Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Here are a few thoughts while watching stupid stuff on television:

All the extra channels just seem to give more members of our population the opportunity to prove they are idiots.

What does it tell us when a candidate runs a negative political ad on television that would embarrass a four year old in a spitting contest and then says, “I’m ----- and I approved this message”.

What does it say about us when we send this person to Congress and are disappointed that all they do is have spitting contests.

Do people who win the lottery understand that it is often one of the worst things that will ever happen to them? Their life will be run by lawyers and accountants in an environment where their greatest aspiration may to somehow free themselves from the expectations of others.

Why do the car dealers that run the dumbest ads seem to be the most successful? Think about that if you are one of the customers who made them rich.

Most of us watch sports to get away from politics and crime. So why don’t the announcers and commentators understand this. If I really want to hear intimate details on why Ray Rice cold-cocked his wife, there are 47 cable news stations and twenty three talk shows that are dealing with it.

I wish real life was like crime shows. Almost every show has an informant who somehow, in a city of ten million people, knows somebody who knows who did it. Those are the guys we should put on the payroll for the big bucks.

What is it about vampires and the walking dead that is so fascinating? Do we really want to see more examples of people who suck our blood? And as reality shows will testify, most of the population are already brain dead, so where do the zombies think they will find anything useful.

Glenn K. Currie

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Usually when I fly, I choose an aisle seat. I like to get up and move around without disturbing anyone. Sometimes, however, after a hard trip, I want to dive into a window seat where I can be left alone to stare out at the world and maybe regain a little perspective.

I have flown across the United States many times, but I never get tired of seeing and imagining life in the tiny worlds that pass below.

Places (Daydreams, 2004) was written after returning home on a fifteen hour flight from Saudi Arabia to Houston.

Near the end of the trip, as we crossed above the towns and cities of America, I realized how much I envied the people below. I decided that, on the whole, I would rather be on an evening walk in a small town, than riding a vapor trail at 30, 000 feet.

That trip ultimately marked a turning point in my life.

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 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.




Thursday, October 23, 2014


Why do people run? They run towards things, away from things and sometimes just to stay in the same place.

The world seems to grow bigger every day. Burdens pile upon us from regulations, taxes, families, expectations and disappointments.

Both literally and psychologically we are a nation of runners. The few people who actually move in the slow lanes are considered impediments to progress. We run to escape the realities of this demanding world and to keep up with them. For those fortunate enough to be able to physically run, often the result is to slow the spin down. They reach a point where the colors of the land change from the harsh reds and yellows of everyday life to the soft pastels that bring them to a quieter place. This is called the runner’s high, and for those who have been there, you understand why people are out there rain or shine, putting in the miles.

As I have aged I have reached a point where I can no longer run. The world continues to speed by, however. I miss the escape.

I wrote The Runner (Riding in Boxcars, 2006) when I was about thirty-two. Running helped me through a tough period. I suspect many in our society can relate to it.

Glenn K. Currie
                                                           The Runner

He ran. Fled really. Out

narrow side streets. Into the country,

past fields, fallow, and farms falling

into themselves. Away from crying

babies, needing him

in jobs with no future. Away

from nightmare nights and days

where rooms grow small.


He ran for the pain. Torturing

his body. Leaving everything

behind. Running until he could taste

the colors of the country.

Pastel greens and blues floating

with him. Distilled spirits drunk

with each breath.

Finally losing the zone.

Flashing reds and yellows

Bringing him slowly home.


He ran. To escape the lost dreams.

Lives never lived. Life being lived.

He ran keeping his times.

Marking the minutes and seconds.

Hoping to travel,

the same road faster.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I wrote “Thirty-Five and Holding” (Daydreams, 2004) when I was thirty-five (surprise!). I had just been named President of a new subsidiary of Avco Corporation and was traveling constantly while we set up a support group in the Middle East. I had two young children and we had just moved to Houston, Texas.

I was at a point with a Fortune 500 company where I could make an enormous career jump if I executed this new assignment correctly. The pressure was substantial and the atmosphere unforgiving.

While on a trip to Saudi Arabia, I sat down one night and wrote this poem. I used rhyme because it helped to portray the feelings of one riding a merry-go-round without an off switch. And I subtitled it (A Country Song) because  we were living in Texas and it seemed like it would make a great subject for lots of people going through a variety of different struggles with jobs and young families.

As I look back, I still feel that it captured the emotions of those years pretty well.

Glenn K. Currie

                                                Thirty Five and Holding
                                                     (A Country Song)

                                                Got a house owned by bankers,

                                                And a job without no friends,

                                                But the pay is really something,

                                                My future’s without end.


                                                Yeah, I’m thirty-five and holding,

                                                And I’m livin’ on the run,

                                                But I’m thinkin’ of the glory,

                                                The good times still to come.


                                                My family doesn’t know me,

                                                I’m a stranger at the door,

                                                Just empty out the suitcase,

                                                And fill it up with more.


                                                Cause I’m thirty-five and holding,

                                                There’s lots of time for fixin’ that,

                                                Just bring the kids a present,

Read ‘em “The Cat in the Hat”.


The windows are never open,

No matter where I go,

And the scenes of life are hidden,

By the TV’s steady glow.


Still I’m thirty-five and holding,

And my grip is really strong,

I can’t let the empty feeling,

Make it all go wrong.


Have some coffee in the mornin’,

And clear the evening haze,

Opportunities before me,

To fill the busy days.


When you’re thirty-five and holding,

You are fighting for the ring,

You can’t ever lose the focus,

Success, the only thing.



Saturday, October 11, 2014


I chatted with a friend recently about our experiences in Vietnam. He had spent a lot more time in-country than I, and also had been involved in several of the more intense ground conflicts. But our takes on the war itself were pretty similar…and not too different from what we saw happening now in the Middle East.

These are political wars fought from remote locations by leaders more intent on making themselves look good than accomplishing any real objectives. (Has there been any time when that approach has actually worked?)

In Vietnam, we sent troops in harm’s way with no real plan. Fight a bloody battle to take or hold a hill, then leave because it was untenable. Drop bombs in the jungle because cities, airports, dams, and harbors were too politically harmful, then complain because all these bombs had no effect. Change military objectives weekly depending on the whims of Washington.

In Vietnam we got involved in a long war (by my count thirteen years). There never seemed to be a sense of immediacy in whatever we were doing (except getting out). Our men and women were sent over there and left to flail around in the culture. The troops on the front lines went through hell without direction or purpose. Support personnel and military leadership settled into a daily life that mostly involved staying out of the headlines. It was a “bizarro” world where no one knew what was expected of them.

We have been sinking into the same swamp in the Middle East. Our politicians have no idea what they are trying to accomplish. They make decisions based on what their political base tells them. They have lost the support of the country and seem to have no real concept of what war is. It’s like watching a guy get into a bar fight where he is just trying not to lose. Ultimately he will get his ass kicked.

I wrote DaNang 1968 (Riding in Boxcars, 2006) when I was over there. It is symbolic of our whole effort over there and, on a broader scale of our current politicians’ concepts of how to fight a war. We would do well to heed the simple words that most of us learned on the playing fields of America, “win or go home”.

Glenn K. Currie


DaNang 1968


He was water skiing,

Weaving back and forth,

And against the tropical scene,

He was a typical tourist.


A little further out,

Resting gently on the aqua sea,

The Repose cradled its wounded,

Dressed in a large red cross.


The skier, in graceful silhouette,

Passed before smoking hills,

Where mortar rounds, like distant drums,

Boomed beats to his ballet.


The forces of life and death,

Seemed joined here in tortured embrace,

A not so peaceful union,

That could last forever.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I drove through Franklin, NH, last weekend and was reminded again of how the world has changed in the last fifty years.

Our country’s economy has transformed from a manufacturing base to one dependent on service businesses and high tech. In the process we have witnessed many factory towns become invisible.

The smoke stacks have gradually disappeared, many remaining only as memorials to a lost way of life. Those few that still function are under constant assault from our own government as well as those in other parts of the world that are anxious to replace them.

For those citizens who are trapped in the cities and towns that depended on manufacturing, it has become a cold and empty existence.

Factory Town (Riding in Boxcars, 2006) is a reflection of what I saw as I visited many of these places.

Glenn K. Currie


Factory Town

Smoke from high stacks,

Is disappearing,

 Carried away by a frigid wind,

Sweeping in from the West,


Barren horizons.

Night lights,

Of  homes and factories,

Burn weakly,

Their reflections

An orange blur

Against blackened snow.

Asian wolves,

Silently watch

From ancient woods,

Waiting for stragglers,

Too old

To keep pace.

Broken windows shiver

In the cold.

Fragile shelter

From invaders,


The land.