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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2401 thru 2425 of 2809 Poems

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Jun 30, 2005, 8:57 pm


Elusive reclusive enigmatic
Radical outsider undogmatic
Dogma will be run over by karma
But for me my poetry is dharma
A poet with no axe to grind my mind
Would seek to leave all narrowness behind

I have no desire no taste no craving
For the cant nor the rant nor the raving
Of those to whom such things seem effective
Predestined to disdain the elective
They have no regard for the collective
As if since we seem a minority
We are unimportant mere you and me

In fact intact we the majority
Could really shake them up and they can see
This so they fear our very presence here
In their promised land of the hidden hand
I am a well-meaning democratic
One seen as a threat: am I then? You bet

But for me my poetry is dharma
Radical outsider undogmatic
Dogma will be run over by karma
Elusive reclusive enigmatic

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 30, 2005, 7:32 am

Bicycle Starlight

Riding a bicycle with no brakes
Under the stars of a summer sky
The heat of the day has gone away
And I have forgotten my mistakes
As well as yours nor will I ask why
Things are as they are and that is all

To ride this bicycle and not fall
And to feel the night rush past me fast
Is more than enough and all it takes
To make life worth living forgiving
You and me and this mulberry tree
Which very nearly ran into me
I turned too soon looking for the moon

But no harm done and it is all one
Because what I mean to say is just
I love you in the summertime dust
Though neither of us can find the moon
Tonight we know it is still up there
And if not tonight then some night soon
That moon will follow us everywhere

Nobody ever looked so pretty
As you do tonight here by starlight
Keep me here away from the city
Here where all the wrong things turn out right

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 29, 2005, 9:50 am

Transcendental Sonnet #1405:
Independence Day

What you call Iraq today
We used to call Vietnam
Nightmares never go away
If sometimes you wake up from
Them you go to sleep once more
And they have been waiting for
You and no one else will do

It will never end young friend
Sleep and never question why
Forward march and Semper Fi
Big brother is watching you
And his nightmares never end
Hear the grateful nation say
Happy Independence Day

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 27, 2005, 9:30 pm

While I Was Sleeping

While I was sleeping
The world was creeping
Away from me on tippy-toes

What went wrong neither of us knows
But now we can no longer recognize
Ourselves the way we were and realize
That somehow over the course
Of days and ways a divorce
Took place so we might as well finalize
This fact and just accept things as they are
Keeping our grace and not rolling our eyes

This solar system while no cookie jar
Is still not big enough as to allow
The luxury of never seeing how
The world and I are faring once apart
This calls for two sharp cookies which we are
And we will have to be urbane and smart
A worldly human humane world somehow
Sharing the universe better than worse

I wish you well world truly from the heart
And I will muddle through as best I can
An out-of-this-world otherworldly man

We both turn around but no turning back now

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 26, 2005, 7:31 pm

A Call to Resistance

The people have been torn in two
As war wastes life and drains away
The future's hope from me and you
A stain of blood descends to stay
The proud hand which holds suffering
And leads but to decline and fall

Proud they sowed but harvest will bring
Disgrace unless we soon and all
Stand free to see the prophecy
Fulfilled in us and turn away
From masters dark with cruelty
That stalking death no longer slay
The young that what could be would be

The path of peace has overgrown
Restore the road which leads to light
That madmen might be overthrown
Before there comes no end of night

Does no one still believe in peace
Enough to struggle for release
From this cold stranglehold of pain
And would we see our womb our tomb?
Our last best hope at dusk of doom
Is that we find our voice again:

Resist the grasping grip of gloom
Speak truth to power and scour the stain

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 25, 2005, 11:54 pm

The Existential Question Shared

Why does it hurt us to exist?
Is it like this for everyone?
Could it be some better resist
The pitfalls of life sun to sun?

Is this the effect of abuse
Suffered individually
Or the scar-tissue and debris
Of all our collective refuse
Suffered as a society?

Are these feelings equally real
To everyone or do we feel
Them all somehow more acutely?
Relatively? Absolutely?

Although we might well never know
Since we exist let us persist
Wander and wonder as we go
In this existential question

Others whether by suggestion
Or example can help us grow
I know it is better to be
Together my friend you and me
So much unknown not borne alone

And the total is the sum squared
The existential question shared

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 25, 2005, 9:35 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1404:
Saturday Sad Smile

My young friends speak of battle
Of warfare of the spirit
I see they are not cattle
And so I smile to hear it

Armed only with my wounds though
The passion of poetry
They know well I do not know
And that is enough for me

I have embraced this and that
Through the years and through the tears
Now I just embrace my cat
With a sad smile face my fears

Only poetry and pain
As the world turns round again

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 25, 2005, 4:10 am

Friends and fellow poets:

Some of you have questions about publishing your work, and I would like to share a little of my own experience with on-demand publishing with you in the hope that it might help you as you explore your options. This is something which has worked for me and for others of us here in our BrainMeta poetry community.

Over many years I have published a lot of music with traditional publishers, both in choral octavo form and gathered into books; I got to be an expert at the traditional music publishing business over the years.

I was working with a small music publisher with which I enjoyed a very close relationship, and we had the idea to do a book just of my poetry as a thing-in-itself, just the words as it were with no music. I had done original texts for my choral motets over the years, and I have always written poetry, so this seemed like a good idea.

Well, the music publisher was an elderly lady who was very, very conservative, and she began to take offense at certain of my poems! She became uneasy about the project, which had been for a book of one hundred poems called Existential Hot Dogs. My sense of humor got a bit past her, and some of it she thought might be at her expense. To make a long story short, she decided to bail out, leaving the book project high and dry.

By now the poems were really piling up, too; in addition to well over the originally agreed-upon hundred, I was well into my series of Transcendental Sonnets. I have 1403 of those so far, but it was the twenty-first one which really made her mad somehow. In any case, she didn't get my jokes.

I was really depressed. I had taken care of first my mother and then my grandmother as they sickened and died, and then when Grandma died I had a two-year legal nightmare with this crazy uncle who tried to steal my inheritance. He got away with everything but the house, and for that I had to fight four lawsuits and win them, which I did. But I was really drained and disappointed to lose the support of my publisher.

I was with Silke at the time, and she undertook to try to find me a publisher in Europe. She was sick, but did her best, and our friend Sander Maltelid shopped the book all over Sweden. He was getting very close, but then, tragically, died under terrible circumstances. He was one of our original forum members here.

So now it looked hopeless. I looked into options in new technology, in "on-demand publishing," or POD. I did a web search and found Lulu.com, one of many such companies which manufacture books on demand, which is to say that the book is printed after the order is received, made to order. This service is free, and the author becomes, actually, the publisher, keeping most of the profits, just as publishers have always done!

But you really have to be techno-savvy, which I am not, and my first attempt to gather all my poems together and upload them to Lulu to create a book had some problems. I found the computer-formatting which the process requires to be really hard, at least for me. Many people find this to be the case, so Lulu connected me with an editing company and an editor who solved my problem and made that first book turn out really nicely in the end.

While the publishing process is free and open, as a happy and tangible result and benefit of the digital revolution, one has to pay for an ISBN number and distribution. But the fees are relatively not that large; about two hundred dollars gets your book out there all over the world on the Internet, on the Amazons, Barnes and Noble, Blackwell's, and so on. Editorial services are more expensive. My fifth book, which should be ready by Tuesday, cost me about five hundred for the formatting and uploading, including the creation of the covers, table of contents and other "front matter," all the things which make a book a book. Lulu--and there are a number of other companies as well--can recommend great providers of editorial services, who will handle all the details of the publishing process.

I am doing my fifth book right now, and others here on BrainMeta have done books through Lulu as well, including Hey Hey, Kevin (Windowmaker), and Megan (Rosediamond), among several of us. I guess I was the Guinea pig! But it turned out well, and others have had good results as well.

I would recommend you do a web search of on-demand publishers. I know Lulu works for me; I am not personally familiar with the others, but there are several.



Poet in Residence

Jun 24, 2005, 10:22 pm

Lonesome Train

Lost and faraway lonesome train
I love to listen to your song
When I hear you I dream again
Of one I knew but do not know
The one I lost the one I long
To see who is but cannot be
Of whom the memory burns strong
I feel like you sing just for me
A distant echo of my pain
We may be lost but we are free
To weep together lonesome train

I never knew but I know now
That she is just like me tonight
I hear you through the clear moonlight
And I can hear her sing somehow
You may be lost but I have found
Her voice again within the sound
Of your song as you sing I see
Her face again within the moon
I know we are together still
And always will come very soon
I love her and I always will

When I hear you I dream again
Lost and faraway lonesome train

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 24, 2005, 2:20 pm

How You Haunt

I wonder if you ever
Think of me
Do you think it was never
Meant to be?

We called it fate
But that was before
Love felt like hate
When we were no more

Then love blew away
On the wind
Of a bitter day
At the end

Now I want
To kiss you and say
I will never forget
How you haunt

I miss you today
Do you ever regret?

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 24, 2005, 10:15 am


Who was she
Who was I
Who were we?

Why Why Why?

What does it mean
What was what was
What might have been?

I wonder because
I cannot forget
If ever not yet

I am sure she has forgotten
All about me now

No doubt

Lesser me the misbegotten
I must live somehow


+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 23, 2005, 12:11 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1403:

It would now appear that I cannot stay
Suicidal for much more than a day

The waters of my life get really rough
But when I wind up sinking far enough
To hit the bottom I bounce up again
Absurdity through buoyancy takes pain
Away a day or so into the gloom
And I laugh alone in a lonely room

But better lonely room than lonely tomb
From lonely womb through fifty lonely years
Absurdity has wept away my tears
Has kept me afloat somehow until now
And I never could have stood it unless
It all had not been so ridiculous

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 23, 2005, 7:44 am


I went through a phase
In my younger days
Of saying outrageous things to see
What those more mature would think of me

They never thought much
But then it was such
An unoriginal device
They never needed to think twice

Just some kid trying to be shocking
They sighed as I thought I was rocking
Their world with my originality

But I was just another bore to be
Dismissed with a sigh
I never knew why

Until kids started doing this to me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 22, 2005, 11:20 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1402:

Once I was believed to be anointed
To do important things before I die
Then I was fifty and disappointed

A failure who could only speculate
Somehow I knew I would never know why
This is that special cruelty of fate
Causing us to wonder as we blunder
Searching for some answer as the cancer
Eats away today and then tomorrow
Is our last and still there is no answer
Which is because there simply never was

So what is left of me? This poetry
Thousands of poems which I leave to you
Debris of a dream which never came true

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 21, 2005, 10:05 pm


Tasting sweet apples in my mouth
Inhaling roses from the south
While summer wind plays in my hair
No far no near but only here
No fair no unfair and no there
No up above no down below
No past no future and no fear

This is it this is all I know
More than enough for me in which
To be complete and to be rich
Call me a bastard or a b*tch
Call me whatever you want to
But your hollow heart will haunt you

Jasmine tea is enough for me
My jasmine blossoms bloom at night
In my backyard by full moon light
Open your eyes and you might see
Open your heart and you might feel
This is it this is what is real

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 21, 2005, 6:00 pm

The Moon and Me

I have followed the moon from night to night
Have tracked her sky to sky from near to far

Like me she is a fugitive in flight
Choosing to stay where the mysteries are
By cover of darkness soft and sable
The moon and I have always been able
To do what we please and bring to their knees
The arrogant who think they know better

And we two utterly confound them by
Moonbeam and letter breaking the fetter
Of ignorance and narrowmindedness
Which they would use against the moon and I
Could never understand their ways unless
These fools imagine they can bind the sky

Well they cannot and they forgot that we
Are pretty slippery the moon and me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 21, 2005, 7:42 am

Summer Solstice Song

The longest of seasons
The season of the sun
For so many reasons

The best

And now it has begun
Not a moment too soon
Both bright sun and full moon


Longest day shortest night
The season of the light
By which now everyone

Is blessed

Summer! Come shine on me
Whether bright moon I see
Or blazing sun that we
All of us now may be


+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 21, 2005, 2:43 am

One of Those Little Surprises

A stalagmite in my freezer rises
Formed drip by drop up from the frozen floor
This is one of those little surprises
Which lacking a cogent why and wherefore
Can only make us ask and speculate
As to what it might mean as it is seen
Growing daily as relentless as fate
Inscrutable and cold and crystalline

Today it is beginning to prevent
My access to the coffee can behind
It seems so serious and so intent
Upon its growth as if possessed of mind
I touch it with respect in greeting when
I visit as intruder to its lair
Have tea instead and leave the coffee then
I know not what it means: but it is there

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 20, 2005, 8:35 am

Transcendental Sonnet #1401:
Faraway Friend

Faraway friend there is nothing we lack
Nothing divides us not distance nor place
Time-travelers you forward and I back
Both east and west and up and down with grace

Two souls who understand themselves are free
To navigate transcending time and space
To understand each other and to be
Together whether noon white new moon black
Or any of the shades of blue between

No matter how we soar we cannot fall
And only we who know know what we mean
We rise and set together with the sun
And with the moon we wax and wane as one

My friend you are not faraway at all!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 19, 2005, 7:58 am

Transcendental Sonnet #1400:
Speaking Silence

So there we stood face to face
Not future nor past at last
At the same time and same place
And speaking silence followed
Louder than a startled shout
A pregnant pause which swallowed
Whatever remained of doubt

So there we go at least we know
A thing or two of me and you
We both did our best on the test
At least we went on with the show
And until then we never knew
So there we stood and there we go
Late-season blossoms red and blue

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 18, 2005, 10:53 pm

Mortality and I Agree

Time wakes me as gravity shakes me
I get older with each passing day
And I might as well just accept it
It is either that or pass away

And should I presume to reject it
Then I would see it rejecting me
To be so bold as to not get old
But never to get ahead as dead
Time will never stop until I drop
Will not wait no matter what I say

So I say go ahead bring on these days
As well as everything this lengthening
Of days brings I accept it let it be
But do not choose to lose my childish ways
An old-souled child whose curiosity
Makes me go with the flow where it takes me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 18, 2005, 11:19 am

Some of My Hair Will Still Be There

Some of my hair is no longer there
Not completely missing from one place
Just a little bit from everywhere
Plenty left with which to frame my face
And I will never lose any more
Thanks to my doctor and the drugstore
Finasteride not suicide for me

I mean to live well and all I can
I must age but would do it gracefully
A kind and thoughtful old gentleman
Meaning well avoiding hell and sin
Living according to long-term plan
Having given up cigars and gin
The horse races and gambling places
Never allowing the house to win

Last night some stranger or another
Mistook my young friend for my brother
I see better living through chemistry
And a vegetarian diet
My life is successful if quiet
I might live to see a hundred maybe
And some of my hair will still be there

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 18, 2005, 8:20 am

Bumblebees and Butterflies

Bumblebees and butterflies
Bumble and flutter by me
Each morning to greet the sunrise
And they never deny me
Their bumble-fly company here
In the late spring of the year

Still after summer's dawn when spring has gone
It is not very hard in my backyard
To see life bumbling and fluttering on
No matter what goes on with humankind
Through greed and folly cruelty and war
Bumblebees and butterflies pay no mind

The lower we sink the higher they soar
Their actions speak more than our words can say
In my eyes bumblebees and butterflies
Could teach humankind to live better someday
Reminding us not to leave balance behind
In the fall as we all bumble-fly away

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 16, 2005, 11:32 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1399:
An Honest Gift of Love

My new book is black with a picture of me
On the front and the back in the middle
The letters of the title shine in gold
With my name in foil as the fruit of my toil

The design is suggestive of riddle
And of the secrets those black covers hold
For adventurers whose curiosity
Would lead them astray from the commonday bland
To enigmas of my heart drawn by my hand

I would give everyone my book if I could
Hoping that somehow I might be understood
Something new for the few for those with a true
Heart open hand open mind to understand
An honest gift of love from me to you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 15, 2005, 9:20 pm

Dancing Monkey

Once I was told the world was waiting for me
I think it has given up and gone away
Now none adore me and many abhor me
They accept my calls but expect me to pay
And you might agree it would all seem to be
A ridiculous joke in rather poor taste

Whoever is in charge must find me funny
A wanderer walking through a world of waste
Rooting through the rubble looking for money
And able to find less than nothing at all
Neither funny nor money but meaningless
Humpty Dumpty should confess and take the fall

Some cosmic idea of a prank I guess

Evolution or creation
These cruel clever strings I cannot see
Which control this situation
Have made a dancing monkey out of me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV


Displaying Poems 2401 thru 2425 of 2809 Poems

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