Saturday, March 4, 2017

All the complexities of life, we are told, are the result of the accidental conflation of events and materials in a universe both predictable and random.

Some think that this is all about to change, that we are becoming the masters of our universe. We are on the cusp of becoming gods. If the fools among us would just shut up and fall in line, we would be able to control this molten ball upon which we live, and our scientists could promise us eternal life.

Of course many others disagree. Some peacefully yield to belief in a higher order, others aggressively exercise their views by pursuing violent approaches to control their destiny. In the process we ensure that the universe remains full of surprises.

Poets, meanwhile, do their best to understand the world, and fulfill our roles as scientific artists. We try to put microscopes on life and human emotions. We use words put together like chemical compounds to cathect human thought and restore souls.

It has been a difficult time to do this. There is so much anger poisoning the environment, that it is hard to find the compounds that can bridge the abyss. And that is perhaps the message as we look at ourselves. We are tiny creatures in a universe of infinite dimension. We will never be gods, we are too imperfect to allow this to happen. And we will never have all the answers. All we can do is try not to let our egos overwhelm our perspective. Part of the great gift of life is the mystery. If we are honest with ourselves, most of us like the idea of having some things that are just unknown. We like being surprised. Okay, we don’t like bad surprises, but they are all wrapped up together, and part of the human condition. We fool ourselves to think otherwise.

One thing seems pretty certain. We will all be surprised in the end.  Let’s try to get from here to there without expecting everyone to want to travel the same road.

The following poem is a little reminder of man’s journey across this earth and how small a part of it we really are. Shamal is from my book “In the Cat’s Eye” (Snap Screen Press, 2009).

Glenn K. Currie

                                 Shamal


The storm rolled across the land,
Pushing a wall of sand a thousand feet high.
It carried the remains
Of crusaders and martyrs,
Filling the cracks in the earth
With ancient epoxy.
The lines of living were lost
In the enveloping darkness.
Borders disappeared,
As the wind blended sacred soil
With the sweat of shepherds and kings.
It was a world of the blind,
Each man a wanderer.
When the dust settled,
The moon spread pieces of silver
Upon the burial ground,
And the stars whispered assurances

That nothing had changed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It’s all about winning. Suddenly, or maybe not so suddenly, our society has immersed itself in a game of self-destruction. If we can’t win, then we must at least destroy the opponent.

We seem incapable of coming together as a nation, or trying to heal the open wounds. If our population doesn’t wise up, we will gradually bleed to death.

All the talk about tolerance and diversity has been thrown out the window. Apparently, it only applies if it relates to our group. And, sadly, the most intolerant now seem to be the ones who used to preach it.

We have reached a point where Kennedy’s famous request that we ask “ what (we) can do for our country” has been distorted into, “if the country doesn’t agree with me, I will do my best to destroy it”.

It truly has become “all about me, and my opinions and wants”. There seems little room for compromise or cooperation.

A few years ago, I wrote a poem about a growing sense of egotism and greed concerning our celebrities and political leaders. I fear that this has spread into a national disease.

Perhaps it would be wise for everyone to take a breath and think about “National Anthem” (In the Cat’s Eye, Snap Screen Press, 2009). Is this really where we want to go as a nation?

Glenn K. Currie

                          National Anthem

It’s all about me!
It’s all about me!
Indubitably,
That’s how it should be.
Speaking candidly,
I’m in love with me.
Me! Me! Me!
It’s all about me!

It’s hypocrisy,
To didactically,
Preen endlessly,
About humanity.
Just turn on TV,
And you will see,
The reality.
It’s all about me!

So when up you stand,
With heart in your hand,
Prepared for the band’s
First song of the land,
Please sing after me,
“Oh say can you see,
The land of the free,
Is all about me”.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

I think that one of the reasons that the country is so divided is that we are losing touch with how to talk with each other.

Face to face communications is disappearing, and as society focuses more on social media interaction, it becomes easier to think of the opposition as faceless evil. It is no longer reasonable people with differing opinions of how to make the world better.

The lack of face to face discussions turns our disputes into something similar to road rage. We hate that car, that tweeter, that abortionist, that tree hugger.

The world has changed so fast in the last hundred years, that different generations have almost nothing in common. When my mother was born in 1914, automobiles and airplanes were in their infancy. When I was born, the impact of the Great Depression was still very fresh, and we were in a world war that caused damage that we can hardly imagine. When my daughters were born, there was no real internet as we know it, no one had cell phones and a computer was a curiosity for the general public: something to play games like Pong.

Now, our children and grandchildren grow up in world where high technology has overtaken our culture. People no longer write letters or know their neighbors. Everything is organized, from children’s activities to how much soda we can be served. Many in our nation have retreated back into social media for our interactions.

All this change leaves many without the ability to hold actual conversations. They hide in their facebook accounts where they let their anger and frustrations build and explode.

Older generations often feel left out of the “discussions”. They sit at home with no jobs, no input into the new society and no hope for a future. Their savings accounts have been destroyed by the “zero interest” economy, they are ridiculed for being clueless about high tech, and their culture is assaulted on all sides.

The country sits astride all these generational disputes with leadership that seems clueless to the issues that many face. We were supposedly “surprised” that people who had been told to shut up suddenly registered their frustrations in one of the few ways still left to them. We made it difficult for them to talk about issues but they finally let loose at the polls. And now, suddenly the dam has burst, and everyone is yelling in the press, on the internet and in person. And they are all screaming at the same time. But we still aren’t really talking with each other.

We need a better understanding of history and civics in our society. We need a better understanding of each other. Part of that is a better recognition of the massive changes that our society has undergone. We have citizens from many generations who have been left behind in this new world. The damage has been economical, physical, emotional and structural.

I recently wrote a poem “The Skywriter” that deals with the economical and emotional impacts of being left behind. It is about America, and our own “hundred years war”.
Let us all hope we can find peace with each other in 2017.

Glenn K. Currie


The Skywriter
Copyright 2017 Glenn K. Currie

He climbed slowly into the weathered biplane,
Whispering to it in the late afternoon cold.
The engine coughed a tired greeting
Before it settled into a rhythmic beat
And carried him high into the azure sky.

The pilot had spent his life writing on the heavens,
His brush the noisy antique in which he rode.
For decades, he captured the eyes of curious millions
Excited to decipher his unfolding works
Before they disappeared forever into the ether.

He no longer painted the sky.
The audience had moved to other canvases.
Clouds were now captured in boxes,
Where words hid in their own vapor trails,
And no one needed blue sky or sunshine.

Instead he circled beneath unseen stars,
Searching, in the fading light, for a place
Where messages still floated in bottles,
Dreamers colored the world in chalk,
And words were still written on the wind.







Wednesday, January 4, 2017


It is not an easy world in which to be your own person: to avoid the brain-washing of the media, and the false choices provided by the “true believers” of the left and right.

Unfortunately, many in our society have ordained that everyone must think alike. We see this at our universities and among the clustered masses that gather to demand that you agree with them or remain silent when sensitive issues are brought before the public. Political correctness leaves no room for different points of view, or intelligent discussion regarding ethics or morals. This, in turn, results in bottled up emotions that only finally surface in “surprise” events like the recent election.

We have become a nation with too much time on its hands and not enough perspective to know how to use it. Instead, many in our population create imagined slights, or overreact to affronts and disputes, resulting in a steady stream of angry confrontations that split society and cause us to feel like a nation coming apart.

The saddest  part about all of this is that too many of our young people are totally unprepared to deal with the “group think” movements. Their lack of historical knowledge leads to little understanding that our nation was built on compromise and evolution, not the absolutes that too many now try to cram down our throats.

Too many have been processed through a shoddy educational system, and have been raised in an environment where they have been told they are smarter than they are. They have not been confronted with anyone questioning their brilliance and never learned to actually do their own due diligence on issues.

I wonder how many of the children born in this century will even know how much they don’t know. We don’t teach them history or civics or geography. For the most part, they are no longer exposed to philosophy, or the great books. Debate and active discussion of sensitive issues is discouraged in most institutions of “higher” learning.

The sad result is we are not preparing people to lead. Who are the future inspirational guides for our country? Certainly they aren’t the ethically-challenged celebrities or sports figures who think that achieving one skill makes them an expert on everything. Most of these folks are like the action figures that promote them. They are images, not reality. Most are less informed on real life in America than the average shopkeeper or garbage collector. And I have not seen many true statesmen/women evolving out of the meat grinder of our current political structure.

We are being carried away in a sea of platitudes and hyperbole, and no one is standing up and talking about it. We are dying as a nation because we no longer know what we are. We are a people that is being taught to believe in nothing. And if we don’t wake up soon, that is what we will become.

I wrote a poem a while ago that asked its readers to have the courage to use their common sense and strength of character to hold fast against panic and crowd frenzy when those with an agenda try to force us to rush to judgement.

I wonder how many still have that strength. We will learn much about ourselves in 2017. Many have already drawn the battle lines. There are many things that need to be fixed in our country. No one has all the answers. I pray that we are smart enough as a nation to demand that our leaders sit down together and work on solutions, rather than playing the petty games of stonewalling and obfuscation.

Am I a Man” is from Daydreams (Snap Screen Press, 2004). I hope they are words you all will consider as we move into this new year.

Glenn K. Currie

                     Am I a Man/Woman


I am a man, I am a man,
A man I am, if only I can,
If only I can, take a stand,
If I can stand, and raise my hand.

When honor calls, calls me to stay,
While others called, are fading away,
I hope that day, I can display,
The strength within, to find my way.

When I see crowds, in panic fly,
And in that panic, the truth deny,
Trampling in hate, those who defy,
The panicked flight to invented lie.

Then I’ll find if I am a man,
If against that crowd I can then stand,
Can I stand and raise my hand? Stop
From saying, “I’m only a man”.






Wednesday, December 7, 2016

It has been about a month since our election and the sparks are still flying.
On a broader basis, sparks are flying all over the world. Major political change has become a fact of life in Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South America.

We also are seeing Earth rebelling. Climates are doing crazy things, and  even the tectonic plates seem to be grumbling about what a mess we are creating.

Internally, the United States has been ignoring building pressures for years. We have let the rust belt rust, and allowed social pressure to rise to a level where the country is pushing itself apart instead of pulling itself together.

Many intelligent people are saying and writing things that will embarrass them in years to come as they fall victim to the influenza of over-reaction.

The world seems to be in a downward spin that has left most of its citizens dizzy and nauseous. News clips flash by of constant war, religious zealotry, homeless millions caught in the maelstrom, precious capital used to blow things up instead of building homes and factories and infrastructure.

And yet in some respects we are better off than ever. We are seeing wonderful advances in technology, medicine, healthcare and food production. To paraphrase Dickens, “it is the best of times, the worst of times”. And we need to understand both.

We are also reminded on this date of what a horrible place the world can become when we are forced into deciding events by destruction and chaos. Most of us truly want to find a way through all of the many issues and emerge in a place where we each have a chance to raise our children in peace and prosperity. It may seem out of reach right now, but we are in the season where hope should be a transcendent emotion. Perhaps we need miracles. Perhaps we just need to deescalate some of the rancor and take one step at a time towards healing.

In that spirit, I offer the following Christmas Prayer which is derived from a similar prayer In the Cat’s Eye (Snap Screen Press, 2009).

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you may celebrate, and may we find a way to a more peaceful and happy new year.

Glenn K. Currie

 

                        Christmas Prayer


We live in a world,
Where people do unto each other,
The most horrible things.

Please help us to find a way,
To silence the hatred and animosity,
To end the explosions of hearts and minds.

Send to us a gentle breeze,
That can blow away,
The smoke that blinds the soul.

In this season,
 Help us to begin to find,
That gift born within each of us.

The light, the glow,
Emitted by the human spirit,
That reaches to the farthest stars.

That quiet flame that illuminates the path,
To a promised land of
 Peace on Earth, Goodwill to men.
.

 



Saturday, November 12, 2016

Everyone needs to take a breath. The recent election isn’t going to turn America into a world of hate unless we let it. Trump was never what the left defined him as in the election. That was standard election stuff which they do in every race. Republicans are always immediately branded as stupid, racist, Nazis and hateful towards women. That doesn’t mean that Trump isn’t an egotistical blowhard who isn’t the best choice to run our country. But, the public was faced with two poor candidates and they chose the outsider instead of the business-as-usual candidate.

The Democrats need to blame themselves for this loss. Many in their normal base were hurting because of the economy, and were tired of being ignored. While the rust belt workers who were the core of the Blue Wall were dealing with poor schools, lost jobs, declining infrastructure and a feeling of abandonment by their party, the primary focus in Washington seemed to be issues that weren’t even on the radar screen of the workers in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Instead of spending time listening to their problems, the conversations in the Swamp were all about more immigration and transgender bathroom rights.

This was combined with such a sense of derision towards these “deplorables” that the party dismissed the “make America great again” group as a bunch of no hope losers. The “fly-over” country was just that: places they flew over and ignored.

This country will see some change in the next few months. But it will be mostly about finally focusing on the needs and fears of the middle class and middle America. Assuaging these concerns is necessary and will be done with or without the cooperation of many Democrats. They should get on board with things that help these people. The 60,000,000 million who voted for Trump did so because they had lost hope. They are predominantly ordinary Americans who are dealing with huge changes in their lives and are trying to find a place for themselves and their children. They need to be treated with at least as much concern as the immigrants of the world.

Our country and our infrastructure need a little tender, loving care and feeding. We can’t solve the problems of the world if the ground is crumbling under our own feet.

Our nation needs to lower the rhetoric and fix our problems. Donald Trump is basically the same person who was a big favorite of liberal Democrats a few years ago when he was hosting their parties and financing campaigns like Senator Schumer’s. The fact that he saw the world starting to come apart and, somehow, from his own ivory tower, heard the cries from the middle class, doesn’t mean that you should immediately believe the standard hate speech that is attached to every Republican who runs for office. Trump has a lot of issues. He has always been an entitled, somewhat crass, headline-hunting boor, who believes his own publicity. But he also brings a fresh look to America’s problems, and he is blessed with a Congress that might allow him to do a few productive things. And there is always the chance that the office will grace him with a little humility. It has done that in the past, allowing us to ignore all the foibles of Bill Clinton, in return for his willingness to listen to the needs of the electorate.


The Democrats blew this election. They can be bitter for a little while. But in the end our country needs some change and, if they really still care about the middle class worker, they should get on board to help them.

Glenn K. Currie

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Sometimes we forget what a wonderful place we are blessed with in our country. We have this broad mix of major cities and their suburbs, small towns tucked away in a rural America that is representative of the origins of our nation, farmlands that help feed the world, and vast stretches of land that are basically untouched and which provide a beauty that is breathtaking.

It is hard to appreciate this sometimes when we are inundated with steady news programs that emphasize the worst in our country, and a political atmosphere that has left us all feeling a little dirty.

But when we step back from that, I have the feeling that there is a place for all of us, if we are smart enough to find it.

For me, I found my place as I was traveling back to Houston from a business trip that had taken me halfway around the world.  I looked out across America from 30,000 feet and knew that I wanted to be part of one of those smaller communities that passed quietly and sedately beneath our wings.

Places is a poem that I wrote about 31 years ago. It was first published in Daydreams (Snap Screen Press) in 2004. I think, for all of us, it is useful to step back from the world and give ourselves some time to think about our individual lives and the decisions we make.

I have never doubted the one I made on that aircraft. I hope you all find what is right for you.

Glenn K. Currie


                                                                         Places
                                                                       
We were chasing the sun
Across the country.
But we were too slow.

Now we fly in its wake
Breathing a trail,
In the gathering darkness.

Below, appearing in the dusk,
Are dollhouse clusters,
Of warm lights.

Small worlds, where evening comes
At measured pace.
Embraced with pleasure.

Towns where people walk,
Looking up to see
Pastel streaks in the sky.

Places without names,
Quickly fading.
Lost behind the horizon.

Places that never knew,
That they were lost.
But hope they won’t be found.




Monday, October 3, 2016

Ephemera are the things we use in life and then usually throw away. They aren’t made to endure. They might include newspapers, old letters, cereal boxes, posters, playing cards, common utensils, dishes, lunch boxes, photos, inexpensive furniture, or even children’s toys.

I believe that these types of items, when we can find them from previous eras, are much more interesting and useful in understanding the people of a period, than the staid statues, old buildings and generally sterile books that try to recreate the times.

I suggest that people keep this in mind when they sort through the stuff in their attic or basement. Often, people will find old letters, photos and other items that had special meaning to a previous generation. Millennials seem to be a generation of non-savers. Everything important is in their smart phones or in the cloud, and they may have a tendency to discard these things. As they get older, however, they may realize that they have thrown away the very things that will help them to better understand their lives. These tangible connections to their ancestors are often useful guideposts to who they are.

When we each look in the mirror, we see a collective piece of our ancestors. Understanding a little bit about these pieces, can help all of us to find our way on our own life’s journey.

I am including below a poem, Reflections from In the Cat’s Eye ( Snap Screen Press, 2009). It is about tangible connections and, also, our own quest for a measure of immortality.

Glenn K. Currie

                               Reflections


I bought the mirror for my daughter,
A month after she was born.
Now it leaned against the eaves,
In a far corner of the attic,
No longer used for capturing images.
Life’s blades had chipped away at the edges,
And a century of dust
Cast a veil across the glass.
I watched the young woman gaze into it,
Eyes bright and full of hope,
Smiling through the haze.
I smiled back,
From behind the glass,

And blew her a kiss.

Friday, September 23, 2016

I am 73 today and like most of us I'm happy to be celebrating another birthday. But I also realize that we never know how many more we will be fortunate enough to enjoy. I have continued to write quite a bit and have been told by many that they feel my poetry is better than ever. I hope that is true and I will continue to post old and new poems as well as comments on life and the world as long as readers seem to be enjoying it. I would, however, appreciate a little feedback on what you find you like best on the site. Please send me some feedback to glennkc@aol.com.
Thank you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Just a brief note on some good news. My poem, String of Hearts, just won  first place in the latest New Hampshire Poetry Society contest. I will put it up on the blog as soon as it has been published by The Poets Touchstone.
Also, Around Concord Magazine, just did a three page color piece on my poetry and photography in their fall (current) edition. The article and some additional poems can be found at www.aroundconcord.com and also is on my Facebook page.