Saturday, March 4, 2017

All the complexities of life, we are told, are the result of the accidental conflation of events and materials in a universe both predictable and random.

Some think that this is all about to change, that we are becoming the masters of our universe. We are on the cusp of becoming gods. If the fools among us would just shut up and fall in line, we would be able to control this molten ball upon which we live, and our scientists could promise us eternal life.

Of course many others disagree. Some peacefully yield to belief in a higher order, others aggressively exercise their views by pursuing violent approaches to control their destiny. In the process we ensure that the universe remains full of surprises.

Poets, meanwhile, do their best to understand the world, and fulfill our roles as scientific artists. We try to put microscopes on life and human emotions. We use words put together like chemical compounds to cathect human thought and restore souls.

It has been a difficult time to do this. There is so much anger poisoning the environment, that it is hard to find the compounds that can bridge the abyss. And that is perhaps the message as we look at ourselves. We are tiny creatures in a universe of infinite dimension. We will never be gods, we are too imperfect to allow this to happen. And we will never have all the answers. All we can do is try not to let our egos overwhelm our perspective. Part of the great gift of life is the mystery. If we are honest with ourselves, most of us like the idea of having some things that are just unknown. We like being surprised. Okay, we don’t like bad surprises, but they are all wrapped up together, and part of the human condition. We fool ourselves to think otherwise.

One thing seems pretty certain. We will all be surprised in the end.  Let’s try to get from here to there without expecting everyone to want to travel the same road.

The following poem is a little reminder of man’s journey across this earth and how small a part of it we really are. Shamal is from my book “In the Cat’s Eye” (Snap Screen Press, 2009).

Glenn K. Currie

                                 Shamal


The storm rolled across the land,
Pushing a wall of sand a thousand feet high.
It carried the remains
Of crusaders and martyrs,
Filling the cracks in the earth
With ancient epoxy.
The lines of living were lost
In the enveloping darkness.
Borders disappeared,
As the wind blended sacred soil
With the sweat of shepherds and kings.
It was a world of the blind,
Each man a wanderer.
When the dust settled,
The moon spread pieces of silver
Upon the burial ground,
And the stars whispered assurances

That nothing had changed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It’s all about winning. Suddenly, or maybe not so suddenly, our society has immersed itself in a game of self-destruction. If we can’t win, then we must at least destroy the opponent.

We seem incapable of coming together as a nation, or trying to heal the open wounds. If our population doesn’t wise up, we will gradually bleed to death.

All the talk about tolerance and diversity has been thrown out the window. Apparently, it only applies if it relates to our group. And, sadly, the most intolerant now seem to be the ones who used to preach it.

We have reached a point where Kennedy’s famous request that we ask “ what (we) can do for our country” has been distorted into, “if the country doesn’t agree with me, I will do my best to destroy it”.

It truly has become “all about me, and my opinions and wants”. There seems little room for compromise or cooperation.

A few years ago, I wrote a poem about a growing sense of egotism and greed concerning our celebrities and political leaders. I fear that this has spread into a national disease.

Perhaps it would be wise for everyone to take a breath and think about “National Anthem” (In the Cat’s Eye, Snap Screen Press, 2009). Is this really where we want to go as a nation?

Glenn K. Currie

                          National Anthem

It’s all about me!
It’s all about me!
Indubitably,
That’s how it should be.
Speaking candidly,
I’m in love with me.
Me! Me! Me!
It’s all about me!

It’s hypocrisy,
To didactically,
Preen endlessly,
About humanity.
Just turn on TV,
And you will see,
The reality.
It’s all about me!

So when up you stand,
With heart in your hand,
Prepared for the band’s
First song of the land,
Please sing after me,
“Oh say can you see,
The land of the free,
Is all about me”.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

I think that one of the reasons that the country is so divided is that we are losing touch with how to talk with each other.

Face to face communications is disappearing, and as society focuses more on social media interaction, it becomes easier to think of the opposition as faceless evil. It is no longer reasonable people with differing opinions of how to make the world better.

The lack of face to face discussions turns our disputes into something similar to road rage. We hate that car, that tweeter, that abortionist, that tree hugger.

The world has changed so fast in the last hundred years, that different generations have almost nothing in common. When my mother was born in 1914, automobiles and airplanes were in their infancy. When I was born, the impact of the Great Depression was still very fresh, and we were in a world war that caused damage that we can hardly imagine. When my daughters were born, there was no real internet as we know it, no one had cell phones and a computer was a curiosity for the general public: something to play games like Pong.

Now, our children and grandchildren grow up in world where high technology has overtaken our culture. People no longer write letters or know their neighbors. Everything is organized, from children’s activities to how much soda we can be served. Many in our nation have retreated back into social media for our interactions.

All this change leaves many without the ability to hold actual conversations. They hide in their facebook accounts where they let their anger and frustrations build and explode.

Older generations often feel left out of the “discussions”. They sit at home with no jobs, no input into the new society and no hope for a future. Their savings accounts have been destroyed by the “zero interest” economy, they are ridiculed for being clueless about high tech, and their culture is assaulted on all sides.

The country sits astride all these generational disputes with leadership that seems clueless to the issues that many face. We were supposedly “surprised” that people who had been told to shut up suddenly registered their frustrations in one of the few ways still left to them. We made it difficult for them to talk about issues but they finally let loose at the polls. And now, suddenly the dam has burst, and everyone is yelling in the press, on the internet and in person. And they are all screaming at the same time. But we still aren’t really talking with each other.

We need a better understanding of history and civics in our society. We need a better understanding of each other. Part of that is a better recognition of the massive changes that our society has undergone. We have citizens from many generations who have been left behind in this new world. The damage has been economical, physical, emotional and structural.

I recently wrote a poem “The Skywriter” that deals with the economical and emotional impacts of being left behind. It is about America, and our own “hundred years war”.
Let us all hope we can find peace with each other in 2017.

Glenn K. Currie


The Skywriter
Copyright 2017 Glenn K. Currie

He climbed slowly into the weathered biplane,
Whispering to it in the late afternoon cold.
The engine coughed a tired greeting
Before it settled into a rhythmic beat
And carried him high into the azure sky.

The pilot had spent his life writing on the heavens,
His brush the noisy antique in which he rode.
For decades, he captured the eyes of curious millions
Excited to decipher his unfolding works
Before they disappeared forever into the ether.

He no longer painted the sky.
The audience had moved to other canvases.
Clouds were now captured in boxes,
Where words hid in their own vapor trails,
And no one needed blue sky or sunshine.

Instead he circled beneath unseen stars,
Searching, in the fading light, for a place
Where messages still floated in bottles,
Dreamers colored the world in chalk,
And words were still written on the wind.







Wednesday, January 4, 2017


It is not an easy world in which to be your own person: to avoid the brain-washing of the media, and the false choices provided by the “true believers” of the left and right.

Unfortunately, many in our society have ordained that everyone must think alike. We see this at our universities and among the clustered masses that gather to demand that you agree with them or remain silent when sensitive issues are brought before the public. Political correctness leaves no room for different points of view, or intelligent discussion regarding ethics or morals. This, in turn, results in bottled up emotions that only finally surface in “surprise” events like the recent election.

We have become a nation with too much time on its hands and not enough perspective to know how to use it. Instead, many in our population create imagined slights, or overreact to affronts and disputes, resulting in a steady stream of angry confrontations that split society and cause us to feel like a nation coming apart.

The saddest  part about all of this is that too many of our young people are totally unprepared to deal with the “group think” movements. Their lack of historical knowledge leads to little understanding that our nation was built on compromise and evolution, not the absolutes that too many now try to cram down our throats.

Too many have been processed through a shoddy educational system, and have been raised in an environment where they have been told they are smarter than they are. They have not been confronted with anyone questioning their brilliance and never learned to actually do their own due diligence on issues.

I wonder how many of the children born in this century will even know how much they don’t know. We don’t teach them history or civics or geography. For the most part, they are no longer exposed to philosophy, or the great books. Debate and active discussion of sensitive issues is discouraged in most institutions of “higher” learning.

The sad result is we are not preparing people to lead. Who are the future inspirational guides for our country? Certainly they aren’t the ethically-challenged celebrities or sports figures who think that achieving one skill makes them an expert on everything. Most of these folks are like the action figures that promote them. They are images, not reality. Most are less informed on real life in America than the average shopkeeper or garbage collector. And I have not seen many true statesmen/women evolving out of the meat grinder of our current political structure.

We are being carried away in a sea of platitudes and hyperbole, and no one is standing up and talking about it. We are dying as a nation because we no longer know what we are. We are a people that is being taught to believe in nothing. And if we don’t wake up soon, that is what we will become.

I wrote a poem a while ago that asked its readers to have the courage to use their common sense and strength of character to hold fast against panic and crowd frenzy when those with an agenda try to force us to rush to judgement.

I wonder how many still have that strength. We will learn much about ourselves in 2017. Many have already drawn the battle lines. There are many things that need to be fixed in our country. No one has all the answers. I pray that we are smart enough as a nation to demand that our leaders sit down together and work on solutions, rather than playing the petty games of stonewalling and obfuscation.

Am I a Man” is from Daydreams (Snap Screen Press, 2004). I hope they are words you all will consider as we move into this new year.

Glenn K. Currie

                     Am I a Man/Woman


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”.