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+Steven Curtis Lance

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Recapitulation V: 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
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Recapitulation I: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
Recapitulation II: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
Recapitulation III: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
Recapitulation IV: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
Recapitulation VI: A Quarterly Review of My Poetry
           >> View all

Recent Poems, Group Five

Her Name Was Patricia


My mother became more and more like a bird

Until she flew away on the twenty-third

Day of November it hurts to remember

Of Nineteen Ninety-Eight on that date I hate

Which will be the date of Thanksgiving this year


Thanksgiving comes back some years early some late

For others but never came back to me here

And yet I am thankful and appreciate

That I had the mother I had when I had

Who died singing I know because I was near

A sweet sad old song in a voice soft and clear


She thought I was gifted I thought she was great

We had nothing but it never seemed so bad

Scarce money sad sickness scant hope and no dad

My mother though frail bore the burdens of all

And showed in her death what it meant to live strong


This year on Thanksgiving I will sing this song

For my songbird who flew away in the fall






My Providential You


As lacking as I am in common sense

I am thankful for the kindness of friends

Providers of that gentle providence

Which gives me hope and helps to meet my ends

In spite of the scarcity of my means


Somehow I always survive winter's greys

As surely as the coming of spring's greens

As dependably as nights follow days

But this security would never be

And I by now have landed in the street

Without you who have been so kind to me

And pulled me from the bogs of bankruptcy


As lacking as I am in common sense

A higher mind than mine caused us to meet

A greater strength than ours will see us through

Providers of that gentle providence:

I thank you all providential you






These Autumn Stars


Watching these autumn stars twinkling

Like silver and blue bells of ice

I can almost hear them tinkling

The sparkling sounds of paradise


When the night is open like this

Revealing its patterns clearly

The sky a deep blue velvet kiss

I can feel the stars and nearly

Taste their diamond coolness sweet

Yet subtle as my senses greet

The Other which they represent

And thank them for reminding me

Here in the chill of night half spent

What I am here for is to be

With all my senses wide awake

No matter whether day or night


These autumn stars which make me take

Another look make things look right

As not just with my eyes I see

But with my soul I see the light






Midnight Consolation


Knee-deep as I am in November

(With December coming soon)

It helps me hang on to remember

That I always have the moon

And you do too


Something we can depend on


For me and you


Her changes chart how dreamers exist

All our waxing and waning

Rightly regulated by a force

Impossible to resist

At least for me


Nor would I be complaining

About what I spend my wishes on

And will these wishes come true ? Of course!


Still... until they do... my policy

(With December coming soon)

Is wait and see


But: I always have the moon






My Brother Bee


A worn-out bee would rise and fly but falls

Having always flown it will fly no more

And knowing or not knowing then it crawls


Having always known I would only soar

When I came to be as this bee is now

That I have to crawl on the ground till then

I see that we are opposites somehow


But in the same predicament today


I hope it knows not as I know not when

It will fall still and I will fly away

And yet it might know as I might know too

To die to fly is what we are and do


This bee and I like Peter on the sea

Treading the elements till we find out

Will soon learn our lessons of faith and doubt


As we both sink will anyone catch me?


My brother bee I leave you now to fly

As you have flown in life now as we die






To Be Lonely


This is how it is then to be lonely

At the end of the day it settles in

Where I thought I saw someone was only

No one in the shadows of after-all

And nothing in spite of what might have been

Or if anyone my own reflection

On shards of mirrors broken in the fall


Mortality my original sin

And darkened mirrors in each direction

Analogous to the elements of

Earth water air and fire faith hope and love

As well as time and space and life and death

Seen dimly in the half-light from above

And oxidizing slowly with each breath


This is how it is then to be lonely

On shards of mirrors broken in the fall

At the end of the day it settles in

Where I thought I saw someone was only

Mortality my original sin

No one in the shadows of after-all

And nothing in spite of what might have been






It Was You


Lonely I thought that I wandered alone

My whiskers whitening through years of care

Out rambling straight into the great unknown


But now I can see you were always there

For all of the way for all of this time

By my side for the journey all along

Behind and before me leading the climb

You have kept me sane you have made me strong


To feel all alone in the universe

Is a hard thing and it could have been worse

I only wish now I had known as well

As you did all this time how I could be

So close to heaven and so far from hell

With someone who cares right here next to me


Until I noticed my dream coming true

I never even noticed: it was you








Where the shadow falls from eternity

Through contemplation vigil and fasting

A star arises from the heart of night


To comfort bless inspire and simply be

From everlasting to everlasting

First last and always uttermost the light


The gift is given to us just the same

As to the immortals even to me

Although a fragile thing human by name


No broken hearts are deemed unfit to see

No empty hands unworthy to receive

Nor can it be bought for gifts must be free


The shadow only asks us to believe

That first it must fall for the star to rise

And fill from the inside these empty eyes








The memory of life in my front door

Remains a secret deep within the wood

What came from the tree will never forget

What is of earth is of earth understood

When it reminds us of what we live for


The forest of a hundred years ago

Is present in this door a century

And all of us who sprang from earth should know

The memory is not forgotten yet

There is kinship between this door and me

Which runs as deep in fall as sap and blood


And when the winter comes the wood will show

That it remembers long-forgotten snow


Covering the forest of memory






Survival Sonnet


Just being born I won the lottery

Then surviving all the crises after

Surprising everyone especially me

Through stubbornness and some well-placed laughter

A smattering of grace a splash of style


Still here to enjoy the absurdity

I take it with a grain of salt and smile

Since not taking things too seriously

Seems key to survival after awhile


I have died once and have lived lots of things

Been nearly buried been dearly married

Have worn disguises and symbolic rings

But it has been best of all just to be

A wanderer everlastingly free






Love is Free


The parts of me in balance form the whole

Of me and I need all my parts to be

Complete even if completely alone


I wanted to share but she wanted more

I hope she found what she was looking for

But what she really wanted was my soul

And without my soul there can be no me


I can see now how she felt incomplete

Hungry for someone else's soul to eat

How sad that she could never find her own!


Hollow and empty starving at the feast

Her means could never justify her ends


I wish she could have shared awhile with me

I wish she could have tasted love at least

And her soul and my soul might have been friends


She never understood that love is free






Life Instead


Death speaks to a beast and that beast knows

There can be no argument and goes

Quietly into the shadows when

Called accepting its time has come then


Such pure inevitability

As is not given to you and me


Death speaks to one of us and a fight

Ensues and pursues death through the night

Instead of giving our breath away

Being rolled over then playing dead

Breathe then the harder and vow to stay

And fight all night chasing death away

Of to be or not to be to choose

Loving to be and hating to lose


Death speaks? We hear: but choose life instead






One Hell of a Ride


The wind is all wound up and coils waiting outside

Crackling as it sparkles with electricity

Looks like we could be in for one hell of a ride

On a moonlit magic carpet of destiny

With dusk long forgotten and with no dawn in sight

I can feel the fabric of relativity


The stars are flashing cryptic messages tonight

Will they be understood? Well we must wait and see

Until then all we can do is enjoy the sight

Linear captives of nonlinearity


Embattled but emboldened as we grope toward light

Shattered in a thousand shards spread across the sky

Scattered by the wind in a rude liberation

In which the moon and stars and you and I must fly

Stirred by the storm in the fever of creation

Which work is not complete and which can never be


The wind is all wound up and coils waiting outside

I think it might be fun to take it for a spin

Looks like we could be in for one hell of a ride

On the roulette wheel but we have to spin to win






Got What He Wanted


Steven with a V but stoned nonetheless

He never did well in captivity


Commercial failure critical success

Not good for much except for poetry


Practicing daily his eyes on the prize

With perfectionistic avidity


And some new bullies to bring down to size


His house not before but now is haunted

So in the end he got what he wanted






Apple-Crisp Moments


In this late autumn twilight

Cusp of winter pairing of

Late morning with early night

It feels right to be in love

And hugging you through layers

Holding gloved hands snug and tight

Confounding such naysayers

As dare not bear light aright

So theirs simply slips away


You can sing about spring

Say what you may of May

But this December day

I can tell you one thing:


These apple-crisp moments of fall

Are what we live for after all






Christmas Carol


Come Christmas come to far and near

Around the corners of the dark

Starlight we have been waiting for

Who live next to or in the park

Return us to your childlike ways

Who have grown up so stern and stark


Remind us of the child whose birth

With animals and human love

From everywhere to every here

Came once and comes again to earth

Upon your pilgrimage of days

Your spark in our dark solstice sky


The secret of the meaning of

The birth and bearing of the light

The ageless angels rustling by

The crowning glory of the year

The rose of love which does not die

Buds to bloom magic at midnight


The miracle: now as before








Life is nothing like I thought it would be

I wonder if life is like this for you

I never imagined complexity

Could be this beautiful if scary too

I suppose this must be reality

The consequences of the things we do


This reality feels unreal to me


I only take what touches me as true

You touch me in the dark until I see

Replacing old complexity with new

More beautiful if scary than before

But I am not complaining since I seek

To touch reality beyond this week


Nothing like I thought it would be but more






Orderly Retreat


I lived a lot and wished some I had not

To wonder why I was and was not dead

And how it is that I should still be here

While others have been chewed and spat instead

But then I realize that I forgot

An answer in this life is seldom clear


An orderly retreat and getaway

A descent which almost mimics a climb

Just make it look intentional they say

Nearing the end of another failed war

Looking for leaders but nobody there

I have to wonder what we fought it for


Life slips away a little at a time


Maybe the chickenhawks ought to explain

Their reasons so wrong and our costs so dear

The deaths the amputations burns and pain

They talk but no one listens anymore

They argue all day but why should we care?

Our ears have been dulled by artillery


We listened once before but not again

It was always true but now we can see

How they lose then they use humanity

They lose their own they should leave ours alone

But then we realize that we forgot

An answer in this life is seldom clear


Life slips away a little at a time








I was what I was what is done is done

But how I hate to disappoint my son!


A slow dance with death at 3:53

In the morning he will most likely be

Disappointed even angry with me

When he finds out I had to leave somehow

I failed him once now fail him once again


The distance between life and death is now


I tried to but I could never explain

Now orphaned like me perhaps you can see

How it is to get to be fifty-two

Life sheer and mere disappointment and pain

To break deep enough for both me and you


I was what I was but was never free


A second time I leave you at the door

Afraid to die but unable to live

Like then I cannot be me anymore

I only hope this time you can forgive






The Game Itself


That which is learned the hard way

Is hardest to forget

Having turned a few hairs gray

And left behind regret


The spring fling of a young day

Need never end quite yet

We might as well enjoy it

Whatever the "mature" say


They envy us I bet


Love lives and knows no age

And no one can destroy it

None but ourselves alone


Our prize of pilgrimage

Learned the hard way makes us whole

In the way the wise have known:


Journey is destination

The game itself the goal

Love in my estimation

Is what has saved my soul






Fortune Cookie


Talk less and listen more

My fortune cookie said

To stop being a bore

Be empathic instead


And I might learn something along the way

From something somebody else has to say


Thirty years have passed now

Each season in its turn

But I am aghast how

Some people never learn


If we all could talk less and listen more

To something somebody else has to say

Think and then ask what we are dying for

We just might learn something along the way


The way away from war:

Talk less and listen more






Where Old Sailors Go to Die


I made a fool of myself for love

But better for that than for hate

Better than sinking to rise above

The roaring tide early than late


Now late I want to do it again

From what I can remember

Having forgotten about the pain

Here in this mid-December

If only to keep warm

In safe harbor from the storm

Until the spring returns when I

Sail to return no more


There where old sailors go to die

Love beckons from the shore






Wrong Turn Eternity


I took it to be for eternity

But eternity disappointed me

Taking a very wrong turn for the worse

Decreasing the size of my universe


Eternity might have been a few years

Some love some laughter and quite a few tears

Some unforgettable memories too

I lost you but did I ever have you?


Nobody has anybody ever

Eternity it turns out is never








Tragedy is easy comedy is hard

Everyone knows a broken heart or rumor

Of some great misfortune in one's own backyard

One has to search to find a sense of humor

And then it might be veiled within tragedy

At least this is the way it has been for me

If you can find a laugh then people love you

As they seek relief from their grim day-to-day


Ignore the sword of Damocles above you

Perhaps we can find something funny to say

Laugh and the world laughs at you and cry alone

This is what I do but you have always known


So I will try to say something funny now

Finding the risible in the invective

Of angry wet hens or a flatulent cow

Squawking and farting are still quite effective

Or a pink poodle who knows the difference

Between tragedy and comedy is how

We view the world a matter of perspective

It just depends on where we fall off the fence


Since much of our suffering seems elective

Let comedy be tragedy's recompense






Without Me


Where I was to be laid there lies another

A stranger in my grave next to my mother

I had to sell it to give what they gave me

To a rich liar who promised to save me

And now some unknown lies at my Grandpa's feet


The man I trusted to help me was a cheat

Some soulless conscienceless attorney

And he helped himself to what was left of me

So I travel light on this journey

The family plot filled up where I should be


Restless unburied rambler alive or dead

With an explanation why

I never had before

A good excuse not to die

But put to sea once more


I suppose it is I who am strange instead

Or so I feel today

And never mind eternity

Now as I turn away

May they rest in peace: without me






Never Been the Burying Kind


The family plot proved a faulty scheme

I have never been the burying kind

My waking life no more real than my dream

A butterfly chased with an open mind


I am just starting and starting to know

That I mean to write if it takes all night

To see how much I can possibly grow

As long as it takes till I get it right


Some people say now I can take it slow

They mean well they just fail to understand

There is no certain milestone of success

Along the long road to the promised land


So I will just keep wandering I guess

Writing down things of interest I see

Most of it very strange some of it true

Of interest in any case to me


May it too be of interest to you

This word water world I swim in and thrive

At least we have something useful to do

Since nobody gets out of here alive








Coming up fifty-two

Enjoying it daresay

I have a lot to do

And this seems like a day

As good as any to

Celebrate existence

Despite the resistance

Of life-resistant souls

Who grumble from dark holes

Where lives lie locked away

Entombed alive by choice


I hear a brighter voice

Because this is a day

As good as any to

Celebrate existence

Especially my own

If by sheer persistence

To some summit unknown

By most by some dreamed of

Which I have heard called "Love"


+Steven Curtis Lance




Copyright MMVII

Web Site: Selected Poems on BrainMeta

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