Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sometimes, a house can be a living thing. Our house in Stoneham, Massachusetts was like that. It had been in our family for four generations, and when we finally emptied it out, it was like a funeral.

Our footsteps echoed off the hardwood floors when we walked through it for the last time, reminding us that empty spaces can sometimes speak the loudest. The walls, naked and barren, still framed the places where family portraits had rested: a collection of empty wreaths to mark the sad occasion.
Closing Up the House”(In the Cat’s Eye, 2009) tells its story.

Glenn K. Currie

Closing Up the House

The walls were wrinkled,

Filled with laugh lines

And the stains of tears.

Cracks leaked plaster

From a body worn.


It smelled of all of us,

A scent of life lived.

Children and Christmas trees,

Old magazines and dirty laundry,

Death and sex and dried flowers.


She sat on a pull-out bed,

Surrounded by the litter of years,

Age breaking the bargain

That keeps a house a home.

A caretaker ready to be a care taker.


The dust of living

Scurried across well-traveled floors,

Unnerved by strangers’ sudden movements.

Gathering in remote corners

As darkness settled in.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Today I am posting another segment from my new poem, “Breakfast Chronicles”.

Breakfast at L’Auberge (Sedona), recounts my observations while having breakfast in Sedona, Arizona, in a beautiful setting along the Oak Creek.

The service and food were wonderful. And the flowing water sang to us as we watched the dancers pass across the stage.

 Glenn K. Currie

Breakfast at L’Auberge (Sedona)


Thick auburn hair hung to her breasts,

Its untamed streaks ran naked everywhere.

She leashed a few of the wildings between her fingers,

To dampen their animal spirits

And keep her own in check.

Her jeans, boots and open flannel shirt

Suggested that after breakfast,

She would conquer the desert’s back trails.

The front trails seemed well-mastered.

Her friend was a still life

In a corner of a Renoir.

His day-old beard lost among her tangles,

Framed to insignificance,

By the girl with the auburn hair.




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Let’s add a little humor to the postings.

The two “adult/childrens” books that I have written, A Boy’s First Diary (2007) and Surviving Seventh Grade (2013) were both from the viewpoint of kids. (My wife says I relate to kids in grade school because, mentally I am still about thirteen.)

Adults can easily forget the challenges the world throws at us when our minds and bodies are growing at different rates and the world seems to be built only for full-size people.

This is a true story about one of those obstacles from A Boy's First Diary.

Glenn K. Currie

Campsite Toilets


I don’t like the toilets when we go camping.

They’re like Uncle Edwin’s outhouse, only bigger.

I worry about falling through the seat.

They make the opening too big for kids.


Grown-ups don’t have to worry as much,

They can cover the whole seat easy.

But kids have to balance on the edge,

And some of the holes are pretty deep.


Last night I had to go really bad,

So I took the flashlight and walked to the toilet.

I was sitting on the edge and lost my balance.

I might have been playing with the flashlight.


The flashlight fell down into the hole.

It sank slowly and the light shined up for a while.

It was a pretty horrible death.

In the dark, I knocked our toilet paper in the hole, too.


I used some leaves from a bush.

I hope they weren’t poison ivy.

I stubbed my toe twice walking back.

It was really dark and scary.


In the morning, Dad was looking for the toilet paper.

I told him the flashlight was in the hole.

He was more upset about the toilet paper.

We used Time magazine until Dad went to the store.


Monday, September 23, 2013


The hopes of the Confederacy rested on the shoulders of the generals who chose to send their soldiers across the fields in “Pickett’s Charge” (In the Cat’s Eye, 2009). For this battle in particular, the soldiers became the Confederacy, but each soldier carried a more personal burden. He could see and smell and taste death waiting for him. He started across that piece of ground because that’s what soldiers do, and he died without knowing the larger meaning of his death.
In the wall of silence created by the terrible sounds of battle, the generals finally heard the ghosts of these soldiers speak of the nightmare they had encountered. And they had no answers to the questions that were asked.

For the Confederacy, it became a fog-shrouded place where plantation pillars turned to sand: the remnants carried away on scattered winds that finally came to rest at Appomattox.

Glenn K. Currie


Pickett's Charge

There was a hollow spot

In the center of my chest.

Maybe where the ball would hit.

My throat was filled

With the taste of black powder.

Smoke was riding a gentle breeze,

Floating over us like angel dust.

We moved forward because everyone did,

Shadows in the sunshine

Waiting to fly away.

Soldiers fell in slow motion,

Screams lost in the wall of sound

That was our only shelter.

The field was forever,

A nightmare we could never cross.

They kept firing,

Even when we turned back.

Death whined in the ears

Of those who had the good fortune

To trip over the dead.

I turned to sand

As I lay there.

In the evening

I blew away in the wind,

Coming to rest
In a grave in Vitginia.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Someone asked me a while ago what “Boy Scout Camp” (In the Cat’s Eye, 2009) was all about. Well, on one level it’s about Boy Scout camp, which, for me, was a defining event in growing up.

On a different level, however, it is about that point in our lives when we learn that we are more than just the creatures of our environment.

It is about developing a better understanding of the world around us: how to benefit from what it gives us, and overcome the challenges it places in front of us.

Boy Scout camp was that watershed event for me. But for all of us, there are points in life where we have the opportunity to begin to realize our potential, and perhaps be more than we ever thought we could be.

We are no longer the “rabbits trapped”, but learn to live outside the “rabbit hole”.

Glenn K. Currie


Boy Scout Camp


Rain pounded

The cabin roof.

Drum beats on snares


Rabbits trapped.

It was scary at first,

Then soothing,

As we fell asleep

To the forest’s rhythms.


It was us

Against the world.

Capture the flag,

Or clean latrines.

Learn nature’s secrets

Or bleed in its barbed wire.

We played games of life

In pastures

Where children grew.


We lay on battlefields

Of crushed grass,

Reading secret messages

Sent to us by a million stars.

And we found our way

Through dark forests,

To the sanctuary

Of  friendly campfires.


In the end

We learned about life.


Taught us

To survive the snares.

And to see

The world


The rabbit hole.

Friday, September 20, 2013

“Apartment 3C” is a new poem in which I focus on a middle class marriage that is severely tested when a child enters into the family dynamics. A lot of changes impact relationships as young couples adapt to a very different home life. The rooms get smaller and the differences grow larger.
It is easy to get overwhelmed as windows close that once helped light the way through difficult passages.

It is a story played out too frequently in 21st century America.

Glenn K. Currie



Apartment 3C


They fought for space in a narrow kitchen,

Dueling cereal boxes elbowed their contents

Into unmatched bowls of skim milk.

Words were spoken only in the morning mist

Of veiled grunts delivered skyward.

A small child sat on the edge,

Crying into her dish of Cheerios.

Her unanswered protests echoed off

A closed window, too small to catch the light.

The day was beginning the way the night ended,

With refuge soon to be sought in work.

Finally, words were necessary,

The child the subject of tense negotiations

On who would drop her off at daycare.



Copyright 2013 Glenn K. Currie

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I wrote “Epitaph” (In the Cat’s Eye, 2009), to be carved on the concrete streets of inner city America.

It is what the young in the inner cities might write on the gravestones of the old. Many of them, like most youth, assume they will never grow old. And on these streets, some of them will be right: their tombstones will be the scars on the land, left by the violence that has raised them.

For those who do survive, it is a winding and sometimes terrifying road to a land of invisibility and irrelevance. In the mean streets of our cities, these are often the lost souls sitting on doorsteps and leaning against the walls of abandoned buildings, almost like they have developed a symbiotic relationship with those empty structures.

“Epitaph” describes a place where surviviors write the stories of their lives in invisible ink: on streets that belong to the young.

Glenn K. Currie



Hey, old man,

Shufflin’ away,

Deck is stacked

It’s the dealers’ play.

No place left

For five cent gin,

Bets are in,

You didn’t win.


Hey, old man,

Wallpaper face,

No one sees you,

Lost in space.

Sidewalks are filled

With fools like you,

Hangin’ around

Pretendin’ to do.


Hey, old man,

Holdin’ up that wall,

Your job is done,

Let it fall.

No one works

When it’s for free,

Whatever will be,

Will be, will be.


Hey, old man,

Don’t you know?

Jungle survivors

Are shovelin’ snow.

Plastic bags

Collectin’ lives,

Measured out

In forty-fives.


Monday, September 16, 2013

It is rare in any era to see people who are willing to stand up against crowd psychology, whether it be propagated by countries, companies or the torches and pitchforks of local citizens. This is why the picture of the young man standing against the tanks in Tiananmen Square a few years ago is so memorable, and why we praise those few who had the courage to stand against the Nazi terrors.
The too-common response is “you have to go along to get along”, or that all-time favorite copout of our new generations, “whatever”.
We play “twister” with our morals in order to justify the acceptance of policies and activities that we know in our hearts are wrong.

I wrote the poem, “Am I a Man” (Daydreams, 2004), in a “round” type of rhyme, to show how difficult it is, sometimes, to do the right thing. When the crowd stands by and watches evil triumph, the members often justify their inactions by telling themselves, “I’m only a man” or “only a woman”. The word “only” has justified a lot of evil in our history.

As you read this poem, ask yourself what you are.

 Glenn K. Currie


Am I a Man


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”.


Friday, September 13, 2013



Today I am putting up another segment of my new poem, “Breakfast Chronicles”.
Molly O’s is where the problems of the world are solved in York Beach, Maine. It is strictly a breakfast place, so if the great issues aren’t resolved between 5-11am, the world must wait another day.

Locals, tourists, young and old, all gather here throughout the summer and early fall. Don’t expect to find lattes and seventeen types of coffee here. This is a good, old-fashioned, place for American eating.
And don’t be surprised if you see a dozen people waiting outside for tables if you sleep in until 8:30 or 9:00. 
Glenn K. Currie


Breakfast at Molly-O’s (York Beach, ME)


A sitting Senator from another state

Stands outside with the tourists,

Waiting patiently to find a seat.

Inside, bacon hisses at eggs

Born abruptly into their midst.

Pancakes emerge slowly from bowls of batter,

English muffins emigrate to breakfast platters,

And a variety of miniature cereal boxes

Huddle unnoticed on a high shelf.

In a far corner, an invading army of eight

Gives orders to a waitress

Fresh from the chaos of eleventh grade.

Across the table a three-year-old eats French toast

With bare hands that then hug her father.

Copyright 2013 Glenn K. Currie

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Susanne and I like to search through antique shops occasionally. It’s a way to reconnect to the past and to understand our ancestors. In these shops are the things they saved. The things they deemed precious.
Often, we will find boxes of old photographs, tin-types, cabinet cards, etc. I used to think what a shame it was that the current families had so lost touch with their ancestors, that these, mostly nameless, images had been relegated to the dusty shelves of the shops.
Then one day I realized that these pictures were only a momentary slice of each person’s life.
I wrote “Reflections” (In the Cat’s Eye, 2009) to relate my thoughts of what might be my connection to a great, great, great granddaughter, long after I had passed away.
We all can see pieces of our history, our ancestors, every time we look in the mirror. This is the chance each of us has at some form of immortality. I hope when my descendants look in the mirror many years from now, they will see a little piece of me smiling back at them…maybe even blowing them a kiss.
Glenn K. Currie



I bought the mirror for my daughter's bedroom

A month after she was born.

Now it leaned against the eaves,

In a far corner of the attic,

No longer suitable 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.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Spider's Web

I spent a lot of time in the Middle East in the 1980’s. I was president of a company that had a joint venture in Saudi Arabia. We did the operation and maintenance for 26 airports and some other military facilities. I also spent some time in Iran.
In the 1960’s I was deployed on a destroyer that visited several places in the same area. I wrote the poem “Entering the Gulf” (Daydreams, 2004) based on an actual experience on our ship, but I used that encounter as a metaphor for the larger issues that I found there in my later years.
I chose a picture to accompany the poem in Daydreams of a spider weaving an intricate web. The caption beneath it read “The Middle East is what meets the eye and much more. A giant web that seems to ensnare us all”.
We have recently been ensnared there three times. As a nation we seem to have no coherent strategy and no real understanding of the culture and the people there. We make the same mistakes over and over and hope the results will be different. I hope we will be smart enough not to get ensnared in this web again. Spiders may seem small, but if we keep flailing around in their webs, we may find that their bites can lead to deadly consequences.
Glenn K. Currie
                                                   Entering the Gulf 
The ocean’s surface boiled,
Alive with red sea snakes,
Wildly striking out at
The churning of our wake.
The foam grew thick with blood,
Welling up from below,
Hell’s gates broken open,
Releasing venom’s flow.
These serpents seemed to guard
The entrance to this sea,
Warning those who pass here,
“This blood will flow from thee”.
Suddenly they were gone,
The Persian Gulf lay dead,
Silence like a gunshot,
So quick the vision shed.
The quiet like a veil,
Drawn o’er the Earth and sky,
An eerie, empty mask,
Concealing angry eyes.
The land then came in view,
It’s rage burning the air,
Desert sands spewing flames,
Black blood flowing everywhere.
Copyright Glenn K. Currie 2004

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I write my poetry in a mix of styles depending on the subject matter and the objective. Poetry is a sensory vehicle as well as written words, and the meter and style help create the emotion that the poem elicits.


I have received a fair amount of criticism from both sides of the aisle because I choose to write in both rhyme and free verse. There is an active war going on among poets and readers as to what style allows for effective poetry. And for many, you can’t play on both fields.


I find that whole discussion confining. Rhyme is a perfect vehicle for humor and also for telling stories and establishing rhythm in poems where it is a useful ingredient. Free verse is very useful to me in dealing with complex subjects where the reader needs to move at his or her own pace and be allowed to float on the thermals of the message.


Below is an example of a poem that I chose to write in rhyme because the rhythm helps to establish the tone. “Boxcars” (Riding in Boxcars, 2006), is a poem about building an economy on the backs of the institution of slavery. It is also about the hopelessness that must have weighed so heavily on the victims.


The wear and tear on souls seemed best conveyed by the endless rhythm of the trains, chained together, as they rattled through the backyards of our country. Those “Boxcars” seemed a suitable metaphor for the treatment of the slaves who sustained the economy of the south during the first two hundred years of our presence in North America.
Glenn K. Currie


They rumbled by, chained together,

Dragging each other on worn rails.

Bearing their burdens, noisily,

Steel wheels screeching their sad travails.


Plodding slowly through dark alleys,

America’s wealth on their backs,

Weary slaves to the constant beatings,

From long miles of neglected tracks.


Boxcars branded by their owners,

Faded claims to these ancient beasts.

Even those outliving masters,

Sold to offspring of the deceased.


Old ones left in urban rail yards,

Covertly decked with diff’rent brands,

Graffiti printed on their sides,

The work of sympathetic hands.


None escape their endless burdens,

No freedom waits around the bend.

These servants work until they fail,

Chained on rails until journey’s end.

Copyright 2006 Glenn K. Currie


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

“Wandering in Cemeteries” (Riding in Boxcars, 2006) resulted (surprise) from a walk in a cemetery.

When we are young, we think we have an infinite amount of time. Then suddenly, we’re middle-aged and preparing for retirement. Along the way, we waste the days complaining about what is wrong with a world upon which we have the huge great fortune to be granted a few cosmic moments of occupancy. Or, as I saw this weekend on the part of some teenagers, we spend our time living inside smartphones, video games and computers when a startlingly beautiful world lay just outside the door.

In the end, we all wind up in the same place and wonder what happened.

Perhaps it would be worth considering what might be your regrets, before your history is written in stone?

Wandering in Cemeteries

 Monuments to those,

Who spent their lives


Living in comas.

Hidden now

Beneath the covers.


Monuments to those

Who raged inanely.

Angry at the weather,

Or the news.

Passions wasted,

On passing storms.


Monuments to those

Burning their lives away

In the furnace

Of somedays.

Ashes carefully saved

In time’s vault.


Monuments to those

Seeking immortality.

Striving for greatness,

Interrupted in their quest.

Their only mantles,

The first snow.


A city of souls,

Filled with regrets.

Unfinished stories,

Written in stone.

Read by those

Wandering in cemeteries