Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Blog- Uncut Hay

Those of you who have read Ball of String may wonder about why I included a poem of an event from the Civil War in a book of reflections from my life.

Sometimes we forget how closely connected we are to events that seem deep in the past. But it’s deceptive. Something that occurred 154 years ago is only one degree of separation from me as I write this.

My great grandmother lived with us when I was growing up. She had raised my mother and her three siblings, and in 1949, at the age of ninety-four, she often sat with me at age six and would tell me stories from her youth.

One of those stories was of when she was a young girl living in upstate Maine and watched the soldiers coming home from the Civil War. She talked about how they seemed like hollow shells, as they made the long walks back to their homes.

I have thought about her comments for years, and how it related to my own observations from the wars of my life. This is the basis for including “Uncut Fields” in my book.

The poem is about the aftermaths, the wreckage, that seems to follow every war, even the ones we think of as the “good wars”.

“Uncut Hay” is about the struggles of our survivors, the soldiers and the families, and all the potential from those who never returned…all the uncut hay that is never harvested in a world that is always the loser.

I hope you like the poem and understand why I have decided to include it in Ball of String.

May we find a way to avoid this kind of wreckage in the future.

Glenn K. Curie

1865-Fields of Uncut Hay

She stood barefoot in the dirt road
Watching a blue scarecrow approach.
The straw was missing from one arm,
And his bearded face framed eyes
That had seen too many fires,
Leaving them the color of ash.

Dust devils swirled around his legs,
Trying to swallow him, but their assaults
Fell beneath his plodding steps.
He passed the little girl without a word,
Disappearing slowly over the hill,
One of many ghosts, haunting the land.

She stomped her foot in the road,
Making the dust flee on the breeze.
Then she sat down by the white oak tree
And weaved a bracelet from the uncut hay.
Her father said he would meet her here,
When he came home from the war.

Copyright 2019 Glenn K. Currie

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Skywriter


Anytime a writer puts his work out there to the public, he or she is exposing a piece of themselves that people often hide. It is especially true with poets. They are usually revealing a part of their soul.

It is a layer reveal that we take with trepidation, as we make ourselves vulnerable to an unpredictable environment. It is also exciting, however, like the brief moment when we first decide to go skinny-dipping on a deserted beach. The covers are off and we are as we were born.

My latest book, Ball of String, took about ten years to put together. It isn’t only about the writing and selecting of the poems. It is about determining what is ready. A typical poet probably revises a poem fifteen or twenty times or more, and we never know when it is finished. The end result may be totally different from what we start with, and each iteration usually involves putting it out to a small group of readers who are expected to find fault. We also sometimes enter poems in blind contests where we will get positive or negative reinforcement in the results. Every judge is different and every reader has preferences in style and form. All of this helps to decide what works may relate well to readers.

In my case, I also have found that collections of poetry work better if they are infused with some color that can bring the reader into a poetic world that has not been enticing to many modern readers. I direct most of my poems to subjects that are relevant to the lives of all of us, and I want to present an attractive product.

The color photos that I use in my books are all my own. I take a great deal of time searching for subjects that will relate to the poetry. This is often difficult because many poems are ethereal by nature and deserve a little shelter from a world that judges too quickly.

My photos are sometimes designed to bring a little humor to the book. Most usually just poke around the edge of the poem, and require the reader to actually do some work to see where the combination is going.

I am pleased and proud of Ball of String. It is a commentary of a lifetime passage as I have seen it develop, but it is also a gradual reflection of how all of us are connected to each other not only through our genes but through our interdependence as we live on this big ball of string.

In a world that is changing so fast, I have often felt like the “Skywriter” in my book. I float alone above a place I no longer fully understand. And I search for a familiar place to land. Ball of String is that place for me. I hope you like it.

May you all have a wonderful holiday.

The Skywriter

He climbed slowly into the weathered biplane,
Whispering to it in the late afternoon cold.
The engine coughed a tired greeting
Then settled into a rhythmic beat
That carried them into an azure sky.

The heavens were his canvas
His brush the noisy antique that carried him.
For decades, he painted in shapes and words,
Fighting the vagaries of wind and cloud,
Viewed by millions watching in anticipation.

But the world had moved on.
The audience looked to other canvases.
Clouds captured in boxes, had conquered blue sky.
Words hid in their own vapor trails,
And people looked in instead of up.

He circled beneath unseen stars,
Searching, in the fading light, for a place
Where he could come to rest.
Where messages were still floated in bottles
And words were still written on the wind.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Divided We Fall

The news media and politicians have been doing everything possible lately to pull us apart as a nation,
It’s all about dividing us into tribes and losing track of all the ways we are connected to each other.
They want to know the color of our skin, where we are from, and the nature of our politics. No one wants to notice that beneath our various colors and flags, we are pretty much the same with many hopes and dreams that fit anywhere. And the politics of things change faster than the weather. Anyone who hooks their hopes to a particular party for any length of time is going to have a difficult and frustrating life.
We should search in life for the things we have in common, not look for things we can use to cause hatred and division.
If we could stop for just a moment from trying to control each other’s lives because some politician or angry soul is trying to achieve power, we would begin to understand that communities and good neighbors are created by compromise and cooperation. Lawsuits, single party dictates and  denying the individual traits among all the broad members of our humanity does not change the fact that they exist.
We are letting the purveyors of doom and domination destroy the common core that makes America great and gives so much hope to the downtrodden nations of the world.
In my new book, Ball of String, I try to search for those things that connect us as a nation and as members of world community.
The following poem is about all the “scarecrows” that the power-hungry of the world try to use to turn us inward and afraid.
Thanks for reading. I can’t seem to put my photos on this blog (a major issue) but there is a great photo that goes with this poem in my book.
Glenn K. Currie


They are everywhere, flapping in the wind,
Dressed to accomplish their role.
In fancy suits worn like armor to intimidate,
Or in old sneakers and wifebeaters,
Complaining about restricted access.

Soldiers filled with straw, hang from hooks,
Under careful orders to do nothing.
Guardians for a negligent nation
That has spread its seeds in fields
Too fertile to go untouched.

Predators use deceit to elude them.
Monsters see their vacant stares
And pillage without proscription.
The breeze that rattles the tin pans
Only serves to call invaders to the feast.

Politicians and professors fill volumes
Praising the accomplishments of scarecrows,
Certain they will frighten away visitors,
With their hobo hats and souvenir sweatshirts,
While the ravens quietly eat the seeds.

Copyright Glenn K. Currie

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Now that the print version of Ball of String has been released, I think my blog is a good vehicle to provide a little more information on the new book.
 BOS is structured in a very similar way to the other three previous photo and poetry books that I have published.
The photographs are designed to help establish a mood for the poem. I include them to add some color to the book and also establish a more intimate relationship with the reader.
The poems all stand on their own, but readers tell me they like the mix with the photos, and particularly like the one-liners that are included beneath the photos to link with the poems.
The photos are all my own and have been carefully selected by me from my collection of thousands.
Most of these poems have been written since the publication of In the Cat’s Eye in 2009.
About that time, Susanne began to urge me to submit some of these poems to “blind” contests which are each judged by different writers and are provided without names to the judges.  
During this time, I submitted poems in about 25 contests, both national and local. The results were extremely encouraging as ten were prizewinners and another five won honorable mention. That was a very encouraging success rate given that all judges have different tastes and often tend to select in the areas of their prime interests (rhyme, free verse, prose, etc.).
I was also asked by friends to name the prize winners. I want to leave a little mystery for the reader so, at least for the moment I am going to refrain from doing that, although I will say that five were first prize winners, two won second prizes and three won third prizes.
It was that success rate that encouraged me at seventy-six to publish one more book. Poets get very little support in present society and so it doesn’t take much to fill us with hope that there might be someone out there who likes what you are doing. And Ball of String is a way to get the poems out to the public. Please forgive me for this indulgence.
I hope you like the new book and please give me any feedback that you may have.
Glenn K. Currie

Friday, October 4, 2019

Hi, thanks for checking up on me and staying with me. I have been working on a new book, Ball of String, which will be available for purchase in the next week. I have also totally revamped my website which will be in place next week and will be found at the old address,

While the website will have all the info on Ball of String, I want to describe it a little here. BOS has fifty poems and corresponding photos. Ten of the poems were prize winners and the others are all ones I love and fit with the general theme of the book.

The book is about the many ways that we are all connected in our journeys through life and our experiences on this beautiful planet. We are all connected by our genes or the many other interdependent parts that life on this planet demands.

The advance reviews on the book have been wonderful and all are available on the website.
I hope you will take the time to read them and the sample poems I have included.
In the future I plan to be making comments on this blog fairly frequently and I hope you will log on and say hi.

I welcome feedback at or on the website where I have included an easy way to contact me.

Best regards,

Thursday, April 4, 2019


Just checking in to let you know that this site will be retained and added to in the future. I am currently working on publishing a new collection of poems and photos and will be at a
manuscript conference in Vermont this weekend.