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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2426 thru 2450 of 2844 Poems

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Jul 6, 2005, 4:51 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1407:

Midnight seems to me to be the juncture
The intersecting point of death and birth
The spacetime fabric subject to puncture
When heaven might intrude upon the earth

Or even soaring earth to heaven climb
On ardent wings two lovers in embrace
Exceed their limits to attain sublime
Transcendence with their passion as their grace

And in those hours which follow silently
We see the face of God in you and me
The absolute the ultimately real
Expressed beyond the realms of dark and light

We cannot speak it but can only feel
The intersecting juncture of midnight

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 5, 2005, 7:33 am

Transcendental Sonnet #1406:
Almost Midnight on the Fourth of July

Almost midnight on the Fourth of July
And all the fireworks blown up and burnt out
Leave an acrid tang on the shattered air
Men shot from car to car and more will die
Out on the freeways still tonight no doubt
Brawling driving drunk crashing everywhere

I brought in Grandma's forty-eight star flag

And I could taste it as I replaced it
To its safekeeping as troubled thoughts nag
Scary people scurry and I worry
As they rush to board their flights and hurry
Through the smoky night before the red light
Awakens us all to reality

Blind justice is dead as we shall soon see

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 5, 2005, 12:38 am


Some trophy-loves cause atrophy
One nearly was the death of me
And what a fool I came to be
For love

But finding her heart made of stone
I now prefer to be alone
If unknown now I choose the known

All else I choose to remain true
To myself and my own and you
Could do worse than to do this too

Should she read and get wind of this
Then I would feel her stinging kiss
I do not care I am not there
But free

No trophy but no atrophy

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 4, 2005, 7:57 pm


My son called with a question
About chess
I made neither suggestion
Nor a guess

I never got good
Nor quite understood
This game
Nor one other:


By name
With possibilities
And dread

For questions such as these
I said
Call your brother

The one who might have known
Is dead
And better left alone

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 3, 2005, 10:34 pm

Goodbye My Love

If I have offended
Whatever I have done
To make you hate me so
Now that love has ended
A new day has begun
And now we must let go

Forgive and let me live
And may you find someone
Who will be better than
This brokenhearted man
I say the best man won
Whoever he may be
We know he is not me

Live and let live: forgive
Forget and may the best
Be yet to come the rest
Forgotten in the past
We loved each other so
But now we must let go
Forgive: live and let live
And live in peace at last

Embrace the open sky
Goodbye my love goodbye

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 3, 2005, 9:06 am

I Ask No More for Love

I ask no more for love only for peace
That love turned hate would turn again away
From dark obsessive bitterness and cease
To torture me and let there dawn a day
When I at last am free once more of she
Whose love has now been twisted into hate
Which drives her to destroy me utterly

Love is not dead but wears a mask of late
Of leering sneering anger which consumes
One who was once so tender young and fresh
But now lurks as a ghoul among the tombs
Conspiring to consume my living flesh
I only would move on and live and write
Yet stalking in the darkness is her ghost
Which waits within the shadows of the night

My enemy who loves and hates me most
My loved one lost once brightest and once best
May you find peace somehow may you find rest
May you be found in everlasting light
Released from hate's hell and again love-blessed
May grace return and grant us both release
I ask no more for love only for peace

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 2, 2005, 7:09 pm

And We Will Smile Awhile Before We Go

Fleas very much prefer
My cat when he is present
They camp within his fur
And make a life most pleasant

For them anyway

For him I would say
They do not
And they ought
To just go away

But if he is outside
Not on my bed
Then all of them decide
On me instead

Tonight our fleas are acting strange
Sensing an atmospheric change
They flee and leave us vacancy

Is it just me
Or is it cold
To be a flea

Or am I old?

Something is not right
And is broken in the weather
On this summer night

My cat and I curl together
With windows closed tight
Against a strangely spreading chill

Or am I ill?

In any case
The fleas have gone
Withdrawn with grace
Until the dawn

But then my face
Will be able to feel the sun again
When time and space
And life and death will be begun again

Whether or not my cat is on my bed
The sun will rise
To my surprise
And by tomorrow the fleas will be dead

But I will thrive
As I have before
And be alive
To live all the more

I am not old
I am not ill
There is no cold
Nor any chill

Nothing to keep dreams from coming true
We will make a go of it fleas or no
I will make up songs and sing for you
And we will smile awhile before we go

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 2, 2005, 7:55 am

Reply to a Left-Handed Compliment

New friend my fellow trafficker in rhyme
Tracker and detractor at the same time
I thank you for your kindness
And I forgive such blindness
As I see in you when you look at me

You have knocked at my portal
Now I make you immortal
The ridiculous now becomes sublime
The dumb will speak but the blind will not see
Therefore let us agree to disagree

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 2, 2005, 6:01 am

Happy Birthday to the USA

As everyone else is leaving town
Leaving it quiet leaving it nice
I am settling in and settling down
With my cat and my bowl of brown rice

They can have their barbecues and beer
Preferably far away from here
I will not eat meat but I will greet
Independence independently
By writing poetry drinking tea
And being free out in the sunshine
Of my weekend ghost town feeling fine

I would love to shoot off fireworks
But they made them illegal (the jerks)
Nor will I go to a public show
With fellow citizens I don't know
Just write a poem or two or three
And as they celebrate I agree
To say in my own if offbeat way:

(This is not the day to say
That the war has come to stay
And will never go away)

Happy Birthday to the USA

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jul 1, 2005, 7:38 pm

As Night Falls Hard

As night falls hard we stumble into dark
Hold on white-knuckled to the air and fall
Cats running scared cause skittish dogs to bark
They say that day might not come back at all

The evil omens grin up mockingly
They spook us round the corners seem to laugh
Yet in their dead eyes tears burn shockingly
Mere pawns like us they see the darker half

All over town we all fall down and try
Somehow to find philosophy in this
But there is none left just the Judas kiss
Of feeling outsmarted by ourselves now

Our children search our eyes for hope somehow

But there is none left nothing left but why
And why again and how can such things be
And how can this be happening to me
And why once more and how can God allow... ?

And still without an answer then we die

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

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


Displaying Poems 2426 thru 2450 of 2844 Poems

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