2012 Poems

January - April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Clearing        Print this poem only

 

I stumbled out into the clearing

exhausted from days of dodging

spiral vines, barbed bushes.

Snakes hanging down to bite.

Their slimy bodies coiled

around branches of dark trees.

 

I stumbled out into the clearing

numb from the drum

the ceaseless crunch

and throaty buzz

of the mundane.

 

I stumbled out into the clearing

desperate for vitaminlight.

Something deep and clear and simple.

A crystal lyric

a melody that would slow

the rhythm of my heart.

 

I stumbled into the clearing

where I found you

and a few

who would listen

and be

with me

and guide my thirsty spirit

 

back to the oasis,

that fresh place

right between my eyes.

That meadow hidden underneath

my studied will

and persistent ego.

 

Who or where

is your clearing?

 

Dedicated to my friend Ed Stofko on his 60th birthday.  It took 60 years to become the wise, spiritual man you are,  and I  for one, am glad you are this old, grateful for all those days and hours and minutes you have used so well.

 

Written  January 12, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mornings         Print this poem only

 

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 incandescence

to penetrate my gloom

and make me pregnant

with the seed of possibility

in this day.

 

It is up to me.

 

Written 7-2-12

Dawn-dark-mountain-in-blue-morning.JPG
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Flower
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But who needs flowers

when you can pass the hours

in your heart's garden where grows

a woman lovely as a rose?

 

But who needs a daffodil

when any moment you can fill

your eyes with her lovely flesh

or touch it and feel all fresh?

 

Who needs flowers in the air

when the scent of her womanly hair

pulls you in on its earthy string

makes your heart flutter and sing?

 

The aroma of our love, my sweet,

makes me want to repeat

Helen, oh Helen you sexy thing

you are my flower and my spring.

 

Love,

Glenn

Written 3-13-12

 

 

 

 

Notebook         Print this poem only

 

These lines are mine shafts

I dig with my pen

in an unseen light.

 

Each letter and word

hunched between the layers

crevasses and cracks

reveal a sapphire or ruby,

rusty ore

or decaying matter.

 

But even the decay

turns to fuel

if I cherish and caress it

with the tip and dip

of my pen

if I refine it

in the pauses...

that now and then

become moments of splendor.

 

It is a mystery to me

why I do not come here more often

to explore

and discover

 

these heights and depths.

Written 2-6-12

 

 

 

Open Heart

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Her heart is open.

It slices into ours.

The decades of her care

infuse us with beauty

as water lives in a lily.

 

Her heart is open.

She has spooned and mixed

the flowers of her love

in the rising bread of our lives.

We are warm. We are human

with her blood.

 

Her heart is open

spreading the fluid of her mercy.

A flood running

down the roads of the many

into yards and living rooms.

She kneels with us

and prays her faith

into the beads of our memory.

 

Her heart is open,

pulsing like music

with laughter and listening.

Her eyes glistening

and dancing

with our stories.

Her face lined with compassion

strikes a chord

somewhere in the sacred parts

of our being.

 

Her heart is open

and we dive into it

hoping that somehow

we can touch her

as she touched us.

 

Dedicated to Ernestine Currier whose heart has blessed us with so many riches.

 

Written 11-4-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pioneer Days         Print this poem only

 

Waiting for the green light

to my left the new median plantings in sight

I recalled the two lane, bumpy Pleasant Run

back when our new house was done.

 

Still waiting for the light to turn

my mind began to churn

I imagined those early scouts slowing their horses,

scanning the terrain picturing a farm with rows of green,

the most beautiful home and family ever seen.

 

Then the light turned and I had to go.

On Hampton bridge I saw the flow

of Ten Mile Creek meandered east.

I wondered how they forged this gorge

with wagons loaded with nails and boards

and dreams of kids, and crops, and hopes restored.

 

In my reverie I saw the ghost of a farmer

and was turned on Mantlebrook by the young charmer.

Winding my way west,

a lovely white farm house blessed

with crape myrtle, oak and elm.

on the porch, overseeing his realm

the farmer rocked a small child

his love pouring out in his smile.

 

I pulled up below the ancient, rusting windmill.

The ghost called to me, still in my trance,

"Hi neighbor, I'm Otway Nance."

A blue jay squawked and I awakened

I couldn't see the man, "I must be mistaken."

How many unseen farmers in this ground

their souls in this soil but unbound

fruit of their pain and sweat all around?

 

I stood at the fence and in my scan

a red barn, brick homes, and the street,

dirt roads now gray with concrete.

Ten thousand drives through this town

to work and back, up and down,

from spring's sweet green to autumn brown,

but unaware of the women and men

who planned and fought about where and when

to build and how this city would begin.

 

I asked myself who were all the pioneers

into this unknown, making frontiers,

clearing land, making a stand,

finding the grit to brave storms and cold

and drought, to make something to behold.

 

How are you a pioneer, my friend,

what doubts and fears do you transcend?

What discoveries do you make

in your day and your night what risk do you take?

And who do you touch when life's too much?

 

Is our frontier the trails we blaze

or how we'll make these our pioneer days?

_________________________________________

 

Author's Note:  Dedicated to Marikay Dewberry whose tireless efforts have helped to make

the Nance Farm Restoration happen and whose dedication to the DeSoto Historical

Foundation and to our community have made DeSoto, Texas a better, more interesting

place to live. 

 

"Pioneer Days," Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Currier

Written 4-2-12

 

 

 

 

 

Poets' Cadence        Print this poem only

 

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.

Leader: Sound off-
Group: One, Two.
Leader: Sound off-
Group: Three, Four.
Leader: Count 'em down -
Group: One, two, three, four
             One, two, (pause) three, four!

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.

Leader: Sound off-
Group: One, Two.
Leader: Sound off-
Group: Three, Four.
Leader: Count 'em down -
Group: One, two, three, four
             One, two, (pause) three, four!

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.

Leader: Sound off-

Group: One, Two.

Leader: Sound off-

Group: Three, Four.

Leader: Count 'em down -

Group: One, two, three, four            

One, two, (pause) three, four!

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: Dedicated to Amanda I. Clay and inspired by her poem "A Soldier's Soul"]

Written 7-14-12

NOTE: When this poem was read in public in the local poetry group, copies were given to those assembled and they sang out loud the indented cadence.

 

 

 

 

Practice       Print this poem only

 

When I am tempted

to allow the dark shroud

of discouragement

to cover me

I open my bone-handled pocket knife

and practice

sticking holes in it.

 

And through those holes

I see light,

traces of hope

on the ground before me.

Ground familiar

but not identical

to the desert of my heavy past.

 

I hear the songs

of wise men -

men battered but not beaten

by their perilous passage

into that wasteland.

 

Their lyrics left me:

Progress not perfection.

This too shall pass.

Notice the stained glass

not just the stains.
Don't forget the gains,
the small victories are rebar
for a new high way.


Practice

recalling that light,

they say.

It is all about practice,

they say.

Whisper this

when that old shroud threatens.

Leave the burden of your errors

where it belongs -

on the crumbling pages

of your past.

 

When you are temped

to rest on your success

or think yourself better than the rest

you can recall your stumblings

on those crumbling pages

replete with your pride.

 

The next time I feel lost

and alone

in the labyrinth

I will return to those lyrics

and repeat the melody

 

practice

practice

practice.

 

​​Written 4-6-12

 

Prose or poetry?        Print this poem only

 

The stormy night

has turned a hot August day

into a cool clear morning

while above the eastern horizon

a thin layer of gray clouds

protests the sun's rising,

and Laverne across the street,

her shades already open,

observes the western quadrant

of my yard as I wonder

if she can see me here

laying in bed feeling squeamish

from too much wine last night

trying not to regret

the celebration of a delicious evening

reading poetry with friends.

 

Written 8-28-12

 

 

 

Savor          Print this poem only
 

My cousin Gary is dying.

We played kick-the-can in the park
he showed me how to make bamboo pop guns

on my summer visits

to the Reeds in New Iberia.

 

His mama, my Aunt Madeline, loved me

with the same love that woke her early

a thousand mornings

to fix him and the family eggs and bacon and cafe au lait.

Then she died of cancer

leaving us before I was old enough

to cherish time.

 

I can still feel the wind in my hair

running with Gary

sweating that little boy sweat.

How we ran

and learned to be cousins

in the grip of joy.

And now Madeline's son too is dying from cancer.

 

And there he is

my cousin Gary living

holding the wine glass and his bride

at our last dinner together,

teaching me again.

Savor

and spread around

the precious particles

of your love.

 

Since I visited him in hospice

I have been waking early

as if time was too rare

to waste sleeping.

The cat's purr under my hand

the smoothness of Helen's skin

the glint in her eyes

the colors of the purslane

seize me

and clutch my attention

my cousin Gary is dying

 

and I can't wait to live.

 

Written 5-26-12

 

Shield        Print this poem only

 

Oh how we work to cut a channel

across fields blushing with heather

through stony hills riddled with thistle,

but fog covers and infiltrates our sodden shoes

and every labyrinthine tributary and crevasse

crawled by ants and beetles in their tough sheathes.

 

Through the misty morn

a shimmering weather vane

turned north beckons me 

beyond the quotidian plains of my plodding

to the impossible dreams

yet nourished by my spirit.

 

Love and loyalty play hide and seek

in the brush and hedges

the warren where the animal digs and crawls

around roots, through worms and unexpected voids,

trying to make or find a home...

or is it liberty he seeks,

clean clear air and sunlight

freed from the confines that protect him?

 

Written 9-13-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebonnets        Print this poem only

 

Your scent is so heady

I am intoxicated

in the blue Caribbean

of your balmy essence.

 

Barbed wire

strung on cedar posts

cannot keep me

from falling into your sweet embrace.

 

I cannot take you.

You take me

eyes first then my nose

your breath caresses my arms.

 

Who knew that Texas

with its rough and rocky terrain

could give birth

to such gentle exquisite beings?

 

You are the Mona Lisa

your artful allure

draws onlookers

admirers of your mystery.

 

We cannot stay away

from your flowering.

Your spring

brings us

 

to life.

 

Written 3-30-12

 

Bully           Print this poem only

Fear is a bully
hiding behind a boulder
made of imaginings -
storm clouds
that become wisps 
when faced
in the clear air
of the present moment.

Written 2-6-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craving        Print this poem only

I look you in the face

you are twisted

your body a mirage

you hide from me

in the fog of the past

coward

roach afraid of the light.

 

I look you in the face

you are the unacceptable

that bites me in the ass.

Unacceptable fear, sadness,

dark streaks and stria.

 

My poetry embraces

the Hyde of me

the rot

the failed

neighboring in the community

with the joy

the eager

the radiant

and the tender.

 

It lets me

it makes me

 

look you in the face.

 

Written 2-11-12

 

 

 

Dina        Print this poem only

I met a woman last night,
my curiosity about her
peaked by the glow
in the image of her
spoken by my cousin
in the wide plain
and deep lake
of our conversations.

The woman's skill, astute attention,
and firm instruction
evident in the seemingly miraculous
reversal of the swampy
drippings of aging
normal in an octogenarian.

Do you know those rare first encounters
when you see and touch
the tender roots of an orchid plant?

What a delight to hear and see
in our brief wide exchange
each color soaked petal
reveal the sweet soul
and large heart
of a woman who had discovered
that rare, emerald region
between professionalism
and compassion.

I met a woman last night
who made me proud to be human.


Author's Note: Dedicated to Dina, the occupational therapist who has befriended and guided my dear cousin Marcia from being a near invalid to a walking, functional, determined, healthy model for those of us in danger of being victimized by the aging process.


Written February 22, 2012
Alexandria, Louisiana

 
 

 

 

 

 

Discouragement hangs heavy          Print this poem only

 

Discouragement

hangs on me heavy

like chain mail.

At times it seems my progress

on the spiritual path

is  slime trailing a snail.

 

The landslide:

my moment of pettiness,

cursing myself for knocking the vase,

forgetting that guy's name,

not getting her flowers

BEFORE her thinly veiled hint.

 

Maybe not so much a landslide

as a desert

so wide, it seems endless.

How can I cross it?

Will my horses pull this old wagon

the distance?

All I can see on the far horizon

is mountains,

high - even from here.

 

And dragging behind me

on the chain of my memory

a thousand soiled volumes

containing the history

of too much

beer, fried chicken,

naughty and mean imaginings,

and cuckoo condemnations

of those who dared to wrong me.

 

But discouragement is the enemy

hiding behind

and under

the fiction

of perfection.

 

Written - April 5, 2012

 

 

 

 

JEKYLL & HYDE         Print this poem only

Collaborated Poem by

Glenn Currier & Elizabeth Hobbs

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

scared me into staying inside

a fiction in film and book

what was the story's hook?

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

very different side by side

One is such a sweet old thang

The other is mean as a hard rain

 

The hook, there's a bit in me & you

which makes us do the things we do

Even Apostle Paul in all his glory

recites his dilemma and what a story

 

Romans 7:19 will give you a peek

and maybe answers that we seek

we do the bad we do not wish

instead of veggies the dish delish.

 

 

The Jekyll in us is gentle and kind

the Hyde wants to kick the saint's behind

Now lets decide which be you, which be I

I be sweet Dr. Jekyll, you be that Hyde guy!

 

Author’s Note: This was read at a meeting of the group, Poetry in Progress,” and on that last line Glenn points to himself on the first five words and then points to Elizabeth on the last five words.

 

“Jeckyll and Hyde,” Copyright 2012 by Glenn Currier and Elizabeth Hobbs

Written 2-1-12

In the poetry group meeting in the last stanza

Glenn and Elizabeth read together pointing at each other

 

 

 

 

Lost Horizon         Print this poem only

 

I imagine that my time

is a wide open plain.

the limitless horizon melts into the sky.

 

I am the captain of the Titanic

my denial a delusion

so deep and wide and hidden

it will surely capsize me.

 

Unless I wake up.

 

Written February 6, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Michael
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Some get degrees to teach,

learn to hurl words in fancy speech,

but the lessons he taught

could never be bought.

 

From Michael we learned how to live

to simply love and help and give.

He taught us to be family and friend

a neighbor on whom to depend.

 

With little effort and no guile

he taught us to go the extra mile,

to ignore boundaries of age,

no enemy or stranger on his stage.

 

He cherished the joys life brings

but he made no god of things

his truck and home a country tune

feed the cows, mow the fields in June.

 

Early on he fought to stay alive

taught us in that valiant drive

to cherish life and live it well

before our final knell.

 

We are blessed that his life’s arc

crossed ours in our light and in our dark.

On our souls a gentle mark

the sweet shining life of Michael Clark.

 

“Michael,” Copyright 2012 by Glenn Currier

Written January 6, 2012

 
2020 Copyright by Glenn Currier