That which I know and where I met
So many pretty girls and earned
A name some fame as poet where
On youth's impatient heart was burned
In me the love of learning there

"Recall it all and none forget"
It calls to me "but come and see
That we will be our best here yet"

There I will be found where paperback bound
We will share umbilical connection
In the Local History Collection

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 12, 2005, 7:58 pm

Promises of Beautiful Things

My son stayed the night and then made the bed
In the morning without warning
Or fanfare no expectation of praise
But just because it seemed it was
The sort of thing one ought to do these days

I met his band mate last night and he said
That I am just like an older Steve Lance
Which is the name he and I share
These days people often compare
The two of us favorably I see
As delighted I dive into this dance
Which began if at all long before me

Young and old in the fall a November
Pregnant with the promises of
Beautiful things which we will remember
Grown children with band mates who love
Us as we are there in their car

Out in front of this house where the window
Looks on the future as the past would know

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 12, 2005, 3:13 am


Mental flatulence and constipation
Confusion mingled with befuddlement
A general sense of consternation
Of wondering where the merriment went

All of these things and worse can happen to
Anyone anywhere woman or man
All ages all races even to you
Should you be seduced into muddlement
And your soul reduced to Republican
Enslavement ground to pavement left behind
To muddle in the puddle of the mind
Which they think they have destroyed but cannot
Which they think they have silenced but are wrong

They never have been very smart that way
They think they can crush us but they forgot
God can hear even when liberals pray
Nothing can stop us none can hold us down
Their narrow heads spin to find us too strong
For them to overcome by their attack
Hold tight and fight for dignity today
And we can smile to see narrow heads frown
When they think we are cornered we fight back

I resist for I have nothing to lose
The narrow heads underestimate me
But I will stand up to them as I choose
They huff and they puff and they debate me
What a sideshow what a cheap thrill it gives
They fume and hate and foam and berate me
As they reveal where intolerance lives
Their narrow heads can think no new thoughts so
Unable to expand they simply blow

I call them the popcorn conservatives

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 10, 2005, 4:40 pm

We Win in the End

All of the ghosts of my past are at last
Dead and gone away and I am alone
With the future presently rising fast
And it will be good as the years have shown
This book of my life by chapter by verse
Progresses toward the better from the worse

I win in the end I have always known

But what a struggle it has been
And what a lot of pain
What disappointment I have seen
And must see yet again

The autumn rain has come the birds have flown
But I have three children I have a friend
Even if the end should come tomorrow
No matter what now I win in the end
I embrace life in its joy its sorrow
And in its apparent meaninglessness

The winter wind comes in its time
Nor does it hesitate
But I will set down in my rhyme
What I do while I wait

Love those who love me laugh at those who hate
Pity those who curse me bless those who bless
And always join with those who celebrate
This life as I do yielding to our fate
With confidence we will somehow get by
And live all we can before we must die

We win in the end we have always known

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 9, 2005, 10:42 pm

And Time the Wheel Keeps Turning Steadily

The season is changing gradually
A few raindrops a few red leaves at play
As autumn arrives incrementally

I go out to embrace late summer's day
Only to have autumn gently remind
Me what the calendar says presently

The future slips forward the past behind
And time the wheel keeps turning steadily
It turns as a beautiful carousel

A riddle now demonic now divine
Sometimes it is heaven and sometimes hell
Nonetheless beautiful always to me

I ride the wheel and find it suits me fine
Enjoy your ride and see you ride it well
For we must pay for that which we will see

We ride forever but no one rides free

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 8, 2005, 5:59 pm

Red Maple Trees November Memories

8 November: the day my Grandma died

I am lucky to have red maple trees out my window
Especially in November
When without losing their dignity they put on a show
One which I always remember
Through these fifty years of looking out and watching them grow
Taller each year but always red

Some who watched with me once are dead
While some who watch with me now were not yet even born when
I gathered those leaves with wonder
For the first time standing under
Those red maple trees of my memories looking up then
Imagining what it would be like now
In the far distant future to share these
Red maple trees November memories

And now I am still standing here somehow

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 7, 2005, 1:49 am

Life Runs Deep

She thought she saw something she had not seen
Yet she refused to believe it
She feared but suspected what might have been
Yet she preferred to just leave it
To that twilight at the back of the mind
Where we believe we leave such things behind

Denial was incapable
Of making reality disappear
For it was inescapable
There were such things as ghosts and he was here

So she learned what the wise have always known
There is more to life than first meets the eye
That consciousness does not end when we die
That life runs deep: we are not here alone

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 6, 2005, 6:46 pm


He became isolated toward the end
At least to outward appearance
Losing a wife and then friend after friend

While immune to interference
By conventional reality
He made his own friends by poetry

If only from a distance still they were
His lifeline at the last especially one
Who kept him "sane" those years and without her
More than he did he would have come undone

"When this you see remember me" he said
"Halt die Ohren steif" she replied
I know she will long after he is dead
He loved her till the day he died

In that abstract and lonely way he had

She was the one who really knew how sad
He was because (though she knew he was mad)
I think she loved him just as he loved her
As the perfect couple who never were

Yet somehow could be in eternity

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 5, 2005, 9:56 pm

Code Blue Butterfly

Social Security wants to screw me
How I wish it were a woman instead
Not in some cold cubicle to do me
The honor but just let me die in bed
The rich get richer and the poor enlist
But I am past that now so I resist

The irony is I am really sick
Far sicker than I once was long ago
One would think that diagnosis would stick
But what would a non-Republican know
Some no one like me who writes poetry
I never even met Scooter Libby

If only they would bother to look at
My insides with an expensive machine
For which they would not pay they would see that
There are good reasons why I am so lean
Yet there is a certain peace which comes now
I just no longer give a damn somehow

Social Security is a bureaucracy
Does not have feelings as you and I do
Here in these dark days of Bush's theocracy
The time has come for me to go Code Blue
But what the hell I might as well try to enjoy
That which they cannot understand nor yet destroy

My doctor will try and my attorney will too
And praying more than I have for awhile
Whatever happens next I will remember you
And hope I was able to make you smile
Just another nutter who died in the gutter
If I fall I fell for democracy

But I wish it had been for a woman instead
Good night to Dick and Karl and all the lords of war
If I really hurry I can still die in bed
I might have been a poet but I was no whore
And in the end it was well worth the pain
To never have to see their like again

At the end of the world seems a good time to go
As good a time as any if I must
And after I am gone no one will even know
The truth because they only saw my crust
No one will ever understand me live or die
That all I wanted was to be a butterfly

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 4, 2005, 6:45 pm


Nothing makes a person more unpleasant
Nor soils and spoils the personality
Than inappropriate pride when present
This problem steals upon us stealthily
And robs us of our humor and our grace

Pride isolates us from the human race
Or insulates us from the suffering
Of other humans as we beat our drum
And blow our horn demanding others sing
Our praises or else face the wrath to come

I am proud of my children as you are
And of Freddie Noodles my big fat cat
I am grateful for my Grandpa's old car
A pretty girl (and just leave this at that)
I do my best to write good poetry

But leave to others to be proud of me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 4, 2005, 10:02 am

Interstitial Space

The space between life and death

Dividing future from past
Between this and that next breath
From this heartbeat to that last
Eternal twilight somehow
Separating day from night
This frail filament of now

Fragile as a dawn wind kite
Just after the sun appears
Fall and rise and truth and lies
Before the moon disappears
As the lightning cleaves the skies
Grief from laughter joy from tears

The losing from the winning
Stunning triumph stunned defeat
From one to the other hand
As the circle turns complete
The ending and beginning
Demarcated by a strand

Dynamic stasis spinning
Like the sea waves on the sand
Earth and ocean husband wife
Dancing on the razor's edge
Poised and balanced on the knife
Standing on the summit ledge

The space between death and life

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 3, 2005, 4:07 pm

We Shall Be Free

At halfway through my mortal span I have once more begun
Speaking truth to power again till our lost freedom is won
And if I have to live a hundred years then I will do
Whatever it takes as long as it takes to fight for you
Against a protection-racket which counts our souls their cost

More than two hundred years of liberties in five years lost
While we stand stripped defenseless cowed to silence counting dead
They tell us to keep silent and do what they say instead
But I tell you I stand with you in solidarity
Dark the hour and the time has come for speaking truth to power

I remember reading how this happened in Germany
But never dreamed I would live to see it happen to me
And they try to silence me but they will never succeed
They continue to wound me but I continue to bleed
And I will bleed out words and write these poems in my blood

Although they tried they failed to wash us away in the flood
Of their slick lies and now they realize that we can see
Them for the fools they are so they make war on you and me
Dark the hour and the time has come for speaking truth to power
I stand by you and swear before the world: we shall be free

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Nov 1, 2005, 8:06 pm


The reality of diversity
Is scarcely tolerated when at all
Our young are taught it is perversity
And surely will lead to the nation's fall
By those who would control our days and ways
Therefore my fellow outcasts we must raise
A great roar of defiance in the face
Of this new smiling Nazism here
Which preaches we are outside of God's grace
As they control the populace by fear

The rural poor are manipulated
Tricked through their very faith out of their souls
By the richest who are consecrated
Only to cynical corporate goals

Good people in need are feeding the greed
Of oligarchs who use the wrath of God
To make them afraid of anyone odd
And to always watch out for Democrats
Lest the earth be destroyed by hurricanes
Perfectionistic poets who keep cats
Earthquakes and all the other labor pains
Of earth birthing death for you and for me
Blame us and not the climate change we see
They say does not exist: I say RESIST

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV


Displaying Poems 2201 thru 2225 of 2837 Poems

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