Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This is something new I have been working on. From time to time I will be showing the other nine parts of "Breakfast Chronicles".
Please let me know what you think?
I am doing this one first because I ran into someone (hi Collin) who is also familiar with Pasqual's and has enjoyed it's great morning ambience.


III. Breakfast at Pasqual’s (Santa Fe)


Table for Ten walked in at eight fifteen.

The small room was transformed.

Sleepy couples sipping coffee were suddenly awake.

The group fed off itself while waiting to be fed.

Tourists huddled at the edges of the place,

Settling silently among the T-shirts for sale,

Seeking to blend into the colors of chilis and pop art.

Table for Ten was the local’s heartbeat,

Where huevos rancheros came to rest.

They pulled up the shades,

Letting the morning sun

Fill the dark corners.

And with their laughter and biting commentary,

Announced the birth of the day.



This is part of a long poem titled “Breakfast Chronicles” that includes observations of ten interesting restaurants around the country. Breakfast places are particularly intriguing to me because they are an opportunity to see people in the early morning light, before they have a chance to put on their game faces. This poem is protected under copyright to Glenn K. Currie and has not yet been published other than in my blog.

Monday, August 26, 2013




When you visit the battlefields at Gettysburg, you can hear them speak to you.

 The spirits still occupy this place. After the battles and the heavy rain, came the heat and the dust and the "reaping" of the fields: 8,000 dead soldiers, over 40,000 total casualties, 3,000 plus dead animals (mostly mules and horses). But no amount of physical restoration could change the fact that a city of lost souls was indelibly etched into the earth.
The world changed in those days after the conflict, and the drum beats that led away from the battlefields are leading us still.

The spirits, however, stayed. They are there to tell us what they gave to help our country begin to find itself. Blue and gray, brothers all, lay in carnage so great, that our country finally began to seek a peace with itself.

If you stand in the fields and listen to the whispers in the gentle breeze, you can hear their story.
I wrote the poem Gettysburg (In the Cat's Eye, 2009) in an effort to try to capture those whispers and the quiet "tat-tat" of the drums that were slowly leading us in the long journey to the present. 

Glenn K. Currie


Distant drum beats

Floated in the heat.

Tat-tat, tat-tat, tat-tat,

 Softly fell

Like tear drops,

Among the lost souls

Adrift in this vale

Of silent hearts.


Trampled grass

Gathered itself,

And slowly rose

From the earth.

Blood-stained and burned,

Kneeling in dazed confusion,

It quietly cradled

The blues and grays.



Reapers moved hesitantly,

Picking the harvest.

Uneasy in the presence

Of the spirits

Rising to the drumbeats call.

Tat-tat, tat-tat, tat-tat,

Whispered the gentle breeze,

As it gathered up the dust.


Thursday, August 22, 2013


In 1986, I travelled in Saudi Arabia with members of a business roundtable. Two of our members were former Ambassadors and, through their connections with the King and Crown Prince, we were given the opportunity to visit a seldom-seen abandoned city in the desert east of Mecca and Medina. It is very similar in style to the ruins at Petra in Jordan and may well have been built by the same civilization. It was a stop on the ancient trade routes that carried goods across the Arabian Peninsula.


Meda’in Saleh is an impressive sight, rising up out of the desert. The buildings were all carved by slaves out of rock mountains and huge standing boulders. Many slaves probably spent their lives carving these structures.


As we walked among these ruins, I felt a strange attachment to the place…like I had been there before. I wondered if there might be some truth to the idea that we all have lived past lives.


When I returned home, I wrote the poem  Past Lives  which was published in Riding in Boxcars in 2006. There is also a photo there of one of these ruins.


The voices that spoke to me that day in Saudi Arabia did not speak of easy lives. If there is any truth to the view of reincarnation, most of us would have spent our past lives as slaves or victims of the many wars that have comprised much of the history of our civilizations.


Freedom has come slowly to the world and at a costly price. And even when some of us finally were able to rise from a sea of subjugation and became rulers of our individual worlds, it was easy to see it all disappear again.


I realized that all of those who came before, whether they were slave, soldier, mother, father, rebel, ruler, black or white, helped define who I am today. The voices that spoke to me that day in the desert were part of me, either through my genes…or, perhaps, through a soul that has been reborn from the blender of past lives.

Glenn K. Currie


Past Lives


I helped build the pyramids,

And died beneath one.

Bore a child,

On the Plains of Abraham,

And was lost in the desert.


I was buried in a mass grave,

That fertilized the cotton fields,

Of the South.

And I rejoiced

In the Resurrection.


I shed my blood for my enemies,

Grew old while growing young.

Sank into the sea,

And rose again,

In a sharks mouth.


I ruled the world,

Was betrayed by a friend,

Touched the edge of the universe,

From a black hole,

And then began again.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just an added note on the last post. I used a photo for Sniper that shows a lone hawk circling lazily against a background of storm clouds. He searches for victims, like any good sniper. The photo of this one is on my website. www.snapscreenpress.com.

 Sniper is a first place prize winner that I wrote a few years ago and published in my third collection of poetry, In the Cat's Eye in 2009. 
Is it about the shooter or the victim?
Or is it about a world where life and death blend so seamlessly that the clockwork silver of the universe beckons us slowly into the darkness, picking us off one by one, even as we huddle in the Earth's gentle shadows.
You'll have to decide about this one yourself.



I lay among silver daffodils

Watching the Bear mark time

On the luminous dials spinning above.

I wondered what colors would emerge

In a world without light.

A breeze picked its way through the field,

Found me tucked in the shadows,

And began a gentle massage.

Crickets ticked away the minutes,

Moving to the Earth’s beat.

I knew the sun would be too slow

To paint the daffodils yellow,

So I closed my eyes and painted them


Sunday, August 18, 2013

For my blog:

I wrote the poem Charleston-1969 because I was fascinated with the way the city seemed to live in two different worlds. It is a beautiful place, physically, with buildings that capture the splendor of the ante-bellum years, and yet it also seemed to have trouble giving up the failed philosophy that brought so much shame and pain in more recent years. It was a city with one foot on the pier and the other on the boat. In 1969 there were still white and black toilets and drinking fountains. Prejudice could be displayed fairly freely by some, and a favorite comment, mostly in jest, was “the south will rise again”. The schizophrenia that pervaded the city had existed for over a century and left it still lost in its attempt to adjust to a new world.

Charleston lost much in the war. Its leadership, so eager for the beginning at Fort Sumter, had never truly found a way to cope with the end, and the resulting devastation of its culture and the holes left in so many families.

In 1969 the city seemed to still be dealing with some of these issues. It was a living remnant of a war that changed us all.

The photo I used with this poem in “In the Cat’s Eye”, showed a field of flowers, sharply divided between red and white except for one yellow blossom encroaching into the field of white. It seemed an appropriate representation of a beautiful city still trying to find itself over a hundred years later.


Glenn K. Currie 





The earth had split apart.

All who stood at the edge

Fell into the abyss.

Fires burned everywhere,

Fanned by oratory

Puffing black powder.


Cities and farms emptied,

To feed the holocaust.

Fields grew human wheat.

Musket balls and cannon

Harvested the fruit

Of the planters.


The smoke still blows here,

In this world of black and white.

One hundred years of ash

Drift against the walls

Of a reconstructed city

Built on crumbling foundations.



Friday, August 16, 2013

One of the things I am going to do with this blog is to talk a little about some of my poems. Today I am going to focus on a poem that was published in Riding in Boxcars back in 2006.
Navy Swim Call-1966 was written to try to capture the feelings of many of us who were caught up in the Vietnam War. I had been in the West Pacific on a cruise as a midshipman when the Gulf of Tonkin incident broke out in 1964 and almost wound up there early. I knew from the date of my graduation from Dartmouth in 1965 that I would eventually wind up in that conflict. This poem seemed an apt description of the way many of us felt as we waited for our orders to go there. We could see the acceleration in the war efforts and could feel the country beginning to be dragged down into the depths.
The feeling I had swimming in the Indian Ocean in 10,000 feet of water seemed to reflect the fears of the unseen monsters that might lie in wait for all of us in the future. The world was changing and the country and the military seemed ill-equipped to deal with what lay ahead. We were living in a mirage and the sailors and soldiers were the bait fish that were being used by the politicians to accomplish broader objectives. Their tentacles were reaching up to drag us under in a conflict that was played on game boards in Washington and Russia and China and would soon drag us all into the darkness.
Navy Swim Call- 1966

The ship rested like a mirage,

In the Indian Ocean.

Letting its swimmers,

Test Poseidon’s patience.


We dove in noisily,

A school of bait fish, splashing.

Trading equatorial heat,

For the ocean’s cool glare.


The shark boats sobered us,

Their presence ominous.

Rifles manned by poor marksmen,

We hoped would not be tested.


I floated, nervously.

Bravado fading.

Two miles above the ocean floor,

Invading an alien world.


The black cold beneath,

Snaked its way up my legs,

Sending tentacles along my spine.

Awakening primal fears.


Someone, perhaps making a wish,

Threw a nickel, flashing silver.

It twisted and turned,

Reaching back for the light.


I watched it fade away,

Disappearing slowly.

Beginning its long journey,

From sunshine to darkness.


As I swam back,

Through waves rolling out of Asia,

I wondered if I too,

Would soon sink into the abyss.