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+Steven Curtis Lance

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The Ballad of the Bard Book One
by Peter Jessop

These are the strange and unusual tales of a wandering bard through a fantastical kingdom...  
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Recapitulation II: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
by +Steven Curtis Lance   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2007

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Recent articles by
+Steven Curtis Lance

Stumbling Toward a Bio for Doc PenPen
One of Those People Who Grow Up to Be Comedians
Recapitulation I: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
Recapitulation III: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
Recapitulation IV: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
Recapitulation V: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
Recapitulation VI: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
           >> View all

Recent Poems, Group Two



Reality is relative and specific

To each participant just as each perceives it

Bright and beatific hellish and horrific

An elastic state which is as one believes it

To be

So your reality is unreality

To me


Indeed we live in parallel realities

You there in your dimension and I here in mine

While at the same time there are billions more of these

Glorious unbearable demonic divine

Yet each like its own star in a grand galaxy

We see each other sparkle in propinquity

And other galaxies to great infinity


I sparkle you this greeting across this fleeting

Moment bridging time and space from my to your place

I see you sparkle back a smile and know

We are parallel wherever we go






Curling Up With Cats


The cats are asleep curled up in chairs

I curl up in mine and they in theirs

And no one has bothered us today

Just as we like (may it stay that way)

The cleaning lady comes tomorrow

(A cleaning lady! Imagine that)

I inherited an extra cat

Friends give me things or let me borrow

Whatever I need: thanks be to God


People are reading my poetry

In faraway places across the sea

And though it is strange and I am odd

Some seem very fond of it and of me


The cats are asleep but I will be

Awake for awhile before I sleep

To savor the unaccustomed sight

Of hope as it dawns on me tonight

A light which is warm and soft and deep

Beckons me join in the cosmic dance

For fate has decided to take a chance

On poetry spelled L - A - N - C - E

Curling up with cats at Studio Lance








My Grandpa wasn't my grandfather

Whereas one who was wouldn't bother

While the other one was decades dead

And so I had Chief Graham instead


It was "national security"

My father said which kept him from me

So when I appeared on CBS

Who was proudest of me? You can guess


I made books for him even back then

As a troubled child but he died when

I had turned thirteen because he was

The angel of my childhood to cause

Me to know what it felt like to be

One who is loved and I hope to see

This best man this lost boy ever knew

Who loved me unconditionally

Chief Al W. Graham again

In the next world but until I do:


Grandpa! I'm still making books for you






Handyman Keep Your Hands to Yourself


A hobo handyman a tiny tyrant

Blew in on the wind a tumbleweed my way

As fixed in mind as in form itinerant

To work for free but I could not afford it

To suck my soul away while I ignored it

And I had to let him go for good today


Hobo handyman your handymanity

Is just not worth your unworthy vanity

On the one hand you preach at me and you say

That I am no Christian at least not like you

While on the other hand you ask about sex


Well go to hell alone whatever you do

Stay well the hell away from my house and me

Keep the stink of your hobo handyman hex

Far from me and keep your hypocrisy too

My soul and faith are mine nor can you budge me

How dare you order me about and judge me


O Lord from fundamentalists and handymen

Especially both in one save us now and then






As the Sun Rises


So many pages through so many years

Of my life's ages through laughter and tears

Phases and stages of hopes and of fears

Waxing and waning cycling with the moon

Just out of reach and the sun rising soon


Stones on the beach ride the tide to my hand

I hold them and begin to understand

Nothing is in vain nothing is wasted

Each sight I've seen each flavor I've tasted

Bittersweet savored becomes part of me

Everything I live becomes poetry


Love on my lips curls a smile makes me say

I'm happy to be here glad just to be

My life is as it is this is my way

Fresh flavors to taste and new sights to see

As the sun rises on a fresh new day






Familiar Company


Observed as anorexic seen as socialist

Survivor of abuse yet still an optimist

Because it would have been worse had I known my dad

The Bush administration has me on their list

To me my greatest literary feat so far


Liberal Lutheran existentialist lad

And overall a human being as you are

Some good some mediocre blended with the bad

Intelligence has been fun if rather lonely

Just be glad this life was mine not the one you had


Now dried-up and alone I see it is only




But I remain and in familiar company






Forever Free


I would rather be alone than wrongly paired

As I have been before with one who cared

But little if she ever cared at all


Far better in my solitude to be

A leaf flying free on the wind of the fall

Complete in perfect singularity


With no one yet with everyone on earth

If I know loss I also know new love

And as I know death I also know new birth


The grave beneath my feet the sky above

Now lifts my heart so high that I can see

The grave beneath outgrown a size too small


And my heart forever young forever free

Invites you soar along here by my side

The sun itself our groom the moon our bride






Tube a Tuba


A tube a tuba toothpaste

A train a thought in vain

Wasted through unseemly haste

To squeeze away the stain

Ran off the rails with madness

While toothless tuba-mouth

Oom-pah-pah-ing with gladness

Laughed roses from the south


Squeeze not your tuba top-down

Lest toothpaste never come

Before you see a cop frown

Then feel his kettledrum-

Stick beat dissatisfaction

Behind the lower brass

Squeeze in an upward action

Or take it in the ass






To Care and Care Not


A shadow fell between my friend and me

So dark so cold no light nor warmth between

Could pass one to the other either way

Where once we two had been as family

A wall impenetrable though unseen

Rose to divide between as night from day

An absence and a presence equally

A two-faced wraith which haunts us everywhere

It prisons us that neither one is free

From grave-deep trench and head-high thorny hedge


As love and hate dance on this razor's edge

The more we care not is the more we care






My Religion is Kindness


My poems are written as therapy

I send them to my doctor every day

Only he knows what might be wrong with me

Or right so it is not for me to say


I just know I like to write and drink tea

And I hope that handyman stays away

Since he was altogether too handy

I did all the work myself anyway

But my tenants could crush him easily

Defending their landlord muscularly


I may be strange yet there are still stranger

People out there who cannot even write

I use my charm to stay out of danger

As the angels watch over me all night


I am a blend of English and German

Cultures and something of a hothouse flower

An extremely curious Lutheran

And getting more curious by the hour

But never mind that now I talk too much

Leave it at this as the finishing touch:


"My religion is kindness"

The Dalai Lama said

The cruel live in blindness

I will be kind instead






Rose Red


A rose is blooming in my teacup here

In front of me at Friday midnight where

An hour ago red steam curled up instead

Red petals unfold while I watch them near

The place my mother fell and hit her head

I think that rose knows just what happened there

The blood of life at midnight still runs red


My mother smiles at noon from heaven now

Where noon is midnight here as time stands still

The pieces all fit together somehow

The rose my mother and I and we will

Bloom red nor can death make these petals fall

But to the mystic rain which washes all

Refreshing the living raising the dead


The world rose red within my cup tonight

The rain like fireworks blooming into light






This Gift We Live


Out of the silence the shadowed ones speak

Their breath like starlight on this autumn breeze

Hear if you listen and find if you seek

Those sounds which make the strong weak in the knees

Which simply cannot be and yet which are

Defying sense and sensibility

From past our world beyond our yellow star


In words soft sound and sensible to me

I hear them charge us cherish life on earth

Enjoy and not destroy our fragile sea

Embrace and not deface our soft blue sky

Accept this gift we live and give our best


It still is not too late but we must try

They whisper urgently to me and you

The hour is late but too great is this test

That we should fail through failure of desire

Caring so little for life that we die

The death of earth by water air by fire

I want to live and I hope you do too






Broken: Free


Light of always bright and only

Rain to wash the darkness away

Light the night tonight for lonely

Ones who await the break of day

Under their mushroom clouds of fear


Light of always in your rising

Forget us not in darkness here

You who so enjoy surprising

Those who believe but what they see

Skeptical and enterprising

Tonight make unseen things appear


Light of always bright and only

Rain to wash the darkness away

Spiraling specificity

Of highest purest noblest best

As I await the break of day

From east across the night to west


Come shine your always light on me

Shine me into eternity

Fulfill the promise of the quest

Forget me not and let me be

One whom the truth has broken: free






Rind of Reality


Nothing is as it seems

Our eyes can see but the

Rind of reality

As mottled by moonbeams

This surface which you see

Is but the crust of me


While the real is what the

Eye may never discern

One must look deep to learn

Things are but as in dreams


Which is not to say they do not exist

Indeed they exist in multiple forms

But only to say that one can resist

The dullness which would dominate our days

Trying to conform to commonday norms

Like those who see things as they seem always








Pinpoint puncture in time and space

Manifold manifestation

Of compound reality in

Joyful juncture of life and grace

A multifoliate mirror


A possible explanation

For what is about to begin

Where in the window comes a face

And the image becomes clearer

If only to shatter again


And so it goes at this window

So polished that even I shine

Seeing both sides above below

With all the layers peeled away

Duty delight despair disdain


A thousand thousand times a day

And the face in the mirror knows

What goes will come as what comes goes

The face in the mirror is mine

But the reflection is divine






Smokey Joe the Extra Cat


Smokey Joe the extra cat bumps me with his head

Offering an ear to kiss which I freely do

As he peers out the window from the sofa's back


This cat I inherited was once filled with dread

Now he drinks his water from the tap in the loo

As those who live here know there is nothing we lack

So Smokey Joe the extra cat is settling in


No more cold nights for him he sleeps inside instead

Now as the best days of his curious life begin

I see that he has found what he was searching for


Smokey Joe you are the extra cat no more






As the Night Gives to the Day


You are every song I sing

My poems are all for you

Whether you know it or not

All I write and all I do

Is for you no matter what

Anybody else may say


Count the countless stars which shine

And you count one dream come true

All the sky is yours and mine

For as you give I give too

As the night gives to the day

Nothing less than everything


You are every song I sing






Harvest Moon of Saturday


When moonlit magic shines my way

It feeds my soul and makes me smile

The harvest moon of Saturday

Is something to savor awhile

As I already feel its light

On this bright blazing afternoon

Here on Thursday before the night

Has fallen yet: but night falls soon


And when night falls then I will rise


When moonlit magic shines my way

I dance beneath the waxing moon

And rise with it through velvet skies

Reflecting on reflected grace

Two rovers riding destiny

We bloom full-blown on Saturday

When we reveal ourselves full-face

Ascended to our rightful place


My friend the harvest moon and me






The Man in the Moon


I wander alone at the midnight hour

And see the face of the man in the moon

Who while saying nothing sees everything


Since he says nothing I might as well sing

At least these words if you make up the tune

Because my heart feels like a blooming flower


It waxed with the moon now it opens bright

To taste the magic in the air tonight

Which affects the cycles affects the tides

As well as everyone and me besides


I study the face of the moon and see

That we are different in many ways

He has the gift of patience unlike me


But I agree with how he spends his days

And when I go rambling he comes along

Over my shoulder my friend in the sky


I think he likes it when I sing a song

About how it would be if I could fly

He surely thinks flying is no big thing

But he just smiles and shines on while I sing


I wander alone at the midnight hour

And see the face of the man in the moon

Who while saying nothing sees everything


Since he says nothing I might as well sing

At least these words if you make up the tune






Fresh-Baked and Only for Today


There is a moment more or less

In which right when I first wake up

I find it clarifying to

Begin my day from nothingness

Remembering that all I do

For good or ill to curse or bless

Find new love or kiss and make up

Is only mine to choose and then

Proceeds the somethingness of when

Fresh-baked and only for today

Alone unfettered by some stress

From overnight to overstay


Since new days ought to be brand new

Let each unfold in its own way

Without the complications of

The preconceived: less fear more love






Reality's Ledge


Now in this moment between grace and sin

Here at the meeting place of night and day

Where light and dark play teeter-totter in

Their equipoise I see a middle way

Before the day can end or night begin

Here at the very tip of time I stand


A middleman between two worlds am I

Dark in my left and light in my right hand

The black and white of only one grey sky

As of one world where kiss the sea and land

Converging in our tandem-beating hearts

Make love to me on reality's ledge


In perfect balance as the magic starts

Come dance with me upon the razor's edge

Where we will glide between the to and fro

The universe will make it worth our while

Between two ways the shadow of a smile

Is how you know that now you really know


+Steven Curtis Lance




Copyright MMVII

Web Site: Selected Poems on BrainMeta

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