Friday, November 29, 2013

The Thanksgiving holiday appears to be getting trampled by the ever-increasing need for the retail world to expand Christmas shopping days.

This is a shame, as this has always been, for me, one of the most genuine of holidays. It is a period when everyone, regardless of religion, race, creed, etc. has a chance to reflect on the importance of family, the memories of loved ones, and the many positive things for which we each can give thanks.

Part of our thanks might be for the chance to live in the modern world where the ordinary acts of survival are not such a struggle.

Our ancestors, who are directly responsible for our presence on this earth, often lived hard lives and sacrificed much. It is a fitting time to look back and remember what their lives were like, and give thanks for what they did to make our lives better.

Ancestors (In the Cat’s Eye, 2009), was written after looking through a group of old cartes de visites in an antique shop. The only memories of these mostly nameless souls were now consigned to a dusty box by distant relatives or others who had no knowledge or understanding of their lives. As I looked into the eyes of these subjects, they seemed to speak to me.
Glenn K. Currie



The large trunk

Was filled with sepia leaves.

Fading photographs,

Fallen from ancient branches

Of family trees.

Old souls stared out through the dust,

Faces from centuries past,

Who had outlived memories

And had no labels.


Great grandfathers perhaps,

Or children dead at age four.

Soldiers in starched uniforms and farmers

Uncomfortable in stiff suits.

Women, worn through,

Insides painted outside,

The laughter drained out of them.

Pictures that were taken

To tell the world they were here.

But lost in an attic

That forgot they were there.


The women tell the story best,

Their eyes fighting a weary war.

They have grown a forest,

And struggled to rebuild it,

Through fire and storm

And disease and destruction.

The men look like explorers,

Passing through on winding paths.

The women look like they lived it.




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Many people seem so immersed in today’s high-tech world that they are oblivious to the real world.

Kids rest comfortably in their basement getting fat on snacks while playing video games that usually involve wreaking major violence on some opponent.

Adults drive around with a phone to their ear, or worse, to their eye, paying partial attention to a road filled with other drivers equally distracted.

People create avatars as an excuse not to deal with the challenge of real relationships, or satisfy themselves with building a list of “friends” on Facebook whom they have never met.

Whether through computers or mobile phones or the world of drugs and self-deception, a significant portion of our population seems to have “checked out”.

It provides a distressing outlook for the future of our society.

Virtual Reality (In the Cat’s Eye, Snap Screen Press, 2009) is a short poem that deals with the future that faces some of those who choose to live in their make-believe worlds.

Glenn K. Currie



Virtual Reality

He is a man who chases rabbits,

Dressed in a turtle’s hard-shelled habits.

One of an army of timid souls,

Hiding in plush-lined people holes.


Tightrope walking on a druggist’s knife,

His computer makes an avatar wife.

Ones and zeros have set him free,

To drown alone in a digital sea.




Friday, November 22, 2013

 When I was thirteen, I actually thought there was a chance of understanding girls. 57 years later, I know how foolish that was. But, at the time, I was still young and hopeful that the world made sense.
In my new book, Survivng Seventh Grade, (2013), I pursued this question with friends and parents, in  "What Girls Want". The answers were never satisfactory.
Have a nice weekend.
Glenn K. Currie

What Girls Want


I asked Billy what he thought girls wanted.

He said they like lots of ice cream.

If you don’t get them ice cream

They get very cranky.

I think Irma likes ice cream.

I wasn’t sure if that was universal, however.

Billy sometimes lacks subtlety

In his approach to things.

So I asked Mom.

She said girls like boys who are

Smart, kind and have a sense of humor.

Mom hasn’t been to school in a while.

The popular boys in school

Seem to be dumb, mean and tall.

I guess Mom meant girls in the olden days,

Before they became crazy.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I have been working on an invocation for a Rotary meeting this week and since it is a Sunday morning, I thought I would share it on my blog as well.
Glenn K. Currie

Dear Lord,
Give us the ability to use our allotted time here to seek out things in life that bring joy, hope and purpose to ourselves and those around us.

Help us to maintain perspective in our lives and never lose the ability to laugh at ourselves.

And no matter what burdens we carry through this world, let us find a way to put them down for a little while each day, and lift our eyes to all the wonders that hide in plain sight.

Our visit on this planet is a short one, give us the wisdom to appreciate what a blessing it is that, in this infinite universe, we have been allowed to spend our life’s journey on this beautiful world.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

When I was young I saw my parents as a permanent fixture in my life. They were the caretakers who taught me about the world and helped me survive the crises.

It came as a surprise when I became a caretaker for them. I know that is the natural order, if we are lucky, but it is not something I focused on until it became necessary.

I wrote “The Backyard” (Daydreams, 2004) to describe that transition. It is about becoming parents to our parents, and the pain and beauty of that natural process, including moving them to an assisted living center and selling their house.

Closing up our family house was filled with beautiful memories, the inevitability of change and the angst that comes when we realize that all the Mason jars ultimately break on the hard floors of life.

Glenn K. Currie

                                                         The Backyard


Grapes sweating in the early shade,

Hanging heavy on arbor spars,

Soon to be crushed, strained in cheese cloth,

Sweetened and stored in Mason jars.


Beds of violets, soft and free,

Running to the edge of the hill,

Peering down at thorns and brush,

Rebel seeds, growing where they will.


Basement marks show an old porch gone,

That once in grandeur had looked down,

Over the vines and purple beds,

Across the valley, to the town.


This childhood house, no longer home,

One final look, for memories,

The arbor gone to rebel seeds,

The backyard view now blocked by trees.


But as I passed the basement wall,

A faint glimmer broke through the mar,

Buried near where violets grew,

A tiny piece of Mason jar.

Monday, November 11, 2013


It seems fitting on Veterans’ Day to remember the ones that were left behind. In Vietnam, we exited in haste and left POW’s there who were never brought home. At first North Vietnam wanted to use them as bargaining chips and when that didn’t happen, they became “embarrassments” to both the United States (which abandoned them) and the Vietnamese (who claimed they didn’t exist). Ultimately the years eliminated the “problem”.

It is a shameful part of our history that the politicians would rather forget. The POW/MIA black flags are around to remind the world that these soldiers should not be forgotten and such shameful behavior on the part of our politicians should never happen again.

I wrote “POW/MIA” (Riding in Boxcars,2006) as a tribute to these soldiers and an indictment of the shabby treatment of them by our government. Please say a little prayer for all those who have served their country and never come back.

Glenn K. Currie



A field of razor grass,

Its borders undefined.

Faded flags flown for those,

Our nation left behind.


Illusions scattered here,

Like seeds on salted earth.

Ghosts drifting in the wind,

Souls searching for rebirth.


A place where war games played,

Controlled by pinstriped suits.

Soldiers left to answer,

With hesitant salutes.


Then one day abandoned,

Men left where they had lain.

Stranded in this far place,

Their country tired of pain.


Now buried in long shadows,

This field a place of shame.

Razor grass the prison,

O’er those who still remain.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

I wrote “Entering the Gulf” (Daydreams, 2004) in 1966 during a deployment on the Lloyd Thomas (DD-764) to the Middle East. The incident of the sea snakes seemed a fitting subject for the trip. The Arabian Peninsular was in disarray, Aden was already a dangerous port requiring armed guards everywhere we went, Saudi Arabia had just eliminated slavery about five years before, the Israeli-Arab conflicts were going strong and oil was king.

The whole Middle East seemed like a nest of snakes. And in the 47 years since, nothing seems to have changed. We continue to learn and forget the same lessons over and over. We put our troops at risk with no definable objectives or exit strategy and we fail to understand the culture and religions of the area.

Black blood still seems to flow throughout the region and our troops pay the price.
May God bless and protect them.
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.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013


In honor of Veterans’ Day, I am going to use the next couple of entries for a couple of my war-related poems. Many of the emotions that I felt in Vietnam are the same things impacting veterans no matter when or where they served.

The military is a place where you grow up fast. You learn about how politics impacts senior leadership and how bureaucracies basically don’t care about anything except covering their ass. But you also build strong relationships with a lot of the people with whom you serve. Most of us also have periods when we would rather be anywhere else.

I wrote Vietnam Daydreams-1968 (Daydreams, 2004) when we were on patrol about thirty miles off of Haiphong, there were 300 aircraft flying over North Vietnam and I Corps, and the politicians were making up insane rules of engagement that were driving us all crazy. We worked closely with the pilots who were putting their lives on the line every day, and feeling the frustration that comes from a mainstream media and political leadership that had no clue what was happening in the real world.

I get the feeling that some of that is going on right now in Afghanistan. Some things never change.

Glenn K. Currie


                                              Vietnam Daydreams-1968


                                                I want a house in Georgia,

                                                With a big screen porch out back,

                                                A squeaking double rocker,

                                                And a friendly mongrel cat.


                                                Where rain falls in gentle cadence,

                                                Tapping code upon the roof,

                                                Messages with food for thought,

                                                Washed down with 100 proof.


                                                Hank and the Braves on radio,

                                                Played with a love for the game,

                                                Evening news a weather debate,

Between sunny skies and rain.


                                                The darkness only a stage,

                                                To frame a million stars,

                                                Crickets playing background,

                                                To Jupiter and Mars.


                                                No thunder in the distance,

                                                No glow along the hills,

                                                No tracers lighting chaos,

                                                No counting up the kills.









Monday, November 4, 2013

I just finished performing in a musical revue that we worked on for six months and so I am ready for a little change of pace. I thought this might be a good time to pull out a little humor from one of my young adult books.

For background, these two books, A Boy’s First Diary (2007) and Surviving Seventh Grade (2013), both involve the same characters and are written from the perspective of ten and thirteen-year-olds as they grew up in the 1950’s.

Since tomorrow is an election day in New Hampshire, it seems like a particularly appropriate time to pull up one of the pieces regarding politics as seen by a thirteen-year-old. This is from Surviving Seventh Grade.

Glenn K. Currie

Government Work


Mrs. McGann is our Civics teacher.

She has been teaching us how government works.

We’ve been learning about checks and balances

And the three parts of government.


She says this keeps government

From acting too hastily,

And makes the politicians

Think harder about the laws they pass.


I asked Dad what he thought

About checks and balances.

He said he and Mom

Talk about that all the time.


He said most politicians don’t think

And neither do the voters.

People go to Washington

When they can’t get a real job.


Mrs. McGann says my Dad was just joking.

They are in charge of writing the country’s checks,

And making the laws we live by.

I still don’t understand who makes it all balance.