Tuesday, June 30, 2015

We vacationed in Hawaii the last two weeks, attending my niece’s wedding in Kauai and then returning to the Kona Coast for the first time in 43 years.
The drive along Kona on the south side of the big island of Hawaii is a lesson in how much in life we really don’t control.
Lava fields flow for miles down from Mauna Loa and on into the Pacific. They are a series of huge black and brown streams of rock that continue to build an island already created by eruptions from 10,000 plus feet below sea level and rising another 13000 feet into the sky.
The power that rests below the surface of this island chain is demonstrated pretty conclusively in a twenty mile drive from the airport along route 19. It makes you realize how small a factor man is in this world.
The beautiful people come here to resorts that take your breath away. Some, I am sure, think they are the “rulers of the universe”.
The “big island” with its beauty, clear view of the universe above, and stark exposure of the world beneath should provide a wake-up call to even the largest of egos.
I wrote “Hawaii Musings” while I sat on the beach at the Mauna Kea  resort. The stars come down to visit after midnight, and you can almost feel the rumble of the earth below. If you listen closely you can hear the gods stirring.
Glenn K. Currie

Hawaii Musings
                                                    (Copyright 2015 Glenn K. Currie)

There is plentiful beauty here,
Bikinis that match the thin skin
Of girls and women with polished nails.
Beaches so perfect, the ocean
Kisses them with gentle tongue.
Black and white lava rocks,
Cool slowly in the hot sun.
 Ground and polished to sand,
They are spread as a welcome carpet,
Jewels ‘neath the feet of the new gods.

What a wondrous thing this place,
Born from the spit of volcanoes.
Watched over by Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa,
 Hovering like moo mooed matrons,
Their girth rising gracefully into the clouds.
The island, decorated with Bougainvillea,
Bird of Paradise, and offerings beyond compare,
Spreads out at their feet in supplication,
Hoping that when these old gods next awaken,
They will spare these imposters.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I just returned from a vacation in Hawaii. More on that in another blog.
But I had a lot of time to think about the terrible event that took place in Charleston a few weeks ago.
Charleston is a city I know fairly well, having lived there for a couple of years and visited it as recently as last April.
It is a city trapped between old and new. Its physical beauty makes it a wonderful place to visit and much has changed for the better in its race relations since the sixties when I lived there. But it has been a slow, gradual change that is of a kind with the pace of life for many. It is, in many respects, an island built between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, and it lives in a different time zone.
It was brought abruptly awake by the actions of a racist murderer who betrayed the very core of what should be man’s humanity to man. People who offered love and support were paid in terror and death, in a location that should be a sacred place of peace and love.
There is no way to understand this crushing of the shared bond that is so integral to civilization. We can mourn the loss but it seems we each lose a piece of ourselves when these incidents occur.
The families of those so directly affected have asked for forgiveness and love to replace the anger. It is a hard, wonderful, thing for them to do. And something that is hard for many of us to understand. I know there is a lot of anger out there. I witnessed some of it myself when I was criticized on facebook for not wanting the police to tear this heinous individual apart when he was arrested. It seemed to me, however, that we would be asking the police to do exactly what we have previously criticized them for doing.
We all react differently to these issues and our world seems to grow more violent by the day. I am not sure if it is possible to ratchet it down, but these families have certainly tried to set a good example. I hope that the civil and societal leadership in Charleston gets the message and works to bring the city together in a lasting and meaningful way.
I have been working on a new poem about these events and I include it with this posting.
Here’s hoping for better things in the future.
Glenn K. Currie

Charleston Musings
                                                    (copyright 2015 Glenn K. Currie)

The scent of jasmine and magnolia
Still remind the visitor
That this is a city of the old south.
Words are spoken slowly,
Rolling off the tongue
Like sweet cocktails,
Buried in ice and umbrellas.
It was the city of churches,
Once dominated by its steeples.
But the skyline is changing and
There are holes in the pews
Of this Holy City.

The violence, so often hidden,
Beneath the hoop skirts,
Has exploded in the very place
Where this world sought peace.
The call, unimaginable in its grace,
Is for forgiveness and hope.
But the anger still rises,
Like the heat off the Battery.
Tempers are thin.
 The Ashleys and the Coopers
Need to encompass this “Holy City”
With rivers that merge all the souls.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Am in Hawaii (Kauai) for my nieces wedding. Spent last week mostly at 50th reunion at Dartmouth or delivering 200 autographed copies of Granite Grumblings which I was honored to have them choose for the welcome bags. It was great fun but after that and twenty hours to travel from Boston to Hawaii I am wrestling with time changes and writing this at 3 o'clock am from my iPhone. Best to all.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

This is a busy time in New Hampshire. Winter finally appears to be over and the state is happily preparing for the onslaught of tourists that will soon invade our beautiful world.

It is lush green here now, especially after three days of heavy rain. Our colleges are graduating students who think the rest of the country is just as idyllic as our campuses and where professors fill their minds with irrelevant clich├ęs and pretend they have the answers to everyone’s problems. These ex-students are headed out hoping to find places where evil businesses will offer to distribute another kind of green in large quantities. If not, some may move back in with their parents and advise them on how to live and what they learned at college. Others will go on to additional explorations of the mind in hopes of prolonging these golden years forever.

But as they depart to their fates we have many others arriving. Many visitors will flock here for vacations, ready to endure anything we throw at them, as long as it is a significant change of pace from what they do the other 48-50 weeks of the year.

And in June we have large numbers of alumni(ae) returning for various reunions. My college is Dartmouth. It is a picturesque place, well known for its beautiful campus and the quality of its education. I must admit that I love going back and walking the grounds. This year I am celebrating my 50th reunion which I guess is pretty special because most of us aren’t going to be around for the next large round number.

I am honored that the College is going to include a copy of my book Granite Grumblings: Life in the “Live Free or Die State” in the welcome bags. This will be a very useful book for those who have not returned to New Hampshire for the last fifty years. Many of them are leaders of the world and have seen many changes in the last half century. They will not be prepared to deal with our state. It will take much adjustment to settle back into our environment and realize that nothing has really changed. Oh yeah, we have traffic lights in Hanover and more forested acreage than when we left. And too many escapees from Massachusetts have moved here without realizing what they did to screw up that state. But basically we have survived the onrush of technology and are living just as deep in the metaphorical woods as ever. As they read my book they will be able to readjust to the true “real” world of life in our fair state and will once again become whole with the universe.

I am including a piece from that book on our tourist population. I hope you have some fun with it.

Glenn K. Currie


It’s tourist season again in New Hampshire. Or as we like to think of it, the chance to get people from somewhere else to help us pay all the bills that we can never figure out how to pay ourselves. Tourists are God’s great gift to New Hampshire. They come here for our beautiful scenery, picturesque towns and quaint ways, and we find picturesque and quaint ways to take their money.

Many of these visitors say they come here because we’re different. They want to experience life like it used to be, before the world was corrupted by things like reality television, concrete jungles and traffic jams. There is a certain disconnect in this of course. Many of them then check in to motels with satellite TV and swimming pools and video game rooms. And they all seem to flock to the same traffic-clogged, “scenic” highways and seek out places like Santa’s Village.

Fortunately, we do still provide some opportunities for the hardier souls to return to the days when things were different. We have a fairly wide assortment of those cute little roadside cabins where people can see what it was like to live in a closet, and maybe meet some of our famous New Hampshire wildlife. (Ever wonder why many of those cabins are up on blocks?) We also have all sorts of colorful old antique shops where, if our visitors are tough enough to survive the dust and 1930’s elevator music, they can buy back all the stuff they threw away twenty years ago. And for the truly adventuresome, we have attractions like the 139-year-old cog railway that climbs Mount Washington. In many ways this has not changed much since the 1800’s. It provides tourists with a ride powered by authentic, coal-fired, smoke-spouting, steam engines (and one wimpy bio-diesel engine), that will take them to perhaps the only place in New England where they can freeze their tail off in the middle of the summer.

Many of these tourists will also visit the wide variety of souvenir shops that are placed almost everywhere for their enjoyment. We are truly appreciative of their support, because without their amazing lack of taste, we would be stuck with all this stuff forever.

Other attractions that seem irresistible to tourists are the outlet malls that are scattered around the state. We provide a rustic ambience that induces people to buy clothes that went out of style five years ago in the rest of the country. They know they can get away with wearing it here because everyone gets away with wearing anything here. And when you throw in the special bonus of no sales tax on top of the discounts, we unload a lot of bargains.

Finally, for those tourists who are certifiable, and there seem to be a lot of them, we have our ocean beaches, where the water will turn their legs blue and their minds numb.

All things considered, we have good reason to love our tourists and welcome them back to our fine state. Just don’t get yourself caught between them and the portable toilets on the Kangamangus Highway.