Thursday, June 24, 2010

the seasons change, Minnehaha. . .

Summer Solstice ’10

in the morning
clouds grey the Sun and keep it from us,
just as the city puts itself between us & nature,
the Sun reduced to ambient lighting
as if the outside world is just a room made solely for us,

when we follow Minnehaha Creek
from its falls at the rim of the city

to the grandness of the young Mississippi,
rain lightly spatters on us as if to connect sky & river
with a wet sheen that my sweat joins,
the river mighty and beautiful but also hazed and warm,
its banks lush with greening leaves, though few flowers,
the season feels hot as if it’s been working,

for most of the day we stay inside
for visiting, a nap, video games, meals,

after supper we stop to get ice cream
and we savor a brilliant Sun in a cloudless sky
and cold sweet treats
while a waxing Moon shows itself high to the west, 2/3 full,

on the way back to the car
a thirty foot linden tree erupts in flower above me,
bathed by the bright spotlight of a lowering Sun,
linden flowers all a rich yellow

like soft flames amid the rich green of the linden leaves,
a tower of glory, that, in its way, celebrates the Sun at its zenith,

the seasons turn today
and I love to lift up my eyes
unto the yellowed silver linden,
all a-blaze above me.

by Henry Walker
June 21, ’10

Izzy at two

the two year-old persona

a child is born and dreams away while not hungry
and nothing hurts, comfortable, at peace,
until shortly later something’s amiss and mood follows suit,
the infant cries, a wail of despair until comfort returns,
the wail becomes complaint as the child recognizes
that there can be a relationship between expression and a change,
an improvement in condition, somehow related to the complaint,

days, weeks, months pass,
and people and objects acquire tags of sound
that call them up in the child’s mind,
and, in a wondrous revelation, the sound means the same to others,
each of us gets the secret,
and it’s fun and right to repeat the tags back and forth to each other,

by age two the imperative verb makes quite a showing,
the verb that can make a noun do its bidding,
description transforms to prescription, what is to what can be,
a realization that an action can be done
and the child decides it should be done
and says to make it so
for how wondrous to be the lead actor and the world in supporting roles,
to get that each moment has a cusp
and the two year-old demands a controlling say
in the choosing of the fork to follow,

when the whim is denied,
the will expressed yet thwarted,
the whole face contorts, tears flow,
the will denied becomes anger,

so the clever parent distracts and hijacks emotions anew
into a different focus,

the willful self only one mask the two year-old wears to express herself,
consider also the dancing eyes, the captivating smile,
the wonder at each new discovery,

the love to connect with “Hi!” and with “Bye!”
the joy when her big sister returns
and all is right with the world,

language marks and creates the evolution of the person
who learns to act upon the world
with the tongue advised by the heart and opened by the mind.

by Henry Walker
June 21, ’10