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Multi-Year Poems: 1995 thru 2005


Multi-year Poems 1995 thru 2005

Poems from 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005











Shield Visions            Print this poem only


First night body dripping

mind skipping

can I make it

can I take it?

Serenity slipping.

Frogs in chorus

coyotes sonorous

crickets vibrate everywhere

wind Spirit - stirs the air!


First morning – Grandfather Sun

early warms the day

I journal in tent’s shade

my fears and pain allay.

First light dawns my soul.


The sacred circle waits

the spirit within anticipates.

Our guides gently propose:
'Heed what your spirits disclose.
Each a flowering tree
speaks softly a lesson, a dream

a memory of the past

a vision of your path.


My tree, small and straight,

With fresh green growth –

needles point all directions.

Its wood speaks soft reflections.
My spirit feels its lime power.
Inner child speaks his pain
the cardinal's sweet refrain
swifts me back beyond the now.
Hear the Cardinal sing!

And in the heat of afternoon
we hear the wails of past offenses,

paint and cut and image

visions true and dear.

Shields of precious life and growth

spring from courageous souls.


The evening shielded circle smiles

and dances sad and tender spirals.

Spirit-jewels drop like silver stars

Courageous souls open their wings

and soar and cool the heated night.


Second morning found us bound,

gifted with nine spirits there

and countless others: Winged ones,

and standing people and

precious four leggeds.


Gift/lessons learned and cherished:

From Angus/spirit - the lesson of open life,

our teachers and guides -

sacraments - doors to the sacred

from the six angels - courage to heal,

and from the creepy crawlers –

fortitude and humility to touch.


Author’s Note:  In 1995 I participated in a workshop out in a rural area of Texas in which several “students” were led by Joanna Jacobus whom I call my Medicine Woman. She has been a spiritual guide and counselor for me for many years.  In the workshop we were drawing on Native American practices and spiritual ideas. We constructed a medicine wheel and slept in tents overnight.  The land was beautiful with a small winding creek surrounded by rich green growth.  I was given a name by one of the male participants who had gotten to know me.

       I know now that this workshop was not the same as the ways Native Americans do things, but it was for me a spiritual awakening and a growth-filled experience.  Just being out in the country where there were coyotes and creepy-crawlers and sleeping in a tent required a degree of surrender for me.  And that was a good thing.  As the title indicates, from visions or imaginings we had we created “shields” consisting of various materials such as leather, feathers, large metal rings and acrylic paints.  The image above is one of the shields I made.  It depicts that winding stream.  This shield still hangs in our office, a graphic reminder of part of my spiritual journey.

Written 7-16-1995


The Conference            Print this poem only

Gray walls, tall ceilinged halls.
Bustled and hustled.
Projected and linked.
Cooled-over non-messages
Winked and blinked.
Pretending interest,
While yearning for
The warmth of human touch,
I feel alone and separate.
Then I remember I am not.
I invite her to sit with me,
Her with her wide brown body,
Confident eyes,
Vulnerable smile
And warm touch.
I am home.

Author's Note: This poem was the first to be posted after many years away from writing poetry. It was a new beginning... my firstborn after a long separation. I have not revised it.

Written 6-4-01


A Trembling Departure             Print this poem only

Your trembling departure dissolves
the crosses and tombstones of your longing
and curls you into the shore of a new horizon.

Cast off, you voyager
into fresh waters
replete with protozoan possibilities.

Set your sails on sturdy masts,
abandon your mourning and night;
take a naked flight.

The mouth and mind
of a ravenous prospect
await your arrival.

Author's Note: This poem, as I remember, was written after experiencing the early departure of a young student from the college class I was teaching at the time.  I did not like his leaving early, but later reflected on where he might be going, perhaps for a liaison with a lover or some other adventure.

Written 6-9-02


Slime of Comparison            Print this poem only

Her glance flits across the room -
just a gnat of time -
allowing her the pretense of distraction.
But nanosecond and third side-looks
confirm her departure.

Within, I hear
the void noise of chipped memories
and incendiary torment,
and search the dank hank
of my synapses:
What act fell into her eyes
as sin or error?
What word?
What trait?

The slime of comparison
wraps its rot
around my psyche
entombing the dawn and horizon
that once tangoed there
in the moonlight.

This deathgrip of doubt
flings its corpse
into the purple pool
darkened by depth.

But beneath the freefall,
lies a fathomless grace
I enter naked
of uniqueness
and ego's attire...
escorted solely
by a single

Written 8-19-02


It's not all about me            Print this poem only

When I enter the room
he, alone with his book,
gives me nary a look.

Maybe Wednesday was bad
for our small group to join,
and his time to purloin.

His weak "Hi" strains his throat
but I pretend I don't note
the wintery clime.

So I cast out my thought,
not the best I had brought,
it is dressed in a scrap.

It is good for a while
but it soon looses force
like the moon's sweet remorse.

In a moment he's gone.
I'm hurt and I burn
until later I learn

that in Monday's gray haze
the home of his praise
disappeared in a blaze.

Written 10-3-02


cup            Print this poem only

I am a full cup
running over with who I am.
I am an empty cup
upright and open
ready to receive drops,

but then...
I am an American:
always get full.
empty is not good.
run fastest
don't just walk.
jump highest
not just stand.
not just speak.
not just listen.

being empty
receiving drops
while being American
is hard.

Written 9-1-04


Left            Print this poem only


On the ledge

on the edge

I gaze into the abyss

of your apathy.


I tender the coin of my soul

to your slithering emptiness

there is no hand or heart for it.


To me they are pearls

but your pride has plucked

what care may light your eyes

to hold them for a moment

in your mind.


Shout or weep

but do not sleep

away the crystal

of my love

the emerald

of my life.


Author's Note: Written after a particularly discouraging day as a teacher.

Written 10-21-03


Old Equals Loss            Print this poem only


The steering wheel turns but the car doesn't.
I the dank beyond the light,
a gush of wind ruffling curtains
earning only a quick turn of the head
to check if a doily or unpaid bill
has blown to the floor.
I am...invisible.
No to-dos on my list.
I am the broom of willow sweeping a languorous afternoon.
I am a clock with a tick but no tock.
Breath ebbs, lungs bound in spider webs.
Crawling from bed
is like stirring a rusted engine
its erruh errrrrrr-uh err-uh er
punctures  the mind,
stuck between the aspiration of a start
and the phlegm of defeat.

This morning...
these phantoms wake me
old equals loss.

Written 12-19-02


The Boy With The Lantern            Print this poem only

"You do not have to sit outside in the dark. If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it."
               - Annie Dillard -

What do I do with this death?

It feeds on my soul
like a lion on fresh prey.

This innocence lost
gashes my heart.
I fall into this wound's abyss
flailing with an anger
that clings like napalm.
Will its dark pigment
seep into my marrow?

How long will I wander
this desert of grief
lost in brambled confusion
grasping for a twig of meaning?

Sometimes I hear a sound so faint
I cannot sense its source.
Like the tinkling of a piano
or the first feel of pregnancy
and its hint of new life.

In the midst of my feeble efforts
to find the routines
that make a life bearable,
trying to delude myself
that I have control,
I have moments of light.

I see a little boy swinging a lantern.
He is patient and waits for me.
On both sides of my upward path
are shadowy fences.
The sticky fingers of death
poke through them.

Images of a child's squirmy life
pop into my head
soon to be drowned
by nightmares.

But still..

there is the twinkling
of that boy and his lantern up the lane.
My hand grips my lover's,
our eyes full of tears
that magnify the tinkling
spreading it in our fields
like seeds,
kernels of sacred fire
that inspire and invite
us beyond the darkness
that surrounds us.

Now I know

the only way
through this somber thicket
will be keen vision,
intentional listening,
determination to pause
and linger in the present moment,
in that sacred space
beyond fear and blame
beyond doubt and rage,
in the meadow
of the eternal now
of Being
in Love.

Author's Note: Dedicated to Lane Michael Leger [June 17, 2004 - May 27, 2005] and the parents, Jacob and Kelly, whom he left to help the rest of us see what it means to find light in the darkness. Kelly is my second cousin and she and her husband and family were coping with the tragic death of their 11 month old son, Lane. In the writing of this poem, I was trying my best to imagine what this horrible event might feel like to Kelly and Jacob.  I know this is a perilous undertaking, but it helped me develop empathy for the parents.  Thanks to Annie Dillard for the opening quote from her book: Teaching a Stone to Talk, p. 31.

“The Boy with the Lantern,” Copyright © 2005 by Glenn Currier


Written 6-8-05


Bonnie            Print this poem only


Bonnie traveled this life

soulfully and boldly

never flinching

never inching

always full throttle.


Common and standard

not the vocabulary

of this wild child

who lead with her heart

who said what she thought.


She was a caravan of dreams

spoken in laughter and screams

a blazing galloping train

entering the room with a bang.

And beyond our understanding

she lived life with abandon.


The logo of her fashion

was a heart full of passion.

Never met a stranger.

Don’t dare try to change her.


The phone line was her lasso

from Memphis to El Paso

every customer a friend

kick the competition’s rear end.


Don’t get on her train

unprepared for a strain.

Not much for quiet

her wit was a riot

an adrenaline pumper

of a daredevil jumper .


Bonnie was a mystery to us

one minute she’d cuss

the next she would cry

her compassion and try

to help those around

whose up had come down.


Maybe she didn’t rhyme

with all of us all the time

standing out from the crowd

not quite escaping her cloud.

Neither shy nor soft spoken-

maybe like us a bit broken

not all wires perfect inside

not always free of our pride.


But like us she had a pure soul

sparkling, beautiful, and whole

and life could not destroy

that little girl full of joy.


Our hearts bowed with sadness

await a piece of her gladness.

We pause for  goodbyes

tears of grief in our eyes

but know she is shouting

Stop all that pouting,

Celebrate life, soak it in

don’t stay where you’ve been

gamble on bliss

give a hug get a kiss

and remember I’m glad

to be here with my dad.


Bonnie, you taught us.

Your big spirit caught us

with all of its power.

Your love was a flower

planted in hope’s soil.

Anoint us with the oil

of forgiveness and love

and save us a spot up above.

Give flight to our shame

vanish the blame

that has dogged us too long

make right all the wrongs.


So we part for a while

with a tear and a smile

and a grip full of care

till we meet you up there.


Author's Note: My dear cousin Bonnie Polo died January 30, 2004. We were close. This poem is dedicated to her.

Written January 31, 2004

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