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

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


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
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 and also is on my Facebook page.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

One of the interesting things about the state of affairs in the world, is how the vestiges of colonialism and imperialism continue to impact international events.

We see it in the illogical demarcation lines in the Middle East, the wreckage in much of Africa, the mixed messages in the United States towards Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico, and the many scars left by Spain throughout Central and South America.

The British Empire was probably the most successful in gradually evolving from an empire into a Commonwealth of Nations. But they, too, had many failures as evidenced by their impacts in the Arab world, Kenya, South Africa, Pakistan, India and Ireland. And even in places where they had a somewhat successful presence, they had much for which to apologize.

I traveled a great deal in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, and had a chance to see, first hand, the transition of many of these places from colonies to nations. It was a bittersweet period. The world was changing faster than our ability to adapt.

On one of those early trips, I wrote a variety of poems about the places we visited. They were almost all post-colonial parts of the Middles East and Africa. I saw the beauty of the Seychelles, the poverty of the Sudan and Eritrea/Ethiopia, the confusion of post Mau-Mau Kenya, the barren emptiness of al-Masira, Oman, the developing storm in Aden, and the magnificence of the Suez Canal.

It was an interesting testament to the long term ramifications of what we do as nations and as citizens of the world. It was once said that “the sun never sets on the British Empire” and it was true. But the sun eventually sets on all of us. We are currently creating more issues for our children to resolve: more issues that actually had their origins in this same era of empire-building. Great anger and many actions remain to be resolved. We need to ask ourselves if what we are doing is rebuilding a better world or creating future nightmares. We will all be judged by what we leave behind for future historians, and even poets,that  to analyze.

Since much of what I have written today involves the Middle East, I will leave you with a poem Entering the Gulf (Daydreams, Snap Screen Press, 2004) I wrote at the time, and which involves a great deal of symbolism. I do believe, however, that my comments from 1966 have stood the test of time.

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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Susanne and I just returned from two weeks visiting the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The climate was perfect, the food was great and nobody seemed to care about conflicts of interest, bribes, emails or Trumpisms.

It’s been a little warm since we got back here in New Hampshire but it’s supposed to get a little warm in August.

The fish are jumping and the corn is high. Corn is important here. There is nothing better than New Hampshire sweet corn grown in northern New England and freshly picked.

To my readers from overseas, and there seem to be a lot of you, I would suggest a trip to New Hampshire that runs anytime from mid-August until mid-October. You have a chance to eat some truly wonderful fresh produce, take some spectacular photos and watch the world change colors.

Did you know that the state of New Hampshire has more land under forest now than it had two hundred years ago? If the world is starting to feel a little crowded, we provide a great change of pace.

We have been invaded by a few city folk who want to make us just like New York or Massachusetts, but, fortunately, the majority have worked to maintain our special status. We are a population that likes to find its own path, and refuses to be stampeded onto the crowded paths. We cherish independence, ethical living and the use of common sense. I hope we can sustain that despite all the negative vibrations that emanate from much of the world around us.

Sometimes it is easy to lose perspective in our lives. I wrote a poem a few years ago, Wandering in Cemeteries (Riding in Boxcars, Snap Screen Press, 2006), that will, perhaps, remind us of what is important.

Glenn K. Currie

                  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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I haven’t written much lately because I honestly didn’t know what to say.
I am depressed by the state of our country. We seem to be incapable of understanding the world outside of our borders, and we seem to be incapable of understanding each other.

Instead of coming together when we are threatened, we make ourselves even more vulnerable by turning into a bunch of bickering groups more intent on the destruction of each other than the safety and welfare of our country.

It all seems to be about what goodies the government can provide, or what controls the government should put on our private lives. Here’s a message for all of you. If Sharia Law becomes the law of the land, you won’t be getting any goodies and you won’t have private lives. I know, you think that can never happen. Well, if we keep fighting among ourselves, belittling our military and police, and pretending that we are impregnable to outside and inside threats, we will wake up one day, ruled by someone who isn’t afraid to make decisions and hates everything we stand for, which, by the way, isn’t very much anymore.

Our leadership in Washington over the last two decades has been dreadful. We wobble among the choices of incompetent, ineffective and embarrassing. And what do we get from our political parties in this crucial period? They have basically fled the scene. We were hoping for candidates who could bring strong character, leadership, competence, common sense, logic and an ability to unite our nation. Instead we have two people who are self-serving, untrustworthy, partisan, vengeful and downright scary to most of the public.

I don’t even know what to hope for at this point. We are coming apart at the seams, and our designated new leadership would rather dance on each other’s graves than look for ways to form a common front against outside threats, and work to recreate our national sense of unity.

I don’t have any answers. Our political parties and our voters have betrayed us. No matter who wins in November, we will be poorer as a nation. We have chosen to be angry, greedy, grasping, vengeful, petty, untrustworthy and unforgiving in our choices and put ourselves in a position where the entire world is afraid of the outcome. We should be ashamed of ourselves. And let’s hope that is the worst of it.

Sorry. I needed to get that off my chest. I will try to come back from a brief vacation with a renewed sense of humor and maybe some new poems.

Glenn K. Currie

Thursday, July 14, 2016

We spend a lot of time up at York Beach in the summer. It is one of the great vacation  places in the area for parents with kids in different age groups. No one needs a car to participate in the various attractions. There is a petting zoo, carnival, batting cage, several basketball courts, a large grassy area for frisby, wiffleball, soccer, etc, live bands in the gazebo in the evening, a total building dedicated to video games and skee ball, and bowling and go carts. It also has a terrific playground. But in the end the real attraction is a very gently declining beach that makes for great time for even the youngest beachgoers.

A while ago I put my observations of the beach residents into a piece that was used in the Concord Monitor. For those who may have missed it I include it here. It is also among the many pieces in Granite Grumblings (Snap Screen Press, 2011).

I hope you have some fun with it and I hope you have a chance to get to the beach this summer.

Glenn K. Currie

Getting Ready for the Beach

I have spent parts of the last thirty years at York Beach, Maine (sometimes also known as Concordville because so many Concord residents vacation there). It is a great place to go for a change of pace. I like the sounds of the ocean, the cool sea breezes, the excitement and activity of the area, and the ever-changing scenery (both on the water and the sand). For years, however, I have been trying to figure out what motivates individuals to spend all those hours actually lying on the beach. I couldn’t understand why theoretically normal and sane people would find pleasure in oiling themselves up, and then alternately frying themselves in the hot sand and freezing in the numbingly cold waters of the North Atlantic. I was unsuccessful in obtaining a government grant to pursue an analysis of this (apparently they were already over budget for theses kinds of projects). I decided, however, to continue with research on my own, as a service to my fellow man.

After years of study, and many long hours with the binoculars, I believe I have been able to classify, in general terms, some of those who seem so addicted to blistered skin, sand in intimate places, and heart-stopping, cold water baths. I thought it might be useful to share some of the results of this research with you prior to the arrival of the new beach season. This might allow you to better evaluate the situation if you, a normal person, were to suddenly find yourself surrounded by a broad cross-section of certifiable crazies at such a beach.

The following categories comprise the major groups of beach dwellers. They are listed in no particular order:

1)Polar Bears. There are people out there who actually like to swim in freezing water. Some of them can be seen on TV in the winter, diving into holes in the ice. This is part of their training program so that the York Beach water doesn’t seem too cold. I suspect that their brains were fried in a previous summer’s heat, and now they have the uncanny ability to actually thrive in water that makes the rest of us turn blue. Most of these people have been preparing for years for this test, their bodies are well-oiled, and the tide tends to rise when they go in.

2)Max-Tanners. These are people who use the beach to release their inhibitions. Many of them wouldn’t be caught dead in a revealing blouse on Main Street, but will basically strip down to their underwear as soon as they are standing on sand. The theoretical rationale is that this is the only way they can get a really good tan. The actual objectives vary from impressing boyfriends or girlfriends, to enjoying the sense of freedom and release that comes from running around nearly naked. There is a kind of selective amnesia related to this, and that is probably a good thing. It definitely adds life to the beach scene but can be a real mixed blessing. There are some cases where there is more to meet the eye than the eye is ready for.

3)Voyeurs. Many beach-goers fall into this category. They come to see everyone else. Unfortunately beach etiquette demands that they also wear bathing suits. This can be particularly unpleasant. One ameliorating factor with this group is that they burn easily and therefore often cover up fairly quickly. They also tend to have very short attention spans, except when confronted with world-class max-tanners. Since York Beach is not Malibu, they often get bored and hot, and wander into town to buy ice cream and add to their collection of ugly t-shirts.

4)Perpetual Motion Machines. A wide variety of kids add excitement and variety to the beach scene. These youngsters have been resting up all year for beach day. They are impervious to cold water, are quite good at warming up tidal pools, love to splash those who wander too close to the ocean, and kick sand in food and drinks as they run over bodies and drip on towels. They are relentless in their activities, never sleep and have great lungs, which help maintain a decibel level that appears essential to maintaining the chemistry of the beach.

5)Beasts of Burden. These are mostly out-of-shape fathers who are on an involuntary conditioning program. They don’t actually spend much time on the beach, but they can be seen making frequent trips between car or cabin and the established beachhead. They carry inner tubes, folding chairs, shovels, pails, towels, big hats, cushions, binoculars, beach umbrellas, radios, wagons, strollers, blankets and a wide assortment of toys. The kids mostly ignore this stuff and the mother generally is too busy to use it, but it definitely contributes color to the setting. Most of these trips are scheduled at the hottest part of the day.

6)Unofficial Assistant Lifeguard. There are always a few of these guys on the beach. They roam back and forth looking for their lost youth. They can be identified by the tiny little bathing suits that they wear, and the tendency to have more hair on their backs than on their heads.

7)Mummified Remains. These are veteran beach goers who were left out in the sun too long, and are now a permanent part of the landscape. They are there when you get there, and they are there when you leave. They never seem to move, and probably own that piece of beach by virtue of squatter’s rights. With luck, they will wake up before the guys with the metal detectors come by and try to grab their earrings and keys.

I hope that this summary of my years of beach study will be useful to you in understanding the dynamics of this primitive culture. Obviously, most of you do not fall into any of these categories, but are, instead, just normal, healthy people looking to get away from the hot weather. And if you are also interested in doing scientific studies of beach culture, York Beach is a pretty good place to start.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The following piece was published this morning in the Concord Monitor. I am sure most of you will recognize the characters. Hope you have some fun with it. If you know a Congressperson please don't hesitate to forward it to him or her. They need some help.

How to Fix Congress

I spend a lot of time thinking like a ten-year-old. Not only does my wife tell me that I often am a ten-year-old, but it is part of the job requirement in getting in touch with the characters in my children’s books.

Recently, I was settling into my title character to work on a new part of a future book, when I began to think about the upcoming election and how totally inept our Congress seems to have become. I wondered what little Glenn might have to say if he were asked how to fix the seeming inability of Congress to function.

The following might have been some of his solutions:  

1)      I think we should make all the Congress people sit together like they do in school. Miss Fernapple said all the boys can’t sit on one side and the girls on the other. She says that would be segregation and she mixes us all up with each other. Now I have to sit next to Snobby Donna and even do some projects with her. She’s still a stinky tattle-tale, but I don’t put cockroaches in her locker anymore. If all the Republicans and Democrats had to sit next to each other, maybe they would do better on projects too.
2)      All the Congress people should have to go to lunch together and eat the same stuff that they serve us at school. I bet they would get tired of the turnip salads and tofu burgers real fast, and maybe then they would bring back pizza and chocolate chip cookies, and be in a better mood to work together.
3)      Congress people should have homework just like we do. Maybe if they had assigned homework they would read their bills before they pass them. I think civics and geography homework would also be good for them.
4)      I think they should have to ride to and from work on school buses. Those seats are really uncomfortable, there are no seat belts, and the shock absorbers are so bad that they would soon vote to fix the roads and bridges.  Buses would also probably cut down on traffic and pollution in Washington, and make parking easier. There might be some bullying on the buses, but Mr. Mullins would fix that fast.
5)      Miss Fernapple makes all of us turn off our phones in class. I think this would be a good idea for Congress, too. My dad says that if the Congress people actually had to listen to all the stupid speeches they make down there, maybe some of them would shut up.
6)      They should require better attendance. I get detention every time I skip a class. I think Congress people should too, unless they have a note from a responsible person.

Good luck finding one of those in Washington.

Glenn K. Currie

Mr. Currie is the author of  A Boy’s First Diary and Surviving Seventh Grade in which these characters deal with many of the real and important issues in life.(

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Also, a reminder that through the end of June my three collections of poetry are available at the counter of The Works in Concord at half price with all proceeds going to the Children's Literacy Foundation. provides lots of info about this great organization.

Just a short note to let you know that my new poem "Charleston Tears" won first prize in the recent New Hampshire Poetry Society contest and will be published  in the next issue of "Touchstone". I will publish the poem here as soon as it is published there.
Thank you to all of you for your interest and support.
Glenn K. Currie

Friday, June 3, 2016

I am exhibiting my poetry and photography at The Works in Concord during the month of June. It is a fundraiser for a favorite charity of mine, the Chidren's Literacy Foundation ( My books are available at the counter for half price this month ($10) and all proceeds will go to CLiF. Since I know all my readers are not local I will also make this offer....any books that you order through my website, or directly to me at will also be available at half price this month and shipping within the US will be free. Again, all of those proceeds will also go to CLiF.
Thanks for your consideration.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

This is a piece that was published in the Concord Monitor this morning.

I picked up the May 18th copy of the Concord Monitor and noticed that in addition to the stories about recovering drug addicts and the need for more government subsidies, there was a piece about how the country was going into a tailspin regarding its moral conduct.

Apparently the writer just recently had this revelation after noting that an egotistical blowhard (my words not his) like Donald Trump was a serious candidate for President. What really perplexed me, however, was not the sudden clarity of his view on society, but that this same individual (a politician himself) has been a very staunch and public supporter of one of the country’s most morally corrupt politicians of the last two decades. Yet it took Donald Trump for him to realize that this country had lost its moral compass.

The capacity for hypocrisy among our politicians is hard to believe. And yet they somehow manage to keep setting higher plateaus from which to bloviate. Still, it was hard to disagree with his essential point that the country has lost its way as it wanders down the path to disaster.

There was another article in the paper discussing the demise of many local newspapers in this country. It was a nice piece but I couldn’t help but wonder if the writer was too close to the problems.

Yes, the newspaper industry is beset by many issues. The internet has provided inexpensive competition, has taken away ad revenues and changed the readership habits of many in the population. But the local newspapers have also lost awareness of some of the advantages they have, such as being the ready source of what is really going on in local communities. Unfortunately, the Monitor, and many others seem to focus primarily on the negative side of things. Even when they think it is an uplifting approach such as the article on a recovering addict or a new homeless shelter, it is a negative kind of positive. We are celebrating the care and success of those who have spent their lives making poor decisions. Yes, it is good that we are doing this, but if this is all we are doing we are heading for a murky future.

The morale and morals in our community might be well served by showing some truly positive  examples. Perhaps we could highlight some of the fathers and mothers who have taken responsibility to raise their children well: families without drug problems, and where abuse and infidelity aren’t the flavor of the week. I believe that many of those exist although you would never know it from the news. Perhaps we could feature a few pieces  about the business people who bring jobs and products to the area or those bringing creativity and vision to the community.

I know we don’t seem to be getting much of this from our political leaders right now, but that makes it even more critical that we provide it locally. There are lots of people in Concord and New Hampshire who resist the temptations of the world. They make sacrifices for their kids, work difficult jobs, treat people with respect and integrity, and help establish a “moral” environment. Couldn’t we focus a little more often on those stories?

I talk to a lot of people in this community, have served on a multitude of boards and think I have a pretty good sense of the pulse of the city, and I can tell you that the Monitor is losing its position as a real representative of the citizens. Readers tell me they may still subscribe to find out what physical events are happening, but they spend less time on the articles because it’s too depressing, it is just saying the same thing over and over, or it has no diversity in its approach to issues.

I realize that it is a hard road for the news media in this country to travel. It is very easy to focus on the negative. We have violence, wars, a poor economy, and lots of bad decisions made by our leaders and our individual citizens. But the majority of people in this country still work hard, raise their children well, and try to live good lives. We need to be reminded of that. In this election year we are facing a mystifyingly bad set of choices for new leadership. And perhaps we all need to take responsibility for that. There has been a distinct lack of attention given to people who do things the right way. Everyone, especially the media, focuses on the train wrecks in society. The non-producers and the manipulators get the attention, so we shouldn’t be surprised when they rise to the surface in a national election where the most outrageous, the most devious, the most deceitful, are the names the electorate gravitates toward. 

Glenn K. Currie

Monday, May 16, 2016

One of the TV shows that Susanne and I used to like to watch was Nashville. The show had a nice mix of likeable characters, interesting new performers and the feeling that the actors actually liked each other. There were always plot lines that included some drama and a few characters who were necessarily dislikeable. But in general, it was a “feel good” show.

About two years ago everything started to change. The number of songs performed by the actors (they actually sang) dropped dramatically, and in its place, the characters were all given major problems to deal with. As a result of the plot lines, the “likeability” quotient of most of the performers began to drop dramatically.

By this year, the show had become a typical soap opera with over-wrought drama and almost no music.

Today I read that the show is being cancelled. This should be a surprise to no one. I had stopped taping it a few weeks ago because it just became too darn depressing. Writers too often forget that viewers often watch programs to escape the problems and burdens of the events they see every day on the news.

A show named Nashville should provide a look at country music and allow us to identify with a fictional world where, at least once in a while, things go right for the characters. The writers instead started to fall into the typical cycle of misery, duplicity, back-stabbing and tragedy that defines so many nameless offerings on television. They killed the likeability of the characters, the association with the city and, most importantly, they killed the music. For a series with the name Nashville there wasn’t much else to kill except the show.

As a writer of humor and poetry, I have always believed that it is useful to provide the reader with something that can lift their spirits, or at least leave them empathizing with the characters or the topic.

I feel sorry for the actors because they had put together a talented group of performers, but the writers and director ran their ship aground on the mud banks of the Cumberland River and the their paddle wheeler has sunk with all hands.

Perhaps a final question might be why Hollywood seems to do this so often. They seem to lose touch with their audience and change shows to fulfill other objectives. Comedies stop making us laugh and start preaching to us. Dramas seem to lose a sense of proportion and go way over the top or else get so involved in a single story plot that they lose track of what made them popular. Hollywood needs to get over themselves and stop thinking they are so much smarter than their audience that they can use the bait and switch on viewers to accomplish other objectives. 

Here's a little message for the people in southern California. We look to you for entertainment and once in a while hope that you will provide us with an intelligent show that is fun to watch. We have no illusions that you are smart because we are very familiar with most of the crap you put out there. But we hope that, "like the blind pig and the acorn", you will once in awhile stumble onto an interesting or different show. Please, when that happens, try not to rush out and screw it up. Nashville without music?  Send those people over to Chicago PD and let's move the show to Reno and feature poker strategy. 

Glenn K. Currie

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I just returned from a Navy reunion in which the plankowners of USS Biddle (DLG-34) gathered together in Annapolis to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the commissioning of that ship.

Our Captain (now 96), and nine of the original officers plus wives and other family were in attendance. There were about twenty-five plankowner officers initially, but deaths, conflicts and illnesses had worn the group down from earlier years.  

It was a very pleasant chance to renew old friendships, but also a telling example of the old adage that time waits for no one.

We were the young lions of the late 1960’s. we served our country, ignored the excuses, and came home from the conflict unharmed. In many ways we were very lucky…and for the most part, tolerant of those in our own country who wished us ill.

We formed a family, a shelter, where we could gather. We knew the truths and the fictions of that era, and took pride in having carried on the traditions of the finest naval force in the world.

We met every few years, but as the years passed, we saw our ship, the finest in the Navy in 1967, be decommissioned and probably chopped up for salvage. And we saw our country also go through a change to where it now appears to desperately need some kind of repair or salvage.  

At our reunion, I looked around at how we had all aged, and there was little doubt that our country has passed us by. Other younger generations are going to have to do the salvaging of this great country. And I think we are alright with that.

We could rejoice in the common bond of service. We had done our duty during our own difficult times. We had protected each other in the bad and good times through nearly fifty years.

Many of our group were career naval officers. You don’t get rich in the military and so we weren’t staying in the fancy hotels down by the water. But the company was the best you can get.

It is sad that our country has not honored the promises it made to service members then or now. The VA is still not doing its job as was abundantly clear from several of the comments there. That scandal seems to carry on, although better in a few locations. Other promises have also faded from memory as politicians declare a form of government induced amnesia.

But veterans do have a few special benefits still. All of us still have a strong love of our country and the deep satisfaction, the honor, to know that we served our country well. And we have the family that has been created by that service.

I don’t know what lies ahead for our particular family. We have become the observers, the invisible ones in the country. We hope for the best for our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. But we are truly the old soldiers fading away. I suspect we may not meet again, but it has been a singular honor to be a member of this family and to have traveled with them on this journey.

Glenn K. Currie

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Susanne and I saw Jewel perform last night in Wilmington, Deleware. It was a small venue, a few hundred people, and she did a two hour, one-woman show. It is hard to believe she is forty, but her voice and songs are better than ever. She still looks great, and the range of her voice is still amazing. the real deal. If you are ever fortunate enough to have the chance to see a performance, run, don't walk, to get tickets. I know that is what I did yesterday when we arrived here and learned that she would be performing that evening.
You will see few performances on this level. I can't think of a single other major female performer today who could captivate an audience for two straight hours with no bells and whistles to support them. She sang Over the Rainbow acapella to begin and the rest of the show with just a guitar. She never even sat down.
She has been through it all and that brings real depth to someone who still manages to have a sense of humor and can still deliver her songs with the full range from innocence to disappointment to anger to redemption.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

In a totally irrelevant post to the previous one, I am adding a few more of my personal definitions to the Currie Dictionary. And yes, I do find myself a little jaded recently.

Wisdom: The art of unlearning innocence and understanding the frailties of man.

Common Sense: Finding a path through these frailties that allows one to survive.

Success: Walking a path fast enough that even though it may be crumbling beneath your feet you are able to stay ahead of the chasm opening below.

Fame: Fooling enough people that they actually believe you are worth paying attention to.

Superhero: Someone who raises kids that aren't too badly damaged by the real world and understand the concepts listed above.

Bobble Heads: What all statues will be in the future. A way to pay tribute to the titans of politics and industry. Big heads, little hearts and a moving target for the pigeons.

Glenn K. Currie
I haven’t written much recently. I have been pretty depressed about what is going on in the United States. The anger that seems to be roiling just below the surface with so many citizens is almost palpable at times. It shows in the political process and it surfaces in the way people treat each other. Lines are being drawn and people who cross are considered traitors. Yet our society has been built on the premise that in a democracy, we vote and then live with the decision of the majority. In order for that democracy to thrive, however, the victors need to be willing to compromise on issues so that even the losers feel included in the general well-being of society. Our society has been gradually moving away from this sense of inclusion, and the winners, in their exultation and trashing of the losers, have left a large portion of the population feeling betrayed and abandoned. As a result, we now find ourselves facing an election with no viable candidates willing to offer hope for a society where all its citizens will be accepted and respected.

I don’t have any real solutions to offer. And that is my problem. Instead I am going back to a poem I wrote a few years ago. I have never found a leader or a philosophy that didn’t have some flaws and when we make the mistake of subscribing, totally, to either, we open ourselves and our society to disastrous consequences. Right now, it seems to me, that the left and right are trying to tear the country apart and we have no leadership or constituency that really wants to prevent it. I would caution us all, in both parties, to beware the “True Believers”. Our society will not survive without the freedom of both winners and losers to voice their differences and to continue to cherish the hope that we  all have a chance someday to feel like a winner.

The True Believer”(In the Cat’s Eye, Snap Screen Press, 2009) is a cautionary tale about what happens when those who think they have all the answers rule with impunity, and with the sure knowledge that they are purveyors of all that is right and true. It is a scary place, and we all should be very afraid that our absolutist actions are helping to take us there.

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.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Music has the ability to pick us up and take us to new places. It also can carry us back to favorite times. It can be soothing, arousing, or bury us under the beat of distant tribal drums.

I often write with quiet notes playing in the background. I find they help to unlock the spirits.

The Porcelain Piano (copyright 2016) is a new poem that evolved from one of these sessions after a particularly difficult day. The difference was that, this time, I put the pen down, and the solitary piano placed notes before me that told stories that had been written in the thin ether that is life.

Glenn K. Currie

The Porcelain Piano

The waves lifted me.
Lighter than air balloons
Rose over the mountains
Into the clouds,
Then floated
 Down the stairs of my childhood,
Leaving notes
I wish I had written.
They painted pictures
In the wind:
Impressionist works
That filled a moment,
Then faded.
Black and white keys,
Transposed, solid to liquid,
So I could drink until drunk.
Until tears
Had torn, refreshed and healed,
And the waves could finally
Wash away the mountains.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I have just returned from vacation and have watched the nominating process for our country with growing trepidation. I try to stay away from politics in this blog, but, in good conscience, I want to explore some of the observations I have had while watching this process from outside the direct batteground. It is a discouraging sight and the anger that seems to be running rampant in the parties and with the voters makes me fear for the future of our country.

Hypocrisy seems to be one of the major products that we manufacture in this country.

All the liberals are terribly sad that Justice Scalia has passed away and can’t wait to get total control of the Supreme Court. All the conservatives, who swear by the strict reading of the Constitution, are suddenly reinterpreting it so that the “people” can decide who appoints his replacement.

Liberals are in favor of abortion but are against capital punishment. Conservatives are pro-life and pro-capital punishment.

Liberals hate guns but many of the most prominent opponents are the same people who make Hollywood films and TV shows that are filled with gun violence. And they do it because it sells, not to show the problems. If you asked them to pull all their crime, combat, end of the world, zombie and Star Wars type shows, they would all be out of jobs.

Conservatives say they want the government out of our lives…except when they want the government peeking in our bedroom windows.

Liberals want lots of free stuff that someone else pays for…it’s undefined who, but looking like it will be our great grandchildren.

Conservatives want the world the way it was fifty years ago, except they would complain incessantly if they didn’t have all the modern amenities that modern life provides.

Everyone wants good health care, but no one knows how to pay for it…except it shouldn’t be them.

Everyone loves the internet, but also is afraid of what it means for privacy and the developing total dependence of society and life style on its sustainability.

It all has created a real quandary in where we go and how we get there. Progressives seem to say the more changes and the faster, the better. Conservatives limp along trying to protect the rear, and keep society from getting blown up by a sneak attack.

So now we take our partisan feuds to politics in a hugely important election, and we seem to be focusing on a bunch of gerbils as our choices for leadership. Is there a real healer in the group? Certainly not among the frontrunners.

Our voters seem to be taking on the character of the crowds at the Roman Coliseum during the declining days of the Empire…except that everyone, including the crowds, has bigger weapons.

All the disputing parties want total victories: complete surrender by the “enemy”. We need to be seeking a peace that allows the country to endure and prosper. This country cannot survive if its citizens are not allowed some measure of self-respect. We cannot legislate through “thought police” and demanding subservience to every new wave of conscience by some bureaucrat or lawyer trying to break new ground on human relations. People aren’t all going to agree on everything and we need to learn to live with that, because the only alternative is what we are seeing in the Middle East right now.

I hope our voters and our political parties will all step back, take a deep breath and choose some leadership for this country that we can respect and be proud to have represent our country. We have done it before. It isn’t impossible, even though right now it’s looking a little grim.

Let’s stop trying to squeeze all our population into a one-size-fits-all hole. We will all be in our own unbothered little hole soon enough, and at that point will finally realize that there is no total victory in life. Perhaps a little patience and tolerance before we get there would be a nice interlude.

Glenn K. Currie

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I have published two pieces today because I will be unable to post for a little while. When I return the primary in NH will be over and the world of politics will have moved on. It is shaping up to be a very strange election year and I am not sure our state will have done much to clarify things. I hope, in the end, we choose candidates who will work to bring our nation together. The world needs us to be a better, stronger internal community, and one that can provide leadership in a global congregation that seems to be losing its way.

Glenn K. Currie
When I was young almost every town had a Memorial Day Parade. This was a big event for the community and our school bands marched in all of them. I was proud to be a part, playing at different times saxophone, clarinet, drums and once even a glockenspiel. I especially liked how proud I was to be marching in the same parade as my Dad who was a WWII veteran.

In those days we had veterans from four wars march with us, although the wounded and almost all the Spanish American vets rode in open convertibles.

As kids we would get restless as we stood around at the cemeteries waiting for ceremonies we couldn’t hear to finally finish. Most of the time the bands were positioned off in the far reaches of the place where all the “old” graves were located. I can remember wondering who put all the little flags on these graves that were so far removed from current life. Most of them were for Civil War veterans whose markers were small, often in disrepair and very hard to read.

I wrote the poem Abraham’s Mountain (In the Cat’s Eye, 2009) a few years ago, after  I stood in a different cemetery on another Memorial Day. This time I had intentionally sought out that old portion of the cemetery which was again far from the ceremonies. The focus, as might be expected, was mostly on veterans from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The little flags were still placed on the graves of all of our veterans but little attention was otherwise focused on the distant memories of the Civil War.

As I listened to the far off report of rifles and then the haunting notes of taps, I wondered if the soldiers buried at my feet would be surprised to learn that their war has been the longest of them all. That bringing a nation together, after it had been ripped asunder, would involve so much more than the force of arms. Would they be surprised that hatred and prejudice still bubbles to the surface from the tar pits of people’s minds, even so many generations later?

Perhaps as Lincoln’s actual birthday approaches, we might honor those who gave so much for freedom but also remember that Lincoln’s and our work is still not finished. Our nation is a work in progress and each of us is also.

Glenn K. Currie

                     Abraham’s Mountain

Strangers gather here
On Memorial Day.
They plant little flags
Made in China.
Worn stones are decorated
To honor those
No one knew.
James (something)
New Hampshire 5th
Died December 1864.
Speakers are as stiff
As the cheaply-made flags.
Words from a different time
Remember many wars
With little understanding.
Their heavily labored words
borne on caissons:
Their ashes then
 solemnly carried away
On a languid wind.

They forget that
Abraham’s war,
Started so long ago,
Wages still
In deeds and spirit.
Strangers fire their rifles
Into the air,
And hear only
The thin cry
Of a lonesome bugle.
But far away,
Invisible dominoes
Are still falling,
Like the ancient gravestones.

The Road (Daydreams, Snap Screen Press 2004) is about New England…and about life. It is a path we have all traveled in one form or another, encountering obstacles that most of us have faced.

Perhaps that’s what fascinates so many with the New England countryside. In it, along its highways and byways, we can find pieces of the evolution of the American culture, and evidence of some of the places that lie in our future.

It is still a fascinating journey.

Glenn K. Currie

                            The Road

                                                Through old mill towns,
                                                Married to rivers
                                                That have lost their purpose.
                                                Facades staring out,
                                                With long memories,
                                                And short futures.
                                                Leaning toward the water,
                                                Like divorcees
                                                Who can’t let go.

                                                Past dairy farms
                                                That once prospered,
                                                Now fighting for survival.
                                                Faded red barns,
                                                Framed by rocky meadows,
                                                Rusting mowers,
                                                And homes too big.
                                                Waiting hopelessly,
                                                For reinforcements.

                                                Weaving through valleys
                                                Huddled in shadow.
                                                Mountains made tall
                                                By their hulking proximity.
                                                Stealing the sunlight.
                                                Bullies ruling
                                                A small world.
                                                Forcing travelers
                                                To go around.

    Ending at the highway.
    The intersection
    Of fast food and fast cars.
    Public restrooms
   And self-serve gas.
   Where everyone knows
   Where they are going,
   And can’t remember,
   Where they have been.