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Recapitulation III: 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 II: 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 Three

My Special Relativity

 

"Monday is such a busy day"

I hear the airplane plainly say

As it sighs and shrugs off in flight

I think this might be a long night

But since I think this Friday last

You see how one lives in the past

 

This soon-to-be Tuesday morning

Fell upon me without warning

Though I am unsure as to when

 

As once I fell to earth in fall

Caught in the wonder of it all

When last I heard the airplane say

"Monday is such a busy day"

I think it was a Friday then

But since I think... but then again...

 

Time is relative anyway

And especially so to me

My special relativity

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling Time a Pinwheel

 

Somehow I knew she was waiting for me

There was a question mark in blue and black

Tattooed in exclamation on her back

Like me she wondered when we might be free

We both knew we had no answers at all

Just questions as we headed into fall

Those unanswered questions life is made of

 

Headfirst head over heels in love with love

And ready for that deep-end dive at last

Which had been waiting for her and for me

With presently no future and no past

No time like the present for us to be

And feeling time a pinwheel spinning fast

We held hands as we jumped into the sea

 

 

 

 

 

Back Home to the Dark

 

I went for a walk with my eyes to the ground

Ordinarily I keep them to the skies

But after that beckoning quarter I found

I knew it could never have been otherwise

 

I looked up and looked down I looked all around

And I could see it was a very good day

To live and especially to live as me

Already seeing how exercise can pay

 

So I pumped my fist in solidarity

With the anti-war protesters in the park

Twenty-five cents richer lucky as can be

And feeling a chill went back home to the dark

 

 

 

 

 

Second Saturday

 

A dirty little man who claimed divinity

Worked its way through all his works walked on my ceiling

Conspicuously lacking in concinnity

All he left were dirty footprints and the feeling

That I never should have let him walk up there

 

But I was too broken then to really care

At the time until those footprints first appeared

Since he made them walking on the other side

Which really is as wonderful as it is weird

Especially now that all the blood has dried

 

I trace the pattern pleasing in its disarray

Of the footprints of a barking madman's reeling

And nobody can see them but for me

And then just on the second Saturday

According to the whimsy of divinity

 

 

 

 

 

Right Here

 

I eat the scraps my tenants give me

And enjoy their youthful presence here

They and the mortgage will outlive me

But without them I'd have died in fear

And probably homeless hopelessness

 

To say nothing of the starvation

Which is part of my situation

By nature and nurture ...yet unless

I am very much mistaken I

Will be eating well until I die

Nourished by their solicitousness

Well enough for me in any case

 

O Lord bless the ones by whom you bless

Your unworthy servant in this place

You gave my ancestors long ago

And have now entrusted unto me

I always believed but now I know:

 

Right here is where you want me to be

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Cure

 

Why does it hurt to grow?

All I know is it does

 

More when fast less when slow

Then never as it was

Or ever as you were

 

This pain is not in vain

But effect of the cause

Of life where growth is sure

And ceaseless without pause

 

Yet pain will not explain

Till death the only cure

For life: by life again

 

 

 

 

 

The Rest Remains

 

for Maria

 

The more I know the less I know: I know

A secret which nobody else can share

I understand myself and poetry

That it is always better here than there

And thank God for the promise of this day

The rest remains a mystery to me

So I just keep to myself as I go

On my softspoken solitary way

 

Eyes open mouth shut keeping my head down

Listening to what other people say

Avoiding the fool sidestepping the clown

Waiting for the blowhard to blow away

 

I walk through crowded streets alone and see

That in the end I am my only friend

A secret which nobody else can share

With nothing left except to simply be

And be more simply here than anywhere

The more I know the less I know: I know

I am my only friend that in the end

The rest remains a mystery to me

 

 

 

 

 

Midnight Song

 

Come let us breathe fresh magic from the air

And feel how free it is to be alive

All times all places always anywhere

Particularly right now and right here

In this our time our place in time and space

As we wait for the magic to appear

 

Come tingle with surprise as midnight brings

Something out of nothing which is born there

Where the moon dances and the raven sings

The song which is the rhythm of our lives

 

Come let us breathe fresh magic from the air

And see what is brought when midnight arrives

When the hands of time are raised to its face

In a timeless moment of victory

The triumph of time having run its race

And won when the clock strikes for you and me

 

 

 

 

 

Pickled Hell

 

for some and against others

 

I do not speak these poems for you

Who tear down to enlarge yourselves

But for those few whose hearts are still true

Not pickled up in jars on shelves

Where bottled-up in brine they will not grow

I speak from a place where these dare not go

 

No! I speak these poems for you who

Can feel your heartbeat in your breast

Your eyes are open your mind is too

To you my best I give my best

And let those who only pick apart dwell

Preserved picked-apart in their pickled hell

 

 

 

 

 

Quiet and Cool

 

when a blowhard blows in then out again

 

Any fool who cannot write poetry

But can skim the first few lines may become

The judge and jury and jailer of me

Or you or of anyone not as dumb

As this self-appointed arbiter is

This tempest-in-a-teapot not-so-hot

Who could burst the bubbles in a gin fizz

By sheer and self-anointed dullardry

 

And so every day the real poets pay

As they pray this gasbag will float away

But until he does he creates his buzz

As he gets his kick from making us sick

While he stars in his deconstructive play

Till it all goes back to the way it was

If tempest-tossed and slightly overwrought

With the exception that we all agree

 

On one thing at least

Having tamed the beast

And booted the fool

Together

Our weather

Is quiet and cool

 

 

 

 

 

Robots Calling

 

Lately when I answer my telephone

Robots ask me rhetorical questions

They hardly need me they chirp all alone

Or accompanied by my suggestions

That they go plug themselves or blow a fuse

 

A robot has rather little to lose

 

Which is actually a lot like me

Although we have nothing to talk about

I could chatter in answer endlessly

I could purr politely or shriek and shout

And none of it matters in any case

 

I like the unpredictability

One finds within our moody human race

Much better than the cold sterility

Of rhetorical robots calling here

Unrelieved by shades of humanity

 

With their chipper chirp and their chilling cheer

 

 

 

 

 

A Rice Day

 

Adding the juice of five limes to my rice

Followed by the salsa I love so well

I feel how blessed I am knowing how nice

Brown rice tastes made tangy and hot as hell

 

So now breakfast lunch and dinner are done

Since this is all three meals in one for me

An abundance worthy of anyone

A piquant and pleasing satiety

 

I do not choose to stuff myself with stuff

I prefer a purer and simpler way

I eat once a day and once is enough

This is a rice day: a very nice day

 

 

 

 

 

Because of You

 

The busy-ness of business threatened

To eat the morning and spit out the seeds

Into these heavy-lidded eyes my friend

Till first you measured then you met my needs

 

Ever since then I am much on the mend

And have had such small successes as these:

The oven man came and made his repair

The garage man filled his dumptruck to spare

Us the ruins and rinds of centuries

 

Someone will live in the garage and we

My properly-working household and me

Will make better use of our groceries

The oven fixed garage cleaned more or less

All because of you my friend to the end

Too busy with living for busy-ness

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Hot Dog Head

 

His head looks like the tip of a hot dog

If he wore a hat I guess it would be

A tip of the hat to a spotted hog

The spots seem to be from the sun I see

Sunspots on that big round hot dog tip head

By which he navigates till he is dead

 

Mr. Hot Dog Head you make me nervous

I try to put the war behind me now

But somehow you are still in the service

You give me sunspot flashbacks anyhow

Marching to the kitchen to the bathroom

Addressing both ends of the meat grinder

A marching hot dog marching to the doom

Which makes us blind and makes you still blinder

 

I thought things were as strange as they could get

Until Mr. Hot Dog Head and I met

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Hot Dog Head Hits the Road

 

Goodbye Mr. Hot Dog Head goodbye

Your past is frying your fat at last

May you reach that big bun in the sky

Run along and try to catch it fast

 

Although I will not miss you still I

Marvel at the shifting shadings of

Your proud pulsing purple hot dog head

I wish you had somebody to love

But I see at least you are well fed

 

Goodbye Mr. Hot Dog Head goodbye

Your flushed head flashing red as you go

Your only love is the kind you fry

But all you can do is what you know

 

Your inner rebirth is in your girth

And we both know that you cannot grow

In any other way at least today

Good luck now as you wander the earth

But please Mr. Hot Dog Head: stay away

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Hot Dog Head is Gone

 

His head was smaller than his neck was wide

His paunch preceded him into the room

He peered perverted was watery-eyed

And when we kicked him out how he could zoom

About with huff-puffing efficiency

The way he did was and will always be

A typical Hot Dog Head mystery

 

He could have had a heart attack and died

Been ground up squeezed into casing and fried

For all the fury of his hot dog ways

As victim of his hot dog headed pride

But huff and puff and in and out he went

And all of us are happy now if spent

Anticipating cooler fat-free days

 

Pull up a chair and stay with us awhile

Thank heaven Mr. Hot Dog Head is gone

But that the moon remains and soon the dawn

Will bring back sunny Sunday memories

Of all the happy times gone by and these

New memories which we will make today

Consider Mr. Hot Dog Head and smile

 

No one comes back from where he went away

 

 

 

 

 

The Rose Within the Flame

 

Tangibility

Palpability

Our ability to touch

What we need we want so much

 

You are the hands of Christ to me

The face of God my destiny

 

My healing comes by loving fire

In the rose within the flame

Speaks me my unspoken desire

When I feel you speak my name

 

 

 

 

 

Uncertain Raven

 

for Franziska

 

I wonder if you love me

I wish you could be here

This lonely sky above me

Seems more empty than clear

 

A raven circles wary

Uncertain in the sky

I feel it knows the very

Day on which I must die

 

Uncertain raven in the sky

I wonder if that day is now

Yet know we never know somehow

 

I only wish that I could fly

To meet Franziska far away

And bring her home with me today

 

Uncertain raven certainly

You see me lonely here below

You know how much she means to me

Tap on her window: let her know

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Leaves and Commonday Miracles

 

It turns out life is simpler than I thought

Commonday miracles bloom around me

Hope on the wind but somehow I forgot

The only way to live free is just be

And take no thought for anything but now

 

What is my place in the universe

And is it for me to say?

Can I make my place better or worse

From one to another day?

 

The answer always comes to me somehow

That letting go is what to do

To float like a leaf on the autumn wind

It seems not up to me nor you

 

We autumn leaves ought not be caught and pinned

But sail the day with a sense of play

As into dust at dusk we pass

Along with summer's waving grass

Under soft snow as we fall away

 

Eternity begins for us today

 

 

 

 

 

If You Want To

 

What a crazy ramble this life has been

And I suspect not nearly over yet

With so much seen some better left unseen

But what I have seen I will not forget

 

Nor would I change a moment anyway

In a beautiful game without regret

I keep my cards close and I mean to play

So if you want to play awhile come on

The night is clear and it is warm inside

You might as well stay awhile until dawn

Make yourself at home and enjoy the ride

 

My finger feels freer without a ring

Once I was lonely but now I am not

For freedom is better than anything

I just got sentimental and forgot

 

Nobody cares about me like I do

But you can stay with me if you want to

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow Never Comes

 

The King of Spain shot a tame drunken bear

In Russia on a trip he took up north

A King of Spain is a pain anywhere

Dramatizing things demeaning the worth

Of tame drunken bears as they roll downstairs

 

Is it "long live the king" and never mind

A drunken bear ended up dramatized?

 

It gives me pause but I am not surprised

That the King of Spain had a bear behind

Since this is not the first time nor the last

The present was prevented by the past

Tomorrow never comes in any case

No use of standing gaping and aghast

Although I can certainly understand

 

Just apologize for our human race

We even kill each other on command

And tell God sort them for us to our will

The King of Spain has a bear behind still

As the past returns and the future burns

 

It is "long live the king" and never mind

A drunken bear ended up dramatized

 

 

 

 

 

Heaven on Wheels

 

a sonnet for Franziska

 

Franziska rollerblades the cobblestones

Gathering speed when fast wheels strike smooth tar

But she will not fall she will break no bones

Nor will she ever be struck by a car

For this is how God works his wily will

Through Franziska franzipping down the street

Teaching us joy all the way down the hill

The joy God would show us before we meet

The model he shares with us of his grace

In order to prepare for the surprise

When unnumbered stars skate before our face

And the blindfold at last falls from our eyes

 

I hope we are on wheels like she is now

Who transcends the why to embrace the how

 

 

 

 

 

Heading Home to You

 

Taking the long way but heading home to you

Dreaming of your love at the end of the day

All through my wandering that is what I do

 

Heading home to you but taking the long way

False starts with false hearts small actors in big parts

Having seen it all now I see what is true

And I know exactly where I want to be

 

Wherever you are there is my family

I rest in your love at the end of the day

Taking the long way but heading home to you

 

 

 

 

 

This Rambling Road

 

I have been wandering for so long now

Sometimes it feels like heaven sometimes hell

This rambling road of mine and yours as well

Will get us there but only God knows how

 

It seems so hard to get a step ahead

So easy to feel several steps behind

I will lose myself in your eyes instead

Of understanding lest I lose my mind

 

I am so glad you travel next to me

It seems the more I think about the road

Passing from October to November

The longer it is the heavier the load

 

But you remind me so I remember

This ramble is our march to be made free

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying the View from the Carousel

 

If I were not like you would I then be

Expected to fit your expectation?

 

The death of individuality

Of the specificity of the soul

Is the most personal degradation

 

Our relationship has always been free

Of control where each partner plays a role

According to some predetermined plan

So this is no problem for you and me

 

Each of us is part woman and part man

And we fit according to the season

As we have since our adventure began

 

Riding things out through rhyme and through reason

Enjoying the view from the carousel

Having this one chance to live all we can

We know the best revenge is living well

 

 

 

 

 

Completion

 

The thought blooms into my mind that another mind

Is directly connected to mine at this point

 

By reading these words tomorrow from yesterday

 

We are conjoined now with no before nor behind

But are connected by common cause and a joint

Fascination in discovering this two-way

Passage of our neurological energy

 

That what it means after all to be you and me

Is ultimately discovered in reflection

What it means in the end for you and me to be

By looking within in the other direction

 

We look in each other's souls and our own we see

And our completion in our incompleteness find

 

+Steven Curtis Lance

 

 

 

Copyright MMVII

Web Site: Sea Stones



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