Glenn Currier's Poems

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into the Unknown
By Glenn Currier

The doc says Phil needs bypass work real soon
his heart is pumping badly and in stress
his arteries and veins are not in tune
his fear has spiked his life seems in a mess.

The bride still wonders if this guy is right
she’s seen his moods go dark and sour
she listened to his poems of love and light
and seen him laugh and play with kids for hours.

Yes Raymond dreamed of serving as a cop
he helped the frantic mother to give birth
busted dealers brought the vandal to a stop
but saw the cruelest wicked and the worst.

When first we rise into the breaking dawn
we know not what or where the day will go
what challenge waits what pain the day will spawn
but worry fear and fretting just bring us low.

The unknown calls us past our faults and shame
it pulls us forward to become our best
the unknown beckons calling us by name
to make the future sing to make it blessed.

“Into the Unknown,” Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier

Editor's Note:  This poem was written in response to Poetic Prompt # 32


Falling in Love
By Glenn Currier

She sees him walking toward her
their eyes lock
a rush of excitement
a tingling
a warmth suffuses their bodies.
They stay up til 3 talking and kissing
discovering, laughing, connecting.
This is how it begins.
But it blossoms
as they shed reluctance
lower defenses
let go
fall
in love.

This is what I want
I crave
for us.
Every bit of it.
Every increment
making me breathless
building building
into something special.
I want you
I want us to be an us.
I want a blossoming
of passion
I want to have you
I yearn for our union.

I feel it beginning
It is not that rush
nor love at first sight
but I am starting to let go
to shed my hoodie,
my vest, my armour
and piece by piece
off with my outer wear
until I stand before you
unprotected
defenseless
empty.
May I be shameless
in your presence
may I be blameless
and may we be pure
together.

May I tumble into you
and fall in Love.

"Falling in Love," Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier



Letting Go
By Glenn Currier

I loved my work and did it well
and yes, on occasion it was hell
so I became ready to retire
to something perhaps deeper or higher
to my garden room and evening strolls
or even to the sphere of the soul.

I wanted to lay around a bit
as much as my wife would permit
listen to music and without shame
go to movies, travel, and watch the game
I thought it would be easy to leave my work
but useful occupation became my search.

I’ve done some things of which I’m proud
joined some poets and wrote of clouds
I took time to grow and create
but found it hard to sit and wait
with nothing to make my mark
to devote myself to things of the heart.

My biggest challenge still seems to be
letting go of others’ good opinion of me
when the only honor I should crave
is not what I accomplished or gave
but God’s love, his warm embrace
and his welcome into the realm of grace.

Dedicated to my beloved sister, Genie, who suggested that I write my poems not so much for others but for God.

“Letting Go,” Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier

Becoming a Hero
By Glenn Currier

In the long or short expanse of your life
can you say you have become a hero?
I often wonder if I’ll be remembered
for anything important when I’m gone.
No biological children to carry my name
no feats that brought me fame
no bravery to save a life in danger
no building or great wealthy gain
no great status or social changer.

But more and more lately
being considered or thought of greatly
is not my concern.
Now-a-days I ask myself if I’ve taken time
to listen or smile or write a rhyme
to pause for a minute or an hour
to stop, notice and smell a flower?
Have I spoken kindly in a bad mood
or shut up when someone was rude
or let traffic in my lane
or fed my soul as well as my brain?

Today I ask not if I am a hero
but simply if I am becoming.


Oregon Journey
By Glenn Currier

The dark oaks’ gentle rhythm
caresses the faltering twilight
and a dim sadness creeps
into the receding day
resting like a pendulous cloud
upon me.

The hotel room
seems inhabited
by a hazy hint of doom.
Was it my weary limbs
or the weight
of the careworn
complexities of life
that today,
made me wonder
if death
might actually relieve
or even lift me?

Maybe leaving this body behind
is not so baleful
and unimaginable
as it seemed in my twenties.

Ah! The simplicity of this scene
and this end
confer a laurel of peace –
just the opposite
of death’s dread
that sometimes haunted
the younger me.

How unexpected these imaginings
as the curtain falls
on a trip full of magnificent fir,
snow-capped mountains,
beaches and surf
and the quaint coastal towns
of Oregon.

The surprises of my life
no longer pop
with landscape and ocean vistas.
Instead, I’m alive and wild
with the journeys of the spirit
and the searches of the soul.

“Oregon Journey,” Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier


What a Sunset Can Do
By Glenn Currier

The setting sun with its orange brilliance
carries me beyond these confines
to an unbeleaguered space
where wings lift me
and angels swiftly


whisper the truth
and the real
is revealed
absent of
any stain
or strain
or me.

“What a Sunset Can Do,” Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier

Author's Note:  One morning I knew I wanted to write a poem, but I had no idea about a theme, topic, content, or anything.  Then a word came into my mind: "setting."  And I just started writing, visualizing a setting sun.  As I wrote I noticed that each succeeding line was shorter than the previous line and I decided to make that a feature of this poem.  That "constraint" forced me to get smaller and smaller until the last line "me" is the smallest line. 


 

Image: Homeless man

 

Homeless
By Glenn Currier

I have always had a place to sleep nights
with a roof over my head and my own bed
but my homeless state was out of sight
it was at a lonely space in my mind instead.

I cannot count the years I wandered
on rocky winding roads in dark
nor measure the grace and light I squandered
losing myself in distraction and work.

I can't remember not having a job
nor count the hours I've wasted,
nor the love and care I've robbed
nor the bread of life not tasted.

You won't see me holding my cup
on the sidewalk in the city
my pride's too great to give up
I won't ask you for your pity.

Yes, I have often been hungry
I've been empty of inspiration
yearned for peace in my country
hoped for the source of creation.

But recently I've awakened
from the darkness I had roamed
found the road I wish I'd taken
to a deeper fuller higher home.

"Homeless," Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier
Posted May 7, 2017

Printable copy of above poem

Editor's Note: The above poem was written in response to Poetic Challenge # 28


Dragonfly

Dragonfly lights on the lily
her veined wings translucent
morning sun on the shimmering dewy grass
seeps through seducing my eyes
drawing me in to this delicious glory.

"Dragonfly," Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier
Posted March 29, 2017


I am good

Why do those words catch in my throat?
What is broken within
migrating up my neck?
I'm more comfortable
in the dark lands
than in your hands.

Can I fall into your embrace of me as I am -
warts and beauty?
I used to list "my good qualities"
navel gazing
aching
to convince myself
I was good.

Help me accept the simple truth:
I am good. I am good. I am good.
If I repeat it,
will it take hold?
If only it would.

I am good.

"I am good," Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier
Posted February 28, 2017

Author's Note: If I were to ask you if you are good, what would be your response? I asked a friend of mine the same question and she said that she wouldn't say that, but she could say she had good qualities. What is it in our training that keeps us from thinking of ourselves as good because we are children of God who loves us unconditionally? It is a curious thing.


Beyond the Crooked Trees
By Glenn Currier

I walk among crooked trees
its leaves wind-thrown
and gone to ground.
I feel the cooling breeze
stop and lean close
run my hand across the ragged trunk
its pulse now loving deeply.

On the baseball field dad hits
to his boy who leaps
tips the ball
retrieves it
and ably slings it
to an imagined catcher
at the backstop.
And dad shows him a better arch
for his arm.

Ah! what a sweet scene
this simple love of father and son.
I smile sadly
no such memory inside
to warm this wintry day
but somehow healed
by the peal of that bat on ball
a splendid father's swing
the smooth lope of his child
across that field
just beyond the crooked trees.

"Beyond the Crooked Trees," Copyright © 2017 by Glenn Currier
Posted January 29, 2017

Author's Note: This poem was written in responde to the Poetic Challenge # 25 to write a poem on the theme of love.


 

Anxiety
By Glenn Currier

You swallow up my faith,
you ravenous, gluttonous demon
you vicious venomous being
hiding, waiting
for the weakness and frailty
in my humanity.

You take me away
away from my anchors
from the precious Body of Christ
where my Father planted and nurtured me
and lavished upon me
unspeakable unrepeatable moments of joy.

When in your grip
I cannot seem to recall
my rich inheritance
the bloodline
into which I was born
and reborn.

So on this dark morning
I reach
into this night
I reach out
for the great antidote
to your venom.
I reach
into my depths
to grab a thread of his shawl
to fetch and clutch to my breast
the garment of grace
I need to pass beyond
your dark dank
undeserving
valley of fear.

"Anxiety," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted November 10, 2016



Image: buffalo sculpture

Bison Song
By Glenn Currier

Oh how the sadness in your wizened eyes
betrays your history on our mother earth
the plains whose dust your heard would fill the skies
your massive movement sounding your great girth.
For centuries your flesh and bones supplied
the native peoples from their very birth.
Whites took your land and brought your quick demise
to steal the sacred meaning of your worth.

But still with furry shoulders you stand tall
your sacred legacy of strength remains
we thank you for the blessings you still bring.
You ground us lifting souls to Spirit's call
you sweep and roar across our daily plains
reminding us to bow, then dance and sing.

"Bison Song," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted October 3,2016

Author's Note: Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's sonnet, "Archaic Torso of Apollo" Rilke's poem, in sonnet form, wrote beautifully of what the white marble sculpture of Apollo (arms, and head no longer there) spoke to him. Here are his first five lines:
     We cannot know his legendary head
     with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
     is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
     like a lamp , in which his gaze, now turned low,
     gleams in all its power…

Looking for my own piece of art, I found a wood-carved sculpture of a bison, given to me many years ago by my wife, that now stands on the top shelf of our garden room, a place of honor where it belongs.

I also recommend that you listen to Buffy St. Marie's great song, "Now That the Buffalo's Gone"


Distance
By Glenn Currier

This distance between us occupied
minutes and hours multiplied
by walking and running thoughts,
divining the cost of careless loss
roving and darting with such might
not even a rest in dreams of night.
Then a trouble or something tragic
pauses me, and a moment of magic
makes all that distance naught.
I fly to you my love in thought
bound again by strings unclear
I yearn and ache to have you near.
     But again the world cries out to me
     and again I am gone - in its roiling sea.

- Author's Note: Inspired by Shakespeare's Sonnet # 44

"Distance," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted August 29, 2016

Editor's Note: If you wish to read Sonnet # 44 click here


A hola in my schnozolla
By Glenn Currier

I've got a wound on my snout
so many years of it sticking out
beyond the shade of my lid
in all the outside things I did
catching and storing those rays
from fishing on blazing days
mowing lawns answering the call
to take a hike or play baseball
and on my way to conquer
I led the way with my honker.
Now the dermatology doc
says she needs to take stock
of the cells on my snoot
so she sliced a bit to constitute
a sample to send to the lab
and thus you see my little scab.

"A hola in my schnozolla," Copyright 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted August 29, 2016


Editors Note: This poem was written in response to Poetic Prompt # 22


Choir
By Glenn Currier

Sometimes you think yourself leafy brown
with odor of musk and watery ground.
You think yourself a toddler compared
to poets writing stars and clouds in air.

You do not hear your voice as one
of sweetest tone in surging run
a tenor in a high and brighter space
joined with orange of alto and blue of bass.

You are a voice not a choir
it's not a solo you require
but a body - all organs working
neither slumbering nor shirking.

So, just breathe in and breathe out
forsake control give up your doubt
believe, believe in mercy and let go
trust the well, the depths - just grow.

"Choir," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier


Young
By Glenn Currier

I thought they were over
days of running free in hills
tidings as fresh as clover
songs that give me chills.

I thought they were past -
moments of sheer wonder
a hundred things to ask
ideas that crack like thunder.

Being so excited to learn
I feel that tingly air in my chest,
and I've got faith and hope that burn.
Good Lord, I thought none of these were left.

But now I hear the strains of songs
inspired and sung with joy
about forgiveness of wrongs
God's mercy and love - Oh boy!

My bones are creaky and old
but let me say -- these days
I am feeling confident and bold
my rugged old heart ablaze.

Thank you God for this many years,
for excusing the fire from my tongue,
for unrestrained laughter and tears
for again making this meager soul - young.

"Young," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted July 14, 2016


A story in those eyes
By Glenn Currier

At the bar I drank a few cold beers
and saw him in the mirror on the wall
I caught his gaze and raised my mug with cheers
he forced a smile that had no cheer at all
I wondered if he'd also been through hell
I knew myself the times that I'd been bleak
and saw a story in those eyes to tell,
so I turned to him -- and he began to speak.
. . . . .

in nineteen ninety-two he went to war
a war he fought by day and lost at night
on streets of gold he buzzed from eight to four
he worked and won a fortune to excite.
But when the sun went down the fortune flew
it went to every tavern in the town
it drained away with every mug of brew.
The gains he made by day - by night came down.

In January of that fateful year
the woman that he loved - she left him lost
she died a death that drained his every tear
and every hope he had for love was lost:
every hope for baseball with a boy
for rooms that echoed screams of little girls
for Sundays out to church to sing with joy
for trips in summers all around the world.

He said he wondered if he'd even live
and how he missed her softness and her touch
he wept and said how much she had to give
and how he hated liquor for his crutch.
We talked for hours into early morn
I listened closely to the pain he shed
and to the grief and sadness that he'd borne.
I recognized the crooked path he tread.

And finally the bartend said to leave.
We packed our woes and left that sotted place.
We called a group that promised a reprieve,
we swore we'd try this other gathering space
and meet on Wednesday night the thirty first.
We found St. Ann's a room where others told
the stories of their weakness and their thirst
and learned to help each other to be whole.

"A story in those eyes," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted July 14, 2016


Fire in the Afternoon
By Glenn Currier

The fire rolled down the mountain
like tumbleweeds with one bright goal:
light the barren terrain
of this shallow day.
It reminds me of those
pimply shaky days
of a teen stretching to be a man
and a person of note
perhaps a priest
holding a gleaming chalice
high above the altar
knowing I am
a man of God
an instrument
of the sacred.

I wonder if afternoons like this
are short seasons of burning
clearing away the weeds and brush
paring down
to find the free me
beyond the bridges and trusses
the me beyond the altar
beyond the sacrifice
and sacraments
the subterranean me
flowing with intuition
the protein particles of wisdom
and the sure knowing
of the divine.

"Fire in the Afternoon," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted June 17, 2016


Brandi in the Light
By Glenn Currier
Printable pdf version of poem
Audio recording of Glenn reciting poem   WMA  |  MP3

We are here to celebrate grandly
a young woman by the name of Brandi
we watched the baby become a child
then a teenager with a beguiling smile.
Yes, she became a beautiful lassie
but sometimes a little sassy.

She took to the water like a duck
learned to turn bad breaks into luck
she made a home of the clear blue pool
and with vigor she dove into school
by her love of family and knowledge impelled
with resolve she made her mark and excelled.

So, Brandi, dear Brandi a little wisdom to take
on your path into the future you'll make…

Now new challenges you've never conceived
will test the gifts you've freely received
and it will be up to you to decide
whether to ride the common tide
or to show your gratitude and grit
and create something new - to commit.

You will know failure and you'll feel pain
you'll wonder if you can take the strain.
Be courageous and go deep within
and trust God to embrace you when
everyone one and all else seem to fail
know that you and He can prevail.

Some day some time make a gratitude list
and when you think you cannot persist
your goals are foggy and your mood is blue
dig out that list and read one or two
and make your way out of that night
find love and gentleness and Light.

Author's Note: Dedicated to Brandi Courtney upon her graduation from high school, summa cum laude. Provided for the occasion of a celebration of Brandi's accomplishment.


"Brandi in the Light," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted June 4, 2016


Molasses
By Glenn Currier

Unlike Paul on the road to Damascus
my conversion moved like molasses.

But the hound of heaven kept pursuing
his slow moving son prone to gluing
and sticking to his flaws and inept ways
with every excuse for endless delays.

That hound eventually caught me
in the songs that tearfully brought me
to my knees in helpless surrender
to prayer and his merciful splendor.

Unlike Paul on the road to Damascus
my conversion moved like molasses.

But there were hunters following that hound
who kept up till their prey was found
and stood by me gently listening,
my voice quaking my eyes glistening.

Full of my doubts and questions
they heard me and made suggestions
led me to some uncommon men
who described the road where they'd been.

Unlike Paul on the road to Damascus
my conversion moved like molasses.

The hound of heaven no longer bays
but speaks in sermons and songs of praise
he catches me in traffic on the road
and even in moments of overload.

He saves me from my darkness each day,
his Word shows me the way
and other brothers teach me to fight
out of that dark and into the light.

Now, like Paul, my Savior I've found
and my pace quickens to catch that Hound.

Author's Note: A small group I belong to was discussing how the Christian life is one of being continually conformed to be Christlike. One of the guys said that starting from birth, God gradually works on the things in our life that need to be corrected and when those get done, he moves on the next thing we need to work on (things that need to go or things that need to be added), and so on and so forth. In his case, my friend said, this is slow as molasses since it seems all the issues and things he should have worked out a decade or more ago keep holding him down. I related to his comments and decided spiritual life as molasses would be a good metaphor and topic for a poem. I came up with the first two lines and was going to make it a two line poem, but then I got to thinking about how that process has worked out over my life and in the past year in particular.


The Hound of Heaven refers to Francis Thompson's poem by that name. Below are the first few lines, the ones that inspire me the most:

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
   I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

See also the Wikipedia article on the poem.



Reflections of a Caregiver
By Glenn Currier

What colors are your heart?
Are they grays for the clouds hanging there?
Or red for the anger you wish you wouldn't feel?
Shades of maroon to bruising black and blue?
The dirty browns of the mounds of guilt
    guilt for the selfish indulgence of these colors
    when she is the one with the wound?
Heavy shades of sadness and pain?
The strained purple of anxiety
     or its magenta cousin fear
          on the cusp of a foggy frontier?
Dullness extruded from muscle-exhaustion
     that beckons you into sleep?

I pray the loss of twilight
and this journey into night.

I am grateful for the early morning light
     where shades of sadness fade
     the frights of the night are past
     and I am keen
     with shades of green.

Red with the oxygen of Grace,
I thank the Spirit
who sorted my dreams
sewed up the seams
to make whole my soul
and renew my heart.

What color is your heart this day?

"Reflections of a Caregiver," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted April 25, 2016


Author's Note: My wife recently had hip replacement surgery and is presently in the process of rehabilitation, recovery and healing. This poem is about my own journey with her.


Refuge of the Discouraged
By Glenn Currier

Grateful for a heart anchored in serenity
pulsing with the blood of love -
Oh what a place to be!
this garden of gratitude
tasting the fruits
smelling the fragrance
of its fertility.

"Refuge of the Discouraged," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted April 25, 2016



Image: Dal Currier
Dal Currier

Information about Dal

Dal's obituary written by his daughter Verna

See more at: in the obituary.

- Photos of Dal and family

 

Personal Note: My brother Dal (Charles Dalzell Currier) passed away January 30, 2016. The three poems below were written as I grieved and processed the death of my dear brother. "Toll" was written as I remembered the sensations and feelings as I was bearing the casket of my brother through the vestibule of the church and outside to the hearse. - Glenn Currier

Toll
By Glenn Currier

I move ever slowly
with the others
who bear your remains
yet
I cross this vestibule
alone and loneli
I feel the toll
its knell pounding, sounding
the vestibules
of my heart.

That bell in its high proud tower
with its tolling, its damnable tolling
will not cease its slow piercing
into my core
will not loosen me
from the finality
of this moment.
The knell
of these final paces -
you ahead of me again
you with God
again,
now sound your call:
"Mature
mature
into the deepest
darkness
of your humanity."

You know
I would rather not go there.

Still I fear
but still you and He
you comfort me
and beckon:
"Move forward
across the threshold
outside
away
from your familiar
protections."

And so I pull your remains
my legs heavy
with the sadness
of double pain.
The double loss
of losing you
and losing me
no longer the young brother
but now the elder.

My tears finally break
they glisten on my cheeks
outside in the sun.

The bells still toll
relentless as you -
their invitation:
"Join Us
in an outside place
a sacred space
higher
yes higher
beyond your lingering."

"Toll," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted Thursday February 11, 2016


Lingering
By Glenn Currier

I have never liked long goodbyes,
the pain of parting glistening in our eyes,
but this time in this long farewell
I want to pause, I want to dwell.
In these lingering moments of pain
I embrace this sorrow and this bane
because you are hovering here
your angel presence in my tears.

It is as if you are staying to say
"Do not fret or regret today
the times we didn't write or call
don't worry about that at all
because now I'm right here -
listen closely and you'll hear
me whistling in the trees
sense my freshness in the breeze."

These moments lingering with you
are more precious than any I knew
when you walked this rocky earth.
I'll savor them for all they're worth
and in the future when friends depart
long goodbyes will brace my heart
for you'll be an angel hovering there
your spirit a lingering loving prayer.

"Lingering," Copyright c 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted 2-5-2016


Beyond
By Glenn Currier

The sunless clouds hang like dark dread
about this space above this bed
they squelch the hope that once I had
for this dear brother and this dad.

His life returning to my mind
the laughs and hurts we left behind
regrets no longer worth travail
I'll leave them on the dusty trail.

For now I look above the bed
the clouds are parting overhead
I see our mother praying there
hear Dad is sawing wood somewhere.

Beyond this space beyond this time
beyond the steepness of this climb
there lies a lake and silver trees
and meadows braced with cool clear breeze.

It is right there that he will dwell
where love and grace and Spirit swell.
The clouds have parted from this night
let us now bathe in his bright light.

"Beyond," Copyright © 2016 by Glenn Currier
Posted February 3, 2016



Image: June Thibodeaux

Crossing the River
By Glenn Currier
PDF version of this poem

This poem was written in honor of my cousin June Thibodeaux who passed away two years ago. The poem was read at a memorial service for June.

She gets up in the morning, feeds the cat,
and with her face washed, teeth brushed, hair fixed,
and dressed,
she carefully puts on her shoes - one foot aching so bad
she wonders if she can walk through this day.

Already feeling tired
but not yet out the door,
she takes her pills, gathers her purse and work things,
and speaks in her cute little voice to her kitty
telling her to be good, blowing her a kiss.

She feels pain.
And pain does something to you.
It depresses, it foments fear -
its dread, dark and heavy -
can blanket and engulf you.
But still, she closes the door
and takes those first painful steps to her car,
moved and motivated by the faces in her mind,
faces of her co-workers
and her beloved students
knowing her special bond with them.

She winds her way through the traffic
and the too familiar streets of Baton Rouge
and approaches the bridge
the bridge that she will mount
to cross the river.
. . . . .

How many rivers have I crossed
into mornings
with early feelings of sadness or fear?

How many rivers have you approached
in the dailyness of your life
that challenged you to find a bridge
across.

Sometimes I think I know someone so well
they fall into easy categories.
My judgments are so sure
my perceptions so comfortable
in the terrain of my mind.

And then something happens
revealing without warning
the tenderness
the fragility
the exposed humanity
of the person I was so sure I knew.

And I feel confused and lost
in an strange and foggy place
where all my certainty
seems subtlety
and disappears in the mist.

I wonder if we can really know another person,
even family and close friends,
and how the plows of life
have carved their inner contours?
. . . . .

Across the river
on the other side
of her troubles and pain
she arrives in a place where she belongs
a place where her skills
and her good intentions
flower each day
and she lends her hand and heart
in modest service to the young growth of her students.

I cannot say what ache is in her
nor grasp my own pain - much less hers.
But when I slip on the downside of being human
I fall into her arms
I caress her heart
I know she knows what it's like.

When I trip on the rug of self-pity
I catch myself and think of her resolve
and the flight of courage
she took with each daily challenge
her body presented.
. . . . .

So here today we remember the June we loved:

The June Bug, the baby sister
who drew our affection –
and who learned she could depend on her family.

The young Wonder-Woman-June
so stunningly gorgeous and impressive -
the June who loved to see that wondrous impression
in the eyes of others.

The June with a surprising down to earth humor
who made us chuckle
and see the lighter side
of family and ourselves.

The feline June
who knew in cats a kindred species,
the June who empathized
with troubled ones – the ones regarded as lowly.

We are here to remember the June
whose depth and whose soul
were beyond our reach
but were as sure and true
as the God who filled her being.
. . . . .

I remember the June
whose childlike spirit
and delight in her simple life
make me humble and grateful
that she was family.
And I am now sure she and I belong together
we are one
in all the important human ways.

This beautiful spirit
is what I will try to recall
the next time I encounter
my own raging river.

Dedicated to my beloved cousins, June Marie Thibodeaux [February 25, 1955 - January 4, 2014], Rodger Landers, and David Landers

Author's Note: June worked as a teacher's assistant in Port Allen, Louisiana - in West Baton Rouge Parish - across the bridge from Baton Rouge where she resided with her cat in her modest apartment of which she was so proud.

"Crossing the River," Copyright © 2014 by Glenn Currier


Leaning
By Glenn Currier
PDF version of this poem

In the check-out line
old Burt is dying on the tabloid
at home Coburn burns on screen
but one year younger than I he left the scene
weekly news of a death
a notable and his final breath
the statistics are grim
as I go about ignoring them.

Doctor says I'm on the border
get your affairs in order
too many loose ends
flapping in the winds
simplify simplify they say
pare down a little each day
and nightly my final prayer
asking God the morrow to spare.

I keep on leaning ahead
ignoring the quiet dread
spreading, eroding my joy
recalling the little school boy
so full of energy and verve
running and laughing without reserve
Now I hate how I want to walk away
and ignore the creeping cares of this day.

But here I am, here I stay
leaning over I kneel to pray
that I will be a man
in an upright stand
who daily remembers
to lean, to lean inwards
to see beyond and above
to seek the one who is Love
.




Image: Robert Hamm

Finding Robert
By Glenn Currier

I search the halls and they are empty.

Image: Robert Hamm

But I hear echoes from the past
elevator bells, animated talking
shouts of joy for tests they passed
shoes shuffling and quickly walking.

I search the halls and they are empty.

I'm looking for friends who were there
for those strong and energetic souls -
wish I could hear Hamm loudly swear
and just once more the stories he sowed.

I search the halls and they are empty.

No more faculty and students huddled
arguing ideas large and small
he with a student who was troubled
lifting him from another fall.

I search the halls and thought them empty.

But turned the pages and I found them
celebrating love and life and friends
they were gathered all around him
joking, laughing, crying, and remembering when.

Now the hall's not empty but full of Robert's strong spirit.

Yes, at times I think of Camelot
and those deep and noble days
but I've found Robert resting in his Mount Pleasant spot
and now remember his grin, his laugh, and a soul worthy of praise.


Author's Note: Dedicated to and written in honor of my friend and former colleague Robert Hamm who passed away December 3, 2015. Robert was a Faculty Counselor and one of the founding fathers (although he would not be happy with that term) of El Centro College and the Dallas County Community College District.

"Finding Robert," Copyright © 2015 by Glenn Currier
Written December 7, 2015

PDF (printer friendly) version of the poem, "Finding Robert"

 

 


Be Whole Again
By Glenn Currier

There was a blockage in my friend
the doctors had to cut on him
they pushed and pulled and clipped and tied
to redirect his pipes inside.

The doctors said he must behave
for months and months he skimped and saved
on calories and carbs and fats
his wife with patience cooked with class.

His insides had to rest a spell
the docs they said if all went well
they'd put things back the way they'd been
and he'd freely eat and play again.

And now our humpty dumpty's back
it won't be long he'll be on track
he'll write a poem and joke and grin
we'll laugh and wonder he's been.

I too have had some blocks inside
did things that caused a great divide
I had to go and get some aid
and work to fix mistakes I'd made.

My friend has been a valiant man
his grit has showed me I too can
arise from brokenness inside
be whole and strong where grace abides.

Dedicated to my friend Roland Ruiz. Be whole, Rolo!



Instead to Give
By Glenn Currier

They say that you were man but also God
but when you're hanging there upon the cross
if God - it seems to me completely odd
that you would freely pay so high a cost
without a sword or lightning bold to kill
those men of worldly power and domain,
that you would not assert a forceful will
escape that hill avoid that ghastly pain.

They say you resurrected from the grave
they saw you walked and ate and spoke with them
I think you rose the moment that you gave
your life and did not kill the soldiers then,
the day you asked your Dad to let you live -
in your humanity you thought he'd left -
but showed us how to choose instead to give,
those times we feel so selfish and bereft.

I think the Spirit of your Father comes
when every fiber of our being screams
when all we hear are pain's repeating drums
we're sure we know we'll not fulfill our dreams
but then we choose to sacrifice our will
to die a little to our heart's desire
to rise to find our God atop our hill
and pierce our darkness with your Sword of fire.

"Instead to Give," Copyright 2015 by Glenn Currier

Editor's Note: This poem is a response to Poetic Prompt # 12


Into the River
By Glenn Currier

About a fortnight ago I cut the chains
thought I'd risen, thought I'd changed
but then I shot me full of shame
filled the black holes with blame
just too many old habits to fight
I need to hold on to the light.

I stepped into the river with you
sunk my head out of view
said here I am Lord here am I
bid my rusty old wagon goodbye
out of my darkness out of my night
I need to hold on to the light.

A little more than two weeks ago
I sparkled and smiled and said hello
out of the water dripping with grace
they said my youth shined in my face
and here I am nigh filled with fright
I need to hold on to the light.

But salvation now seems over priced
where oh where are you Jesus Christ?

Don't be distracted or confused my son
you are crawling now don't try to run
keep it simple and you'll be alright
don't forget to hold on to the light.

Don't fall into the mine of fire
make me your heart's desire
fall into my waiting embrace
ignore ego's devil face
and when you're baffled by your plight
remember to hold on to the Light.

"Into the River," Copyright © 2015 by Glenn Currier
Posted September 16, 2015


Tears of Moses
By Glenn Currier

By now I should be used to it,
again being caught
right there in front of everybody
in my ego moment
an obvious failing
a klutsy unveiling.

How easily and swiftly I descend
into self-loathing
and withdrawal
even privately recalling
deficiency or fault.

No, no one knows of my sinking.
I can feign strength
bravery and good humor.
I am an excellent liar.

But here I am
in the desert
kneeling with Moses,
broken, disheartened, desperate.
I am bent over with him.
He is weak and weighed down
with the burden of his people.
I - just weak
faint of heart
inadequate
ashamed.

I am no Moses
leading a people
through the desert
toward the promised land
but I touch his cheek
feel the warmth of his tears
and they are mine.

On the other hand
think of the glow stick:
it glows only when broken
and kneeling here
fractured and fragile
I glow
I glow
with the bright fluid of your grace.

Numbers 11: 15

"Tears of Moses," Copyright © 2015 by Glenn Currier
Posted September 16, 2015August 26, 2015


Image: Jonquil in the snow

Winter's Reason
By Glenn Currier

The weather man's been tracking
The arctic front's furious path.
The east has taken a whacking
by old man Winter's wrath.

They're digging and scraping
layers of snow and ice
but there seems to be no escaping
the grip of this hard winter's vice.

I have been looking in vain
for the Jonquil's lively amber
that breaks Master Winter's reign
and gently abates his anger.

The last bag of bird seed is gone
the cardinal, dove, and sparrow
are longing for the hopeful dawn
of the spring's stirring marrow.

But for now let us use this time
to reflect and sink into our souls
find something deep or sublime
unravel our divine hidden scrolls.

Maybe we can discover the reason
Mother Nature has granted
this dark and cloudy season
and what seeds she has planted.

"Winter's Reason," Copyright © 2015 by Glenn Currier
Written March, 2015


Image: A Walk Among Tombstones - stylized tree

A Walk Among Tombstones
Image: movie camera icon Image: musical notes Video with the instrumental music of "Silence Await" by cdk  wmv format | MP4 format

Image: Rhodes Cemetery sign Image: Tombstone

Image: Monument tombstone Image: trees and tombstones in cemetery

By Glenn Currier

I walked among you for a while
wandered on the greening ground
over father, mother, and child
listened but heard no sound
only a soft flutter of breeze
and a lone cardinal's song
looked up through the trees
at spring's budding throng.

How still you rest below
through every season of our lives
under golden leaves and snow
no longer husbands and wives
now all children of the light
no birthdays or family names
nor cloudy days nor stormy nights
nor bitter fights nor hateful claims.

Here family plots are bounded
monuments to people well known
but all by dirt and dust surrounded
a few short lines on a tombstone
to remember a woman or a man
perhaps a poem or scripture quote
when their lives ended and began
a jot of life for the living to note.

It is good to walk among the dead
remind me of mortality
that life's a precious thin thread
and a few moments of vitality
to pause and bow and honor those
whose cold bones rest quiet here
to stop and feel the softness of the rose
and give thanks for a life so dear.

"A Walk Among Tombstones" Copyright © 2015 by Glenn Currier
Posted April 18, 2015

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Image: Green meadow from Flickr commons

Green
By Glenn Currier

Just as I was getting comfortable
with dormancy
with the seasonal slowing
the heavy outer garments
and all the protections of living in winter
you show me

you are still green within me
just as hidden from my consciousness
as my organs and hormones
you are alive with fresh growth
and hope
and confidence in the source.

Now I feel the fluids
the stirrings
from darkness
from the tomb of my hopelessness.

Just as I thought winter would not end
I find my way back to this intimacy
this surrender
to love.

I cannot gauge
or measure
my progress
nor see the effect of tiny daily victories
on my self
but I see it in your eyes
my light reflected there
when you forget my darkness
for a precious priceless moment.

You are risen
and again you take up residence
in my heart
in my soul
where you and your sweetness
like nectar in a lily
abide in me

and again I am green with new life.

"Green," Copyright © 2015 by Glenn Currier
Posted April 16, 2015


Beware the Olive
By Glenn Currier

Image: Olives by Cheryl - credd on Flickr.com

What havoc when I bit
molar on molar on that olive pit
black olives add a mysterious flavor
to a salad you want to savor

But now after weeks of hoping
this pain with which I've been coping
would leave - I swore I wouldn't chew
on the left side, but so untrue.

Ever try to chew on just one side?
I consciously tried to guide
that food to the right
to avoid that painful left bite.

But then there was that long pass
to Bryant who fell flat on his ass
and missed the last chance to make
a score and then I bit down on that stake

and that left molar cried out in pain
Right Side, right side! again and again.
And so here I sit with that nagging ache
Unpitted olives - oh what a mistake!

"Beware the Olive," Copyright © 2015 by Glenn Currier
Posted January 10, 2015



Small Reunions
By Glenn Currier
Audio recording of this poem with instrumental background performed by Roland Ruiz

Are we not brothers and sisters
we here gathered for our family reunion
we who are sprung from the same impulse
the impulse to lay clouds upon the page
to simmer words into a rich soup
with broth taken from the particles of our lives,
we who are sprung from the loins of our creator,
that seed planted somewhere unknown inside us
his cells spread out in the fiber of our poems?

Our brotherhood our sisterhood
is inseparable from that fatherhood
that fatherhood that sometimes seems so distant
we cannot remember the exact pitch of his laughter
the strength of his arms
the warmth of his breast
yet when that poetic impulse visits
we know we are home.

We here gathered have the same DNA
even those who listen and connect to us
as our words reach in and rest softly
in their minds like pollen
taken in a soft wind.
Those who listen
are our mothers
who sit quietly
as their child tells her stories of adventures
adventures born of fantasy
freshness
and imagining.

We here gathered
return home and begin each month
sharing our vigor, our tone,
the fruit of that impulse
the fruit devoured with devotion
and patience
and re-created
in the imagining,
in the inner eye and ear
of each listener.

Oh what a gift to have these listeners
who abide with us
in the preciousness
of these moments together
as we speak for ourselves.

Though sometimes we are few
in this small reunion
its value cannot be measured in numbers.
The tide of devotion and cherishing
cannot be weighed or counted
nor described
but to know it
even if only once a month
is to know the feeling
of warmth and comfort
upon opening the front door
and walking into the living room
of our old home after being away for too long.
The preciousness of these moments
cannot be measured -
only cherished.


Dedicated to the small reunion of creators and listeners called Poetry in Progress upon the 4th anniversary of their gathering.

"Small Reunions," Copyright © 2015 by Glenn Currier
Posted January 8, 2015


My Thanksgiving
By Glenn Currier
My friend Roland Ruiz's audio recording of this poem

Thank you for the sun at dawn
and for the evening when it’s gone
for every moment of my days
I give to you my heartfelt praise.

For seeds in me my parents planted
for friends I’ve taken for granted
for finding a smile when I was mad
at that sassy man who looked so sad.

For all the blessings undeserved
for judgments others have reserved
for a spouse able to forget
to begrudge me for commitments unmet.

For all the loving and forgiving
that made me want to go on living
for the decades of this life unearned
and all the lessons that I’ve learned.

For the sweat of generations past
so many blessings they amassed
for America and the freedoms we’ve got
for workers and all they’ve wrought.

For determination and fortitude
for patience, compassion, and gratitude
for humor and the laughter it brings
for flight and sight, and eagles’ wings.

For cats, and cardinals, and loyal dogs
for fish and turkeys and jumping frogs
for children and for growing old
for all the stories grandpa told.

I want to say a thankful prayer
for my sister and her loving care
for the miles we‘ve traveled together
for sticking with me in stormy weather.

But most of all before I part
I want to say how great thou art
for the love of all that’s living
I humbly offer my thanksgiving.

"My Thanksgiving," Copyright © 2014 by Glenn Currier
Posted November 26, 2014


Arrow
By Glenn Currier

Audio recording of this poem read and created by Roland Ruiz [Right click on this link and click on "Open in new tab" to be able to read the poem as you listen to the recording.]

I could not tell the dates or facts
or biographical details,
his jobs or titles or his acts
or how he rigged or furled his sails.

But when he said or sang his rhyme
when he stood and spoke his soul
I lost all track of space and time
I knew what graces made him whole.

He told the stories of the poor
he took our minds and won our hearts
he always left us wanting more
he must have hailed from other parts.

He seemed to be from another land
from some place far yet very close
he knew our joy and pain first hand
the thorns and beauty of the rose.

His poems were prayers for love and peace
that God would surely help us cope
that justice would win and wars would cease.
His smile sang hymns of faith and hope.

Albert Willis was a man
but knew our angels and our dark
he walked with us but held God's hand
and shot his arrow to our heart.

Author's Note: This poem is written in honor of Albert Willis who was a member of our group, Poetry in Progress and who passed away October 22, 2014. He was born August 16, 1948. I knew Albert only from his readings of poems at our meetings. But it seemed to me I knew the soul of Albert if not the details of his life and times. I am grateful that our paths crossed and that I was srinkled with the light of his spirit. Please see the special tribute page for Albert.

"Arrow," Copyright © 2014 by Glenn Currier


Hymn to Delta Blue
By Glenn Currier

Image: Russell Robison (Delta Blue)

The other day in twilight hue
a setting sun of pinkish gold
I felt the ghost of Delta Blue
and from afar he touched my soul.

He sang a heartfelt battle hymn
he sang his grief in sad refrain
his soulful shouts shall never dim
his words of brothers and their pain.

Have you a thorn deep in your heart
that no amount of talk can take
nor find a balm to make it part
nor take away its dogged ache?

Is there something in you broken
the docs can't seem to fix
and nothing they have spoken
no words nor drugs can nix?

He could not find a bridge away
or anyone who knew his scars
he saw the folly every day
of desperate hopeless wars.

He stood among the red and dead
he drove a boat in waters brown
and mixed with blood and tears and dread
no river could his sorrows drown.

His poems addressed our deafened ears
his prayer that we would be alright
all who fought those tortured years
he prayed they'd hold on through the night.

I wish I'd met this gentle man
who felt the wounds of war so deep
I wish I'd gone to shake his hand
to hear him laugh to hear him weep.

Let's stand and sing a requiem
salute him and the ones who gave
let's honor them with heartfelt hymn
and walk into their sunset grave.


Author's Note: This poem is dedicated to Delta Blue which is the pen name of my friend Russell Glen Robison who is published on this website and is the subject of a special tribute page here. He was an extraordinary and sensitive poet who published four books, most of which reflected his experience in and as a result of the Vietnam war in which he valiantly served. I regret that I never went to nearby Red Oak, TX to meet him in person before his death 2-24-14. But I am glad I got to meet and get to know him through his poetry. I also dedicate this poem to all of Russell's brothers in arms who served in Vietnam and to their loved ones who traveled their tortured journey with them.

"Hymn to Delta Blue," Copyright © 2014 by Glenn Currier.

See the special In Memoriam Tribute to Russell Robison on this website



The Crack in Everything
By Glenn Currier

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
                  From "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen    
[Entire lyrics of Anthem]

            ----------------

Teddy R. was sickly and reviled
Oprah Winfrey abused as a child
Edison's bulb took a thousand failures and more
Einstein didn't speak till he was four
Ben Franklin dropped out at ten
Jim Carrey lived in a van
Jay-z was spurned by labels untold
VanGogh in his life - one painting sold.

          -     -     - 

When I am tired and full of woe
there's no brighter place to go
all I see is the darkness in me
I strain and strain to free
my wonder - so I won't quit
escape or run or split.

When frustration ties me up,
feeling like an empty cup
I sometimes think of those
who took lickings and blows
ridicule, illness, ineptitude
artistic blocks of magnitude

and when right in the midst of this
they stayed inside the dark abyss
rode the suffering and the pain
for all the lessons it contained
embraced the flaw and kissed the break
found the grain of grit it'd take

bore it through the vessel's walls
took a thousand practice falls
and found the crack and saw the light
with patient courage fought the fight
and turned the fault into a shift
of attitude – and that was the gift.


Author's Note: With appreciation to the great poet, songwriter and person, Leonard Cohen for "Anthem," one of my all- time favorite songs. There's a YouTube video of Leonard singing this song, but you might see an Ad at the beginning, if so, wait a few seconds and then click in lower right-hand corner on "Skip the Ad" If you wish to see the YouTube video of Leonard singing this song in concert, click here.


Surprised
By Glenn Currier
Print this poem only
Image: speaker iconAudio recording of poem
made by Roland Ruiz

Imagine how surprising
when in my chest
I felt you rising
heart throbbing with persistent zest
my face is flabby
my knees crack
my hair is shabby
oh my aching back.

But I guess it took this long
to get ready for your dwelling
to hear the gentle psalm
quit my mental rebelling.
Still I am learning
and evolving inside
after decades of yearning
I feel this gradual passionate tide.

After all my slips and dips
snubs, neglect, and slights
the blasphemies from my lips
you never turned off the lights
your faithfulness upheld
every moment I was asleep
or by my urges compelled.
Your roots in me were deep.

I know not where you are leading
or if I have what it takes
to move with your silent pleading,
if I'll dance or put on the brakes,
but in the distance I hear the drums
the violins, the flutes and the chime
and I know whatever will come
you'll be in me keeping time.


The Poetry in Us
By Glenn Currier

They came into the field
a multiplicity drifting, walking slowly

shoes at home in the dirt
shoes shined, stylish, but squeamish in the soil
clothes tattered, stained with grease and sweat from labor
clothes well creased and pressed, ready for a magazine.
black, brown, yellow,
red, white, and blue
speaking softly with respect
speaking strongly in rhymed cadence from the soul.
A man in a dress
a short-haired woman in pants, no bra,
faces full of sadness anchored deep in pain
faces bright with hope and joy
a babble of voices, alien, from crossed boundaries
voices familiar and colloquial.

Each one from the margins
from some place
from some space
outside or inside
unwilling to hide
or simply abide in the familiar and safe.

Each one arrived in this spacious field
to plant their seeds
to water their weeds
with their pens and their sins
their frauds and their gods
their trials and their smiles.

This variety of souls
these people walking
all together are witnesses.
They testify to the poetry that's in us.


Author's Note: This poem was read at a talk given by Glenn at the Duncavnille Rotary Club meeting, June 10, 2014.

"The Poetry in Us," Copyright © 2014 by Glenn Currier
Posted June 9, 2014



Acorns
By Glenn Currier

How do I see your face?
Is it trapped in the images
floating in the eye of my mind?Image: Acorns in sidewalk stress grove

Or in the sidewalk's stress grove
like the acorns lined there in a row
or the fallen oak leaf astride?

How does it feel to be so trapped?
Are you as frustrated
as I with the rule of language

inadequate to speak
the mystery of your heart
and the bright vacancy where you reside?

Or is it my blindness
where I am trapped
unable to find you free:

in the luxury of trees, quiet of clouds,
joy of daisies, drift of dreams,
and ripples of mountain streams?

The tilt of my head is down
and all I need is looking up
to see the mother oak

of those acorns
or look within to find
the wealth of life

the limitless source
and the sigh of peace
at the core of me.


Arise
By Glenn Currier

From arms of Elm that dip and sway
like gold dust in the morning's glow
the leaves drift and fall away
dancing like amber snow.

They depart their mother tree
with momentary flying
to form a rippled showy sea
and take their place of dying.

How fathomless the wisdom of fall
in its gentle brave goodbye
as summer answers the call
to fly as frost draws nigh.

Would that I could grieve so well
with such an admirable grace
when I am called not to dwell
in my snug and comfortable place.

When change comes for no reason
I feel confusion and surprise
let me embrace the new season
and let poetry in progress arise.


This poem was written for the occasion of the Celebration of the 3rd Anniversary of Poetry in Progress, November 4, 2013.


Grow in the dark
By Glenn Currier

Sometimes I am a daisy
bobbing in the sun comfortable and lazy.
Sometimes I am a mushroom
in a cave in the gloom
but even in the darkness I know
I can take root and grow.


Dream Disorder
By Glenn Currier

Where have my dreams gone?
Have they floated into the mist
gossamer as the passing moment
between blinks
or the freedom in a child's run?

Have I become too old
to hold those glorious glints
beyond my waking?
Are they no longer alive -
cloudprints I fashion
in mornings?

I sometimes wonder
if the deep ruts in my mind
disallow off-road flights
visions
vaultings
fantasies of futures.

Can I no longer see
beyond carefully crafted arguments
and tightly held doctrines?

Do I have a dream disorder?

I hear the public sounds
the hammering
the pounding
of insular insults
in the heat and venom
of self-righteous anger.

And I fear the loss
of softness
and gentle conversation about family and health
and exchanges in elevators or vacant corners
about the small daily sufferings of life.

And I wonder
if a thread of hope
still waves in the wind
or if abroad in this land

is a dream disorder.

"Dream Disorder" Copyright © 2013 by Glenn Currier


Counselor
By Glenn Currier

As I sat reading the paper in the lobby
I noticed her – sitting there in her suit,
back straight, hair done just so,
fliers on the table before her
a peaceable black woman of advanced age.

As each person entered on their way to the library
she greeted them and happily they spoke
as if they knew her
as if she belonged there.

My curiosity bursting at the seams
I said to her, "You seem to know everyone.
Are you the city greeter?"
She smiled and said, "Well, you might say that.
I just counsel people.
You know people have problems.
You can see it in their faces."

"Oh, are you a trained counselor?"
Smiling, she said, "Trained by life."

Even I, in my education-orientation
knew better than to argue with that.

As I left that place
I thought this was a moment of grace.
This woman was full of books and poetry
and I hoped someday I could return to discover
her inner terrain
something closer to the roots
than the furniture and the walls
and the municipal halls.

I have crossed every state line
seen mountains, swamps, deserts, and oceans.
But when life becomes less an adventure
than a repetition
and trips or cruises on big ships
have ceased to excite
and have that thrilling bite
I need to travel in the vehicle of my soul
to look and listen
for the whispers of wisdom
that lie beneath the ordinary landscape of the day
hidden and waiting for someone
to pause, dive deeper,
and search the circle within
the cosmic counselor.



The Ant
By Glenn Currier

Have you ever watched an ant
scurrying for food
serving its colony
without pause or question?

Can't blame the ant
for the blueprint
the dictatorship
in its brain.

What excuse
for my scurry
away from the sad fungus
now clinging in the darkness?

Can't blame a brain
premapped and indelible.
A mind yet determined
in its avoidance of what's needed but hidden

in the labyrinth beneath.
What region of my mind
tells me to head out
on the road - away?

Is there a big emptiness
a hole where there is no I or me
a place full of fright
so moist and fluid

it warps whatever self
I thought I had?
Am I no different from my brother ant
and the alloy of its hurry?

Or will I find a momentary Bodhi tree
and learn to sit in its shade
and be quiet long enough
to drink its cool clear water?

"The Ant," Copyright © 2013 by Glenn Currier
Posted July 21, 2013


Aboard!
By Glenn Currier

The train has arrived
I hear it puffing with energy
a low pitched hum sounding
its teeming power.

The conductor has been waiting
but now is shouting
all aboard!
He hangs off the car and looks at me expectantly.
I know he looks at me.

I feel him moving in me
the wind in my heart
the deep water
where I am suspended
I know he waits.

I have been
waiting so long
and now at this moment
I cannot seem to stop waiting.
I can visualize my leap
but will I take my body
with my mind?

His lips are moving
but I cannot hear him
I must open my ears
stop the music - the video feeds
punching on screens.

My heart quivers with urgency.
It wants to ignore the confetti of distraction
and fly in.

I wonder…
if I take this leap
shall I return here?

But I know
this same spot
will be forever gone.

"Aboard!" Copyright c 2013 by Glenn Currier
Posted May 1, 2013


Tumbleweed - Revised
by Glenn Currier

Fooled by the honor of gray
gathered in the trenches
and settled in your hair
some were surprised
by the twinkling light
in your rugged aspect.

Wafted from the plains of your pain
crossing open range,
on the floor of our desert
you wrote in sand-script
and happily we caught your language
gathered from laughter and listening.

You fellow traveler,
you furnace of wisdom,
the twists of your intellect,
as sure as a divine lantern,
lead us past our fear and comfort
to a new adventure.

The wispy lightness
of your humor gusted
across our blue gravity
leaving our sadness
whirling in the summer breeze.

You inventor,
your poems were made to tumble
with the winds of Mars.
They roam distant planets
in search of more words
and new ears.

Ignoring the barbed wire
we strung across our lives,
you snagged and churned our minds
you challenged and changed us
transformed our inertia.

Sometimes we wondered
how you got here.
What route or path
led you to plant yourself
in the convolutions
and walls of our worlds?

What Spirit inhabited
the cells of this unlikely brush,
this tumbleweed
that scratched into the grain of our days?

We remain curious and full of questions,
about this unlikely mortal,
but smiling, humble, and grateful,
we now bow to your tenacious soul.


Dedicated to Charlie Morgan, poet, novelist, writer, humorist, thinker, husband, father, and friend. Charlie passed away April 2, 2013 at the age of 67.

The original of this poem was written and posted here 02/16/2005 It is still in my Friends and Loves folder in original form.


Godsmile :*)
By Glenn Currier

Look up in the sky
it is a bird, it is a plane
it is the sweet fresh rain
it is the clouds that fly.

Look down at the ground
it is a caterpillar, it is an ant
it is a green springing plant
and creepy crawlies all around.

Look inside of you
it is enthusiasm and hope
it is the broader deeper scope
the rousing breakthrough.

It is a : an * and an arc
It is a Godsmile with a spark :*)

"Godsmile," Copyright © 2013 by Glenn Currier
Posted March 19, 2013


Dreampresent
By Glenn Currier

I hear people on the talent shows
speak ardently of living out their dreams
as if their dreams are some projected future.

I cannot know their minds,
but in my dreams I am always in the now
on a ship at sea,
hiding from an approaching menace,
lying next to my lover,
flying above the lumber yard
and cyclone fences
cannon storming my senses
pedestrians in intersections.
I am lost with no connections
desperately seeking directions.

Or visiting donut shops
and buying apple fritters
sprinkly chocolate covereds,
things I cannot taste
in my waking life.

My nightmares
of growing old and frail
not being able to get out of bed to pee
of arguments with policemen
fleeing tax men clutching forms
slogging through surging surf
unable to make progress
towards the shore

In all of this however
I am in the pressing present of my dreams
not in the future.
The future only germinal
under the cloudy ground

of the dreampresent.

"Dreampresent," Copyright © 2013 by Glenn Currier
Posted March 16, 2013


Embarrassment
By Glenn Currier

The red face and squishy insides
of embarrassment
tumble through the hole in my house
my house so solid with bricks
and well-nailed wood.
I've worked it well
hammered every waking moment
troweled and fitted a veneer
so acceptable and kind
it would make Frank Lloyd Wright proud.
But even the coat of paint
applied only last year is pealing,
aged by wind and rain
and incessant heat.

My apparel, so well-suited
for a glowing impression
is tight with my excess
a shade lighter
from agitation in the detergent
of my conscience.

I praise the pain of embarrassment
for its lesson:
That the me I knew I knew
is never really there
always weathered
within and without.

I praise this lesson
in emptiness
that makes me a little less full

of my self.


Spare us asparagus
By Glenn Currier

She said this poetic prompt is dumb
to write about a vegetable or fruit
but just think about the little plum
it's not bright but it's sort of cute.

Or the carrot so orange and slender -
for the eyes it has vitamin A
for the body's cells it's a mender
and it'll make you regular they say.

Celery is the one I really don't like
for its flavor makes me frown
and want to take a hike
on the nearest road out of town.

Cauliflower stinks to high heaven
when I smell it I leave the room
hold my breath for a count of seven
not to take in that horrible fume.

Spinach was taboo to me as a kid
till I saw Popeye get real strong
watched all the heroics he did
and learned that sailor man song.

I haven't mentioned pears or lemons
bananas, mangoes, grapes or peaches
broccoli, green beans, persimmons
or coconuts from tropical beaches.

So don't think it is a curse
to write about oranges and greens
or say there is no verse
in citrus or apples or beans.

" Spare us asparagus," Copyright © 2013 by Glenn Currier
Posted January 13, 2013


Author's note: Recently one of the poets who posts here told me that I would never get anyone to respond to Poetic Prompt # 6: Write a poem about a fruit and/or vegetable. So I took up her challenge and the above little ditty is the result.


When kids played marbles
By Glenn Currier

I look into Sweetpea's eyes
as we languish sleepy  in bed
she purrs
I stroke her soft coat
think about cats eyes marbles.

You have to be a certain age
to know about marbles
how to knuckle down
and flip your thumb just right
on the small glass globe or steely
to hit the marblemade X
in the middle of the circle
scratched in the dirt.

I don't know if kids can find dirt any more.
Everything's St. Augustine, Burmuda,  or concrete
or table tops or laps
with electronic gismos
interacting with a screen.

Oh!  how I loved playing in the dirt
making roads and tunnels
in the pile of sandy loam
behind Buddy's house.
That was heaven.
Even now I breathe a peaceful sigh
thinking about those afternoons constructing cities together
laying in the dirt looking up
spotting rabbits and buffalo in the clouds .

What a joy
being
outside.

"When kids played marbles," Copyright © 2013 by Glenn Currier
Posted January 7, 2013


Hal Strikes Out
By Glenn Currier

When Hal was twelve years old
wanting to become a man brave and bold
he went to play baseball in the field
but when there it was revealed
as hard as he tried he couldn't hit that ball
and right there in public he began to bawl.

When he told his daddy, sternly Dad said,
"Hal, you're a sissy!" and sent him to bed
where Hal sobbed and sobbed in shame
cursing that horrible baseball game
and determined then and there
he'd find something he'd do with flair.

And from that moment on
he worked hard until he had won
a speech-making contest.
He was finally the best
at something he could do well
and rose from that horrible baseball hell.

But he'd never lose that inner doubt
and knew deep down he'd finally strike out
and would never meet the measure
or give his daddy the pleasure
of being proud of his son
and what he'd done.


"Hal Strikes Out," Copyright © 2013 by Glenn Currier
Posted January 4, 2013


Author's note: One of my personal and spiritual challeges is to decrease the amount of anger inside of me and to develop compassion for others. It is not very difficult for me to be compassionate toward most people whom I know well, but public figures such as politicians or certain celebrities are a bigger challenge for me. This poem is an attempt to use poetry to develop compassion for a political figure whom I have had feelings of disgust and anger. I did not use this person's real name.


Newtown
By Glenn Currier

Their souls rain into our hearts
and soften the soil of our winter
with gratitude for their little lives
hoping their gentleness will survive
into our spring, lest we splinter.

We know not
what hazards we'll span
or what suffering withstand
in the days and months ahead,
but we carry with us the thread
of their souls
to fashion a new garment
of hope and love
we will wear fondly
in their stead.

The memory of those who sewed goodness
in the thin fabric of their lives
will sustain us in moments of despair,
remind us and make us aware
of the power and protection
we can fashion
with just a kernel of compassion.

Into the foggy future we cross.
Mindful of the dark roads and loss,
the errors and sins of our past,
we choose now to leave the vast
and scarred remains
of that old town
to build together
safe places of care
where we honor and spare each other
a smile or a word when we're down
and a welcoming hand
as we build a grand
and brilliant

Newtown.



Author's note: Dedicated to the children and the educators and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

"Newtown," Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Currier
Posted December 25, 2012


Friends on the Way
By Glenn Currier

I saw him in a green jacket
walking ahead of me
I know not his destination,
but he was large
moving slowly
and quietly
as if to swallow and digest
the vast and varied terrain
before, behind, below, and above.
I wanted to join him
to fall into the deep pool of his knowing.

Soon I rounded the next bend
where Doric columns were rising up
slowly, each at a different pace.
Their flutes were worn
by the eons,
grainy with particles of earth
from the rooted path of their ascension.

A dark forest approached me
closer and closer it got
until I could hear the trees singing.
As they drew nearer my faint vision could see their varied bark
and leaves thin with the sound of violins
branches reaching up like a conductor with his baton
drawing the wind from horns
and their deep, majestic message
of sadness
and pain
and loss
and yearning.

Then I saw a pond
laced with fern and saplings
berried bushes
and from the muddy shore
almost tripping, sucked into impressions
made by others who came to drink,
tenuously I stepped into the water
and it became a lake
its arduous waves threatened to engulf me
but I gazed steadily at them
refusing fear
and invited them
to embrace me.

A calm entered the waters.
I fell to my knees
and bowed low to the sacredness
of this place and those who appeared
on my journey here
with lessons and love.

I wept. I sobbed
with gratitude

for my friends
on the way.

"Friends on the Way," Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Currier
Posted December 8, 2012


Awakening
By Glenn Currier

I go to bed with you
your multicolored aspect
on my mind.
I pull your imagination over my body
your poems touch me.
They are soft and smooth as silk,
blankets pressing their fullness upon me.
They inhabit my dreams.

When I awaken
your images still swirl,
eddies in my brain
caused by the pebbles
of your words
and laughter
and tears.

You are a mistress
whom I keep
for periodic stimulation
and salubrious recreation.

Like an intelligent woman
strong with value
full of love
insistent for my attention
you make me human.

I cannot shed you
like disrobing.
You are sweat,
my skin oily with your fragrance.

You wake me up
when I see your lines.
Your voices caress, tingle and tickle.
They are an itch
scratched
by my fingers
on the pen and keyboard,
scratched
by the nails of my verse
the pages I create
and fling into the ether.

You boil in me
and give me meaning
recreate me
and hand me to others
on the platter of my days.
You make me matter.
You make me blaze.

You are poetry in progress.


Author's note: This was written and read on the occasion of the second anniversary of our poetry group, Poetry in Progress.

"Awakening," Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Currier
Posted November 6, 2012


On the shelf
By Glenn Currier

Softly and gently I placed my self on the shelf.
By the glittering lavender quartz
I felt dull with my matte finish.

The eagle with wings in majestic display,
eyes looking like he could conquer an army
and I, just a trench soldier muddy with wars.

On the end sat Whitman, Conrad, and Dickens
with their beards and books and serious looks
and I with my poems stuffed in my pockets.

But here I am resting high and safe
from the shouts below and their profanity
the seizure of their insanity.

Unnoticed here I watch from above
wondering about my place down there
in the churning arc of their love

but glad that
softly and gently I placed my self on the shelf.


Author's note: I stole the first line of this poem from my friend Joe David who shared it with me one day as we lunched. He said it had bouncing around in his head for a while and I guess it bounced right out of his head into mine. Thank you, Joe.

"On the shelf," Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Currier
Posted October 25, 2012


Chaos of Rest
By Glenn Currier

Am I ready now …
tired enough
to give up the day,
its buzz and disarray,
to let go and finally enter the deep
measureless anarchy of sleep?

"Chaos of Rest," Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Currier
Posted September 4, 2012


Hurricane and Glimmers
By Glenn Currier

I keep coming across the same wreckage
It looks like a hurricane has swept through here.
What used to be studs holding up walls
are splintered, broken like discarded toothpicks.
Trees lying there, leaves still green
not knowing they are near death,
their mother waiting for the chainsaw.

Or is all this detritus
the victim of sabotage?

My mind is a tropical storm
wreaking havoc, making debris,
ten thousand twenty six
leaves scattered about me
on the way to death -
Definitions, firmly rooted:

Cooking healthy is too much work.
Exercise is pain.
I'm too old to change.
I just can't help it.
You know, I have needs.

My failures are a train of trials
cars full of rusted twisted iron
layers and lines of denials
scrap tires worn out by the miles.

But if my bad habits trail behind me
the good ones brought me here
standing tall, soaking up the sun
the sound of the birds
the sweet soft wind
tickling the hairs on my arms.

My breath fresh from brushed teeth
my shoes tied, my shirt buttoned,
my marriage secure from ten thousand twenty three
choices to stop and talk and listen and touch her arm
and kiss her full lips.

My mind is fertile soil
being cleared of rocks and weeds
waiting to be planted
with affections not taken for granted
with saplings and seeds
prospects of good deeds
and open range
and now-moments of change.

See what wonders the strong winds blew?
A few sparkly glimmers
strewn here too.

"Hurricane and Glimmer," Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Currier
Posted August 25, 2012


While stomping around in the desert
By Glenn Currier

I was stomping around
out in the desert the other day
avoiding the cactus
lost in doubt
wondering if there was a god
who would help me avoid
binging on the delectables
that promise rewards
I think I deserve
and need.

I can step into that desert
at any moment:
two hours after I have prayed
or read Rumi, Rohr, or Thomas Moore,
believed their visions
and felt a smidgen of their ecstasy,
or ten minutes after orgasm
the naked leg of my lover touching me
and I feel sad and lonely.

The doubts
the aloneness
creep up like flood waters at night
eroding months or years
of confidence, and tranquility,
two hundred mornings begun with "Dear God..."

that I thought
were well-rooted in me.

Then at a funeral the other day
the preacher reminded us of the 23rd psalm
and I knew that God was right there in that place
in the mourners
and would deliver us from our grief
or at least hold us as we walked through it.

I remembered what a sage once told us,
my wife and I
as we struggled through a rough time:
Love is a decision.

I must choose belief and acceptance
as surely as I must choose my beloved.

What harm will it do to believe
that goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
that he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies?

Next time I stumble into that desert
I hope I can remember
to look for my loves, writers and poets
to encourage, challenge, and inspire me.
I hope I can make my way into their presence,
sit a while

and listen.

"While stomping around in the desert," Copyright © 2012 Glenn Currier
Posted August 13, 2012


Poets' Cadence
By Glenn Currier

Well I don't know but I've been told
poets are made of coal and gold.
Some of us swing a big bold hammer
some of us crawl and speak with a stammer.
I know poets who are quite refined
and those who bark and spit and grind.

They come from mountains bright and high
from muddy swamps and deserts dry.
Some poets think and talk in rhyme
some sow their stanzas out of time.
Many are spiritual and religious
some are skeptics with wounds prodigious.

They are romantic and filled with love
but they are prone to push and shove.
I know poets who are noble and prophetic
and those who are funny, depressed or pathetic.
We're sure that heaven's for the brave
and wonder what looms beyond the grave.

Poets are full of vision and conviction
fear and loathing and contradiction.
When will this poet's cadence end?
Now... but listen.. we're in the wind.


Author's Note: This poem was "performed" by the gathered group at the August 6, 2012 meeting of Poetry in Progress, DeSoto, TX. It is dedicated to Amanda I. Clay and inspired by her poem A Soldier's Soul


When I awaken
in these later-year mornings
I feel sleepy and unmoved
my feet heavy, mired
in a dim and languid place

and if I want to pull myself
from this too familiar, usual land
I must find
somewhere in the crazy cosmos within
some particle of candescence
to penetrate my gloom
and make me pregnant
with the seed of possibility
of this day.

It is up to me.


Pink Exuberance  Image: Speaker Icon  Audio recording of Glenn Reading this poem>> wav format | mp3 format
By Glenn Currier

From the heart of its Mother
irrepressible blood
surges up its slender limbs
explodes from the tips of its fingers
shouting with joy
the budding pleasure
and pink exuberance
of crepe myrtle.


Ever There       Image: Speaker Icon  Audio recording of Glenn Reading this poem>> wav format |  mp3 Format   
By Glenn Currier

You are never never in any land
where you cannot reach my hand
never never in any space
where you are not in my embrace.

I fly between the windmill’s blades
in the rainbow and in the shades
in every corner of your anxious room
and in your desperate doom.

You and I have walked together
when you knew not whether
you would make it through the day
and you took mind and body faraway.

But I was in your every hair and breath
and will be through your time and your death.
Your heart is full of mine
fermenting a burgundy wine.

So when you think you’ve crossed
to the desert and are totally lost...
Stop.  Fill your lungs with air.
And find me always and ever there.

"Ever There," Copyright © 2011 by Glenn Currier
Written August 11, 2011

Member Comments
How could any poem be more heartfelt than "Ever There" it comes within the soul.
- Comment from Elizabeth Hobbs


Measure of Light
By Glenn Currier

Image: Image of Rodrigue painting: The Baton Rouge Oak

This dark path is large in my past.
An anchor
gargantuan
rust-crusted and scarred
dropped from my bobbing boat
falls too many fathoms
for my rope.
My shaking vessel lurches,
about to founder.

From the far reaches,
a deep drum, a distant boom
in my inner ear
tries to wake me.

Umber shadows
black oaks arise from the earth
dark bodies lean toward my path
dripping fingers
pointing down as if to say:

Pause here a moment.
Bring your scattered mind
back to this place
where you ran
where you began.

Linger here.
Feel the warm mud
folding around your feet.
Sink into your roots.

Find here the measure of light
you’ve been seeking.


Author’s Note:  This poem is inspired by the George Rodrigue painting, The Baton Rouge Oak, pictured above.  According to Wendy Rodrigue in her blog Musings of an Artist’s Wife, as Rodrigue was seeking his own unique artistic expression, he started painting trees and landscapes from his native Cajun Louisiana.  He was asked about this painting and its name, and he said that, “it was the tree and its relationship to its surroundings that stood out to him.” 

When I first saw this painting on Wendy’s wonderful blog, it was as if it reached out from the computer screen and took hold of me.  I had to write a poem about it.  As I looked at the painting and noted some of its details, its meaning for my own journey emerged in this poem.  I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and my roots go deep into southern Louisiana where my mother (Inez Durand Currier) was born and raised and where many of my cousins now live and love. 

I am grateful to George and Wendy Rodrigue for helping me navigate the path from my past to my present and into the light.

"Measure of Light," Copyright © 2011 by Glenn Currier
Posted 11-8-11

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