Aug 31 2015

Print this Post

CANTOS OF A BELIEVER , Selected Poems By L.A.Steel 1997-2004

cantos of a believer title page   The Poet



I stood on an open balcony overlooking a wintry lake

as the icy evening summoned the advance of darkness.

I had forgotten the goodness of friends and shelter of safe homes.

I had forgotten the ability to cope without the liquid or smoke.

I was my dream, an enigma, the hurricane, the tornado,

the crack of lightening in the void of the after hours.

I was a spirit flying to heights beyond his comprehension.

I was Icarus with wings of gossamer sewn with threads of faith and hope.

The night calmed as the wind subsided.

Over the lake arose a ghostly form as fog over the blackness.

In the hours past midnight I stared into the dark, near the deep, dangerous, edge,

until I saw the sun rays of reason.


IN THE WOMB , 1997

In the womb of anonymity life is safe and warm and silent.

In the womb of anonymity no one objects to your being.

In the womb of anonymity no one can live forever.

Though it may seem forever, a time of birth will come.


THE TALISMAN,     1997

In the light of an unknown power

forces are dulled or primed by time

as are the circumstances and substance of dreams.

A charm can ward off evil, and Lilith’s secret desire,

that whimsical nature of lust grounded by the force of life.

Break the spell with the talisman’s power, this amulet of rare alloy,

carved by orbital entry and a sorcerer’s hand.

A mystical meaning in a hand held charm protects the innocent from malice unknown.

The celibacy of hate sterilizes the air, before the foul and evil power of rage can enter the ether.

The talisman performs with its invisible rays, that project out from a circle of sacred power within the soul.

Signs of Solomon, saint’s bones, crucifix, rabbit’s foot, eagle feather, magic dust, incantations and symbols of

divination all conjure expectations.



In the dreaded world of elongated dreams reptilian smiles rest.

Down in ruins lie the dead chanters spirits, guarding their ancient graves.

Rain forests shelter shamans beneath Banyan trees of dreams.

Within the shamans’ sculls eyes stare downward into hell.

Cat and carnivore familiars come to lead the wanderer’s journey down.

Where the angered one deceives wandering souls by their own self deceit.

A grand cavern, a secret, sacred tome a mass grave of innocents silent in their belief.

Demons curse and guard these souls for fear of their revenge.

The veil of death has been lifted for these and revealed the great mystery.

From the center of darkness the shaman’s soul rises into its thousandth reincarnation.

The music of a distant drum begins, creating the rhythm of a heartbeat.




Shaman Woman





REASONS           1997

Inescapable reasons Keep coming to me.

Reasons for being, reasons for doing

Reasons for letting reasons be.

By reasoning I’ve come to believe

that reason has little to do with me.

Perhaps it is in the way I talk or maybe in the way I walk,

it may be in the way I think. I understand why I drink.

Its not reasonable that I smoke. Its not reasonable to question reason.

Especially when it may be treason.

Is it reasonable to love?

Is it reasonable to hate?

Is there a reason I am late?

The reason I see for reason at all

is if someone should ask me If I’m being reasonable.

Then I can assure them I’ve reasoned it all.

I’ve been called a reasonable fellow and I’ve been called a fool,

but every time I’ve been called a fool It was always for someone else’s reason.

Is my reasoning any worse than theirs?

It may be, but one thing I’ve reasoned for certain.

No one has a better reason than I do

to come to this poems conclusion.


MULU,    1997

In the dreams of midnight,

where the subtle winds move the mind

to the under magic of memories,

I traveled to a thought of a lifetime gone,

forgotten by indifference and time.

There, before me a beautiful bronze woman appeared.

Her eyes were dark brown, hair raven black.

Her lips supple with a sensual smile.

Her body naked, in symmetrical perfection.

I could smell the exotic fragrance of her skin.

Then I awoke suddenly, but the image remained

in the second vision of my sight.

Her vision burned into my subconscious eye.

Who are you? I asked, but she did not reply.

So clear was she as a realized fantasy

holding me in a dream of awakened desire.

I asked her name again to which a voice of memory replied.

When I woke, I felt shame at the faintness of my memory of a summer night.

I strained to remember her voice, her eyes and her forgotten beauty.





Its all the same to me piano, organ or violin,

notes as words to a symphony.

I do not know the composer or piece .

I only know the feeling they evoke in me.

The announcer sucks.

He thinks he knows the language but he really sucks.

I hope I never speak that way, the way most fakes do.

Faking what they can’t feel.

Maybe one day they’ll play my symphony,

the new one no one has ever heard.

I will call it Zamboritz.

It will make music history,

and only I will know its inspiration.

It will have six movements,

It will sweep, jingle and jive,

fall over and die, then come alive.

Zamboritz, inspired by love,

inspired by life, felt by me.







At the end of all I know is the unknown, and there I am.

Eclipsing the sun but aware of the day I create my own shadow.

Seldom is a man so bold to engage in the creation of his own myth and legend.

But If I don’t who will?



As the falling ashes of midnight glimmer

the gold reflection of the sun ,

the sequined sorrows of tomorrow will rise as dissipating fog,

that blankets the earth beneath the moon.

The center less abyss blackens the doorway from light,

as the leaning silhouette enters, madness curls around the room.

Madness disguised as musical rhymes.

Refrains as inane as your life,

joyful as birth dreadful as death.

The last spoken prayer summons the wind

to kidnap the sound and carry to oblivion

the last known part of you.



DOWN BALDWIN,     1998


In a vision diluted by tears I await clear view again for a celestial visitor with the voice of wisdom. From the confines of an earthly prison In the cell of the mind the voice recants its call and I am lost again.

In the grand light of a dream I walk under the stars and streetlights with old friends virtue and vice. In the succession of time I hesitate to walk in step,as I feel the age of body listening to its warning.

In the silence of the street the heart beats with the rhythm of atonal thoughts. Regrets of past decisions flash as thunderclouds of shame, bringing storm and rain to collide with peace again.

A simpleton sings playing with notions of contentment as a dark shadow lurks in the doorway. He grasps the ball and jacks after hurling them into the air, then holds them tightly as I pass taunting me with his grip on reality.

I enter where future’s light is dim. A streetlight glows a hazy halo as I walk down the street strewn with losses and debris. Brown eyes begging as I walk past a doorway, long brown legs in fishnet stockings whisper their price,

as Jesus smiles with his gold tooth and dangling cross, selling Maria and dime bags of paradise. Women lean out their windows, as they look to the street remembering or calling out to lovers, as children play in the stairways, where the homeless sleep.

White men cruise the street for a trick and bag of weed. The All Night diner is closed suddenly. Front window broken and police sirens.  I move into the darkness as the remains of the night scratch at doors to be let in, before dawn erases there nagging existence.



A SONG OF SELF ,  1998

The dark shadows of loss love emerge

as the sacred self awakes.

In the holocaust of hatred we die or fall.

In love we live or rise.

On the lost soul’s journey Its horizon widens,

focus evolves and spirit strengthens.

To the Song of Self I write this addendum,

In loving self all is love.

From communion with women I recreate myself,

and new memories of love.

From the love of a woman and her memory,

I relive my passion and from it find resolve.

I am without sin, guilt or fear in the chalice of a loving memory.





In the hours of lonely thought the remorse of loss emerges.

The parade of unanswered prayers rests in endless tomorrow.

The earth is covered with the snow of winter.

Darkness cradles sleeping gods until the sounds of morning near.

Dreams living in insecurity, exhausted by their labor,

awake through transcended sleep are the purest visions of the innocent or profane,

anonymity or fame, freedom or fortune, prophecy or poetry.






rising sun




In the east rising the sunfish spawn in the trillion miles of a star filled universe,

and the sacred settings of the solstices await the diamonds and glowing light around there centers.

The nine muses are molested by derelict poets, who take shelter in the ruins of Olympian temples,

and sacrifice their souls to kings and warriors, as spoils of their crimson battles won,

to sing praise of barbaric death, beneath the hot light of the earthly sun.

Their silhouetted anger is poised against shadows of forgiveness

locked in battle by crude embraces and offensive movements of their bodies and souls.



In the impeded silence of morning the cirrus sweepers press the brush of air onto their black canvas,

and paint over it a blue sky, green earth and yellow sun.

Artists sit in the cool shade of the cypress basking as reptiles.

In the quiet air their sleep and dreams are defined by the direction of the breeze.

Calling, are sirens dangerous songs, erotic dragon’s smoke curling into the lungs,

as corporations imprison the young with vice, obsessions, debt and greed.



Under the lesser sun, the eastern winds blow harsh hot air,

hard and foreign as Satan’s wings raise summoning dead spirits to prowl.

The songs of virgins sing to the satyr’s flute,

then they are kissed and fondled by calloused hands.

They dance regardless of the satyr’s song, and laugh,cry, and live,

until the lamp light dims and their dreams unfold.

The faces of magical monsters enter their dreams of fear,

until they scream and shudder and push them away.

Ecclesiastical chants and mystical incense clear the room of evil spirits,

until the sacred one appears and guides their dreams toward the safe harbor of dawn.

Shadow Poem,     1999

I am shadow.

I am a dark wonder,

a form without substance,

a deepness without depth.

I am  shadow,

a half person with voice,

without body,

without light.

I  am free

to see and hear,

and to exist

without identity.

I am the ruler of darkness.

Light is the exposer of all.

I exist in light and darkness.

I am shadow.

I  am nameless.

I am the first and last.

I am the serene and sullen statue

at the gate of death.

I am the sentry of conscience,

the dark warrior of all defenses.

I am indifferent to pain.

I am indifferent to fear.

I am blind.

I am all seeing.

My existence is darkness.

I am irrelevant to the sun.

 I am an illusion

of sadness and despair.

I am shadow, alone always,

though I am part of everyone.

I am solitary.

I am not alive.

I am spirit.

I am a reflection of life.

I am nightmare.

I  am here.

I dwell in oblivion.

I rest in peace.

I am the deepest darkness.

I am the outline of man,

the subconscious,

the distorted human vision.

I walk in darkness

merging with night.

I am seen against buildings and walls

illuminated by lamp light.

I am shadow,

the unevolved man,

the great cave beast,

the Neanderthal and Cromagnon.

Before love was need,

before compassion was greed,

before death became ceremony

there was only me.

I  am the Lord of Night

the ancient man,

the stalker and hunter,

the inventor of fire.

I am Shadow,

long and lean,

stout and short

and tall and  round.

I am the Illusion of thought

melting into memories,

sweet and bitter.

I am fleeting history.

I am the illusive dream,

the illusive goal,

the wealth wished for,

the mirror of the soul.

I am shadow,

invincible, unshakable.

I am the image

of darkness in all.

I am eternal cold.

I am dark and void.

I am the iceman.

I am the ancient glacier.

I am the dark waters

frozen above and beneath ground.

I am the Arctic and Antarctic

polar separation.

 I am elongated in late afternoon.

I am the reflection of the moon,

the solitude of loneliness,

and solace of death.

I am poets’ debris,

the cast off thought,

the work unfinished,

the vision incomplete.

I am the embodiment of

the secular God,

the last thought and memory,

the unwritten epic poem.

I am war.

I am peace.

I am all.

All are me.

 I am shadow,

dark and deep.

I am history.

I am the unwritten word.

 I am shadow

beneath the midday sun,

cast against gravestones

of sorrow and sin.

I am oblivion.

I am darkness.

I am daylight

I am sleep.

I emerge from a dark sea,

as water onto dry land,

as a dark form

over white sand.

I merge with the night sky,

until a moonbeam strikes,

casting me out of the darkness

exposing me to the light.

I am shade against the sun,

eclipsing the heat of day.

I am known by all 

in empty rooms and ruins.

My Shadow


LESS A MAN,   2000


If I were less a man what would I be?

Would I be less poetic?

Would I drink less?

Smoke less or sex less,

or do more, less?

If I were any less than I am I don’t know what I’d be.

Perhaps a leper or a CEO of a failing company?

But of all I am however less that may be,

when I am with you I feel greater than a king.






Yesterday the snow fell 15 inches in the northwest part of the state.

Blackbirds and crows darted back and forth outside my kitchen window.

They seemed confused of each other’s size and shape

and flustered by the incessant white rain.

They appeared as black spots on a static filled television screen

far from my world of warmth and clear vision,

as if they existed in virtual reality.

Perhaps it was fear that inspired this poem,

the fear of my one day becoming unable to discern,

the real from the unreal.




THE PROMISE,     2000


In the murky woods of self kept promises the days are dark,until one promise is achieved.

I walk in a gray dawn into a clearing of damp earth, and rest upon a wind fallen tree.

I see a snowflake flutter onto a left over leaf as an idea caught by an aging mind.

There it will melt or freeze depending upon the wind and weather,

until the sun fully rises and the cold submits to warmth.

I see a raven watching me and he squawks a mocking word, comes closer in curiosity,

then flies away with rude resentment.

I feel the strength of the wood as the strength in me.

I walk into the deeper woods half a day further on, to where mushrooms and mosses grow on old trees.

I wait for a while as I scent the musty breeze, when suddenly a world I forgot appears in my memory,

where the promise of inner light dwells and I can clearly see.

I forgot this place of great dark, moss laden, trees with roots intertwined in each other’s destiny,

In the tree tops rest snowflakes and nests and birds of many species sheltered beneath the boughs.

I as they go about the day going here and there, or resting on a branch.

waiting for my thoughts to dance.

I walk further into the woods to find a place that interests me.

A place that I may gather my thoughts as the birds would gather berries.

The afternoon draws near and evening sets my course. .

I reach in my pack for a snack as reward for the promise I kept.

I am what I am because of it.  I will be what I will be in its light.

Without regret or remorse I am never lost, because of the promise of life.








I live in the borderlands.

Here is where despair meets the edge of the future.

I live in a shanty without heat or light.

I am without death or life.

It is here that I am and I do not know how I came

but it is here that I am.

If I could hold the world responsible I would.

I would blame all if I could.

I spoke to you tonight.

You were all right.

That meant all to me.

I am writing to you from here

near the edge of the future

in the Borderlands.







WHITE FIELDS,     2001


There are no sanctions in life;

each thought or action is balanced.

Each day brings night,

each wrong brings right,

to the right of darkness is light.


Rolling and level fields of white,

stretch before the wanderers of life.

Every knoll has a vale, every depth has a height.

There may be fences or covered rocks,

mole holes, or a tree here and there.

The fields lie flat as white mats or carpets of dazzling colors

and images and holograms of attentive life darting in and out of sight.



A spirit may wing by as a swift blast of wind,

or tread lightly nearby embodied in the coat of a deer.

A message of memory in a frozen fallen leaf whirls at play near your feet.

A dancing thought on the white field of nearly forgotten time,

a time known to a single mind.


White fields of winter crusted over by ice,

wind and snow melted by harsh rays of sun

or broken by footsteps leading on,

on to the forest or into the horizon,

onto a destination known only to one.



White Fields of melancholy places

as blank expressions on white faces,

a blank stare at the world, where color dots the landscape

creating beauty to evoke complex passions.


There are white fields that remain un trodden,

outlined by the green borders of golf courses and cultured forests.

Where live snowmen, snow women and snow children,

and white stallions running on white ground,

within the boundaries of white corral fences,

in white sounding towns.


Towns of milk and money,

snow white people with Christian virtues,

suffering snowy spiritual hallucinations and discomforts

of frozen noses and cracked lips,

chapped by the blistering boredom of dreary days of blinding white.

They read sun-blinded blurbs on newsprint,

snowy computer and television screens causing infectious white diseases

of eye strain and migraines, cured by aspirin, alcohol, Prozac or cocaine.



White fields sometimes turn to yellow and sometimes melt away ,

but in the arctic and Antarctic circles, and rural plains of snow and ice,

white fields remain forever white.


Though global warming may melt away layers of ancient ice caps

and expose a colored history, white fields will remain white;

until the rains of change bring great floods to destroy all in anarchy.

Then the muddy colors of mighty rivers overflowing their banks

will forever change the once white landscape.




THE SPRING,     2001


Robins return from winter nests

as spring winds blow warm over sun bright seas

of meadow flowers reaching upwards into blue.

Jealous Winter warns of Spring

as the violent time of changing,

when rivers overflow their banks

and mudslides ruin winter landscapes.

Winter screams its great March winds

that threaten cold and April snows,

then fade as haunting echoes

and morning frost melting in the rain.

What resonates true is the voice of Spring drawn

from thawing brooks and greening mountains,

birds singing as flowers dance

in brilliant colors with fragrant breezes.

Calendars are turned a page

revealing the blossoms of May.

Aries and Taurus begin their fight

until defeated by Gemini.

Goaded by the ram and teased by the twins

the bull and poet resist their yokes of winter and fall,

and are moved only by passion resisting change.

They wait the year in faith for the return of their season,

the lush hues of green in the warm light of May ,

when the poet writes of love

and the bull mates,

as the world is reborn in Spring.



BLOOD RED,        2003


These are turbulent times of masterminds plotting in waking dreams of revolution in a world at war ,screams of adult victims and cluster bombed children. Arabian nights lit up by fire, as oil fields burn and pacifists ponder imperialist powers negotiating oil rights, disguised as liberators to plunder historic Eden.

Freedom and liberty chased into flight, exiled with nomadic refugees disguised as desperate women fleeing to Pakistan , Iran, and Jordan, where they will plot resistance and revenge.

Blood red streets of Baghdad, blood red stains upon the souls of Muslims, blood red stains upon the hands of an American president savoring blood red wine with his meals in Washington D.C. Blood lusting demons of insatiable greed, brothers of the blood red fraternity, join him at State feasts of blood red meats and blood red gravies, where they plot for power, money, chaos, corruption, world domination, genocide, deceit, war and global destruction.

Washington D.C, where demons drink blood and power and feast as leaders of corporations, arms dealers Heads of state, lobbyists and madmen all members of The Christian Right, blessed by their reverend Pat Robertson. The Christian right blights the marbled halls of the capital as blood lusting cultists revel at the murders of the sons of Saddam.

Lunatic hypocrites sing the national anthem praising the American Revolution, as they smile in contempt at the angry voices of millions of patriotic Americans. Congressional power mad cultists elected by republicans and democrats Mirror their corrupt constituents. Representing America’s Darkest ambitions, cowardice, contempt, greed, vice, corruption, racism, blood lust, cruelty, ignorance, incompetence, indifference.

They allow the blood red radio and television of the conservative media to control the nation with lies and propaganda, censorship and commercialism. Public relations firms are glutted by media pundits and politicians desperately seeking their service of public deception.

Revolution , Revolution, Revolution, Revolution, how loud must patriots cry?





book cover




“The highest revelation is that God is in every man.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson



There are men and women in every town,

who bless their community by having lived.

Men and women of wisdom and courage

warn others when danger and deception are near.

Heroes, heroines and prophets, the ignorant name as fools,

until their community succumbs to the illness or loss,

forewarned by these prophets of truth.

Now as in the past a prophet and hero has died,

leaving behind his prophecies for history to verify.

Joe Besade, great friend and inspiration,

will be well remembered by his family and friends,

but his work and sacrifice must never be forgotten,

by the community he loved and future generations.



joe besade insert pic.

Permanent link to this article: http://lasteelshow.org/main/?p=10460