Thursday, August 28, 2014


The search for immortality has been a part of our imagination since we first became aware that we would die. It has been pursued in myths and legends, provided some of the impetus for the exploration of the far corners of the earth, and remains part of plots in stories of time and space travel, television series and movies It  is always in the back of people’s minds as we make advances in medical research, and it sustains parts of industries such as cryogenics.

In our fear of death, however, we forget that the cycle of life is what makes life so precious. If everyone lived forever, the planet could not deal with it, so our dreams are more oriented towards finding a way that we, as “lucky” individuals, could achieve this dream. It is a case of “be careful what you wish for”. Imagine a world where your friends and family pass away in the blink of an eye. You see your children and grandchildren come and go. You watch stars be born and burn out. Your body never grows old but your mind has seen it all.

Would it be a blessing or a curse that you would never die?

I wrote Immortality (Riding in Boxcars, 2006) to focus on this issue. After all, the ride in that “Boxcar” would be a long one.

Glenn K. Currie




The blessings

Of eternal youth.


A single drop

From the Fountain.

All his dreams

His prayers



Heart and soul,

Joined eternally.


One man, alone,

Traveling forever.

Endless time

To watch


Born and gone.



To search

The universe,

Seeking the antidote.



The blessings,

Of beginnings

And ends.


Thursday, August 21, 2014


Time for a few comments on how the bureaucrats and their special language are driving us all crazy. I hate acronyms. Everyone pretends they know what they stand for but most of the time we just move on from them without a clue, because we don’t want to have to ask the “stupid” question. Fortunately, I have always been very good at asking “stupid” questions, and I have a history of driving bureaucrats crazy by insisting they tell me what each of these things actually stands for. Here’s a little secret. They often don’t know either. By the way, did you ever wonder if acronym is actually an acronym for something, and if so what. Next time you’re in a big meeting with someone spinning off all these gobbledygook words, ask them what acronym stands for.

The bottom line is that I am tired of the government screwing up my life. It’s not enough that they write 100,000 page tax codes or 2000 page health plans, but then they load these things up with non-word words that mean nothing to the average reader. Then when you ask them what the hell a HIPPA is they get to look down on you with that special bureaucratic “smirk” that says you’re an idiot.

I wrote the following piece (Granite Grumblings, 2011) when I was in a VNA meeting. Oh, you don’t know that the VNA is the Visiting Nurse Association? What are you, some kind of idiot? Anyway I wrote this piece in one of those meetings, because the government seemed to be swamping us by the minute with new acronyms.

I hope it brings a little comic relief from a world that seems increasingly to have no sense of humor. I can only hope that no bureaucrat is reading this or I will probably be audited, again.

Glenn K. Currie


Comments From The HHA (Home Health Agency) Frontlines


I sat in what I hoped looked like a state of contemplative evaluation. Actually, however, it was dazed incomprehension.

They were talking about Groupers, HIPPS, No-RAP LUPA’s and OASIS.

I hate acronyms. They are never what they seem, and they make my head ache. In fact, lately, the whole health care system is starting to make me crazy.

A few years ago, I agreed to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association (aka the CRVNA or VNA).

I figured this might be fun. You know, get to meet a lot of nice nurses, eat some cookies at the meetings, maybe learn something about the caregivers who are going to be dealing with me in a few years. (Maybe sooner if there are many more meetings like this one).

The CFO is now discussing HHRG’s. “An HHRG of C2FZS1 would have a care mix weight of 1.0758 and a labor quotient of 1.3303, if the patient lives in Barnstable…”

The room begins to swim. A bunch of old Navy acronyms suddenly appear on the inside of my eyeballs. (MEGO/SOS/ASAP). I have a page and a half of these VNA acronyms and their meanings in front of me, but they aren’t helping.

I look up Grouper, which I always thought was a large bottom-feeding fish. But no, according to my sheet, its “a software module…and for HH PPS data from the OASIS assessment tool is grouped to form HHRG’s and output HIPPS codes”.

It goes downhill from there. Trust me when I tell you that HIPPS and OASIS are not body parts or a green spot in the desert. And the No-RAP LUPAs are not a Latin American singing group.

The amazing thing to me is that the nurses and administrators actually understand all this stuff. (They don’t necessarily like it but they understand it).

The health care system is getting so complicated now, that only geniuses should apply to become nurses. Which is probably why we have a current shortage of nurses.

Who would have thought thirty years ago that nurses would all be using laptops on their visits, and focusing on POC’s, PEP’s and PPS to keep HCFA happy.

The good news is that they haven’t forgotten about the basic mission of providing quality care to those in need. And despite all the bureaucracy, the level of services that these wonderful people provide is better than ever.

That doesn’t, however, prevent me from increasingly feeling like an anachronism in this era of acronyms and anomalies.

I think they just keep me around because I’m so good looking, and I make everyone else feel smart.

(By the way, I am actually writing this in the meeting. Hopefully, all the other Trustees and staff think I am paying attention to my DMERC’s and SCICs and am just taking copious notes.)

Glenn K. Currie

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


New England is full of old stone walls: walls that seem to appear from nowhere and go nowhere. They have been overrun by new growths of oak and maple, and lilac bushes and poison ivy.

It is a testament that much of northern New England has returned from farm and dairy land to the wooded hills and valleys that preceded settlement.

It is also a message to all of us who live under the delusion that man somehow rules the earth.

The stone walls each tell a story of a family that worked to bring nature under control. The energy to clear fields and build walls demonstrates the work ethic of our early settlers, and is certainly a contributor to the character and independence that seemed to define our citizens. And yet within a few generations, much of the land has been reclaimed by the original inhabitants.

All that remains of these families are the beautiful stone walls that serve as monuments to a presence and a past. In the end they simple whisper that the earth conquers all.

The Stone Wall (Riding in Boxcars, 2006) was written after many walks in the woods of northern New England.

Glenn K. Currie


The Stone Wall


It gradually disappeared into the woods,

A tired traveler, losing its way.

Old when old was young,

When the ground grew corn and sweet melon.


Built slowly, stone by stone.

Disgorged painfully,

From earth asleep for millenniums.

Built with the dreams of the young.


Abandoned when the farm failed.

Left to the slow embrace

Of oaks and pines and sugar maple.

The caress of winter winds and summer rain.


Finally merging into the woodlands,

A disintegrating home to ancient ghosts.

Stones fallen awkwardly among the leaves,

Weary markers on a journey to nowhere.






Monday, August 18, 2014


Below is a poem that I wrote about a month ago. We all have our weaknesses and sometimes it’s best to face them head on and hope for the best.

An “Afternoon Affair” (copyright Glenn K. Currie 2014) can wear a hole in the fabric of your everyday routine and change your outlook on life. It certainly has had an impact on mine.

Glenn K. Currie


Afternoon Affair


We lay together.

Seven different positions.

Always in the same order,

Except once.

When she wanted to reverse

The sequence.


She insisted she be in control.

And I gave myself

To her.

Removing my pants

On her command,

And lying beneath her.


The affair lasted nine weeks.

She drained me dry.

Forcing me, finally,

To walk away

In an effort to

Save myself.


I miss her a little.

The quiet is unsettling.

Like the aftermath

On a battlefield.

Now I wait to see

If we killed the cancer.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I have decided to put a few newer poems on the blog. Some of them are in rhyme, a form I often use when writing humor. I apologize in advance to all you “serious poets” out there who hold rhyme in contempt, but for me it works in some cases, particularly when writing humor or for children.
I wrote “Firefly Wisdom” (copyright Glenn K. Currie, 2014) a couple of years ago when I was planning a release of a new children’s book. Because of health and other reasons, the book is probably not going to happen, so let’s have some fun with it here.

There is really a message for all of us in it if we are willing to look. Miracles can be found in the strangest of the earth’s creatures and human beings may be the strangest and most surprising of all.

Glenn K. Currie

                                                          Firefly Wisdom


                                                The elephant said to the firefly

                                                No one could be as strange as I.

                                                I dare dispute what you decry,

                                                My tail on fire, your claim belies.

                                                And though we both are odd, it’s true,

There’s some more quaint than me and you.


Birds that swim and put heads in sand,

Fish that fly and walk on their hands.

But upon the Earth the queerest, methinks,

Is the human creature, who should be extinct.


He has no skills that I can tell,

No wings to fly, no protective shell.

Predators see him as a tasty treat,

And he only runs on two of his feet.

He has no claws to fend off foes,

No fur to warm him when it snows.


So keep perspective about your flaws,

Don’t let your appearance give you pause,

Though often we be of bizarre depiction,

There’s one out there who is stranger than fiction.




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I wrote True Believers (In the Cat’s Eye, 2009) to express my concern about what our society might become. In the years since, it seems like the true believers have become even more strident. The extremes in both political parties seem to want to force their will on the general public. As we expand the role of the federal government, and Congress empowers it with more controls on our lives, we run the risk of becoming the kind of society that we had always opposed.

We are a large and diverse country. It is hard to squeeze California, Nebraska and New Hampshire into the same narrow mold of cultural, religious and social mores that some desire. Our democracy will fail if we eliminate the very features that allow free people to be free. Our founders understood this. Some of our current leaders don’t.

We are being ripped asunder by people who are unwilling to compromise and politicians who allow themselves to be controlled by big money and single issue advocates.

True believers in a more advanced state of intolerance are now the ones ripping apart the Middle East. They accept no compromise, no willingness to find common ground: only the desire to put opponents under the ground.

We are rapidly losing our faith in Congress and the Executive branch to lead us away from these kinds of extremes in our own country. We push each other to the edge with anger and intolerance, and the need to demand “one size fits all” legislation.

We should beware of what we ask for.

Glenn K. Currie



True Believers

They wear their causes

Like tattoos.


Made from the cloth

Of cultural epiphanies

Or sacred decrees.


They march to words

Beaten into placards.

Written too large

To accommodate

The small surface

Of their hearts.


Their torches burn

At my windows,



To a society

Without questions.


They want to create

A new world,

Where everyone

Believes the same.

Where everyone knows

All the answers.