Monday, November 28, 2011

a note just right

Aunt Anna

how good it feels to sing a note just right,
for some of us we need to stand next to a person
for whom pitch is as natural as breathing,

I love to be next to Anna Holman,

for with her life she sings true to the melody
that comes from earth and family, and love,
she harmonizes with what drives growth,
with what weather and circumstance allow
for a farm, for a child, for a grandchild,
for any with whom she finds a connection,

when someone’s song comes to an end,
whether after a long or a too short life,
Anna endures and still seeks to sing with her life
and to joy in whatever songs
family and friend share with her,

everyone who lets himself, who lets herself,
come close to the love that is Anna,
becomes better for her firm soft touch upon our soul,
upon how we might sing the song God has given us,

the best in us cannot but become even better
when we let ourselves have time
and then connection with Anna,
from whom wells forth love
as if from a spring beyond our understanding.

by Henry H. Walker
November 26, ’11

off in the shallows

Of Tao & Facebook

the meditations within which I focus
each and every morning
are the closest I know to the fire beneath,
the light that some of us call God,
words which have permanence of meaning
as if written in stone,
distant from the virtual realities
which draw from us
so much of our time and our words,
Facebook and cell-phones and Twitter
connect us with each other
and entice us like candy,

I wonder how much we then swim in shallows
and fill our need for depth, for profundity, with quantity.

by Henry H. Walker
November 23, ’11

Thanksgiving tables & change

who’s not there

I am drawn to seasons, to mountains,
to a creek I’ve known all my life,
and the more things change,
the more, in some ways,
they remain the same,
I come around a corner
and I feel I’ve been here before,
and yet in other ways I feel the constancy of loss,
what remains the same is the episodic withdrawal
of those I love to that unknown elsewhere,

thus, the more things change,
the more the larger I does not remain the same,

the trees glory in color in the Fall
and bare themselves as if in grief, every year,
the forest erupts in hope every Spring,
and holds past and future every Summer
in the riot of lush exuberance, Summer’s present,

there’s a constancy of tables at Thanksgiving,
yet who is there changes, and I miss each loss,
how wonderful to gain those new who can sit in the chairs,
how sad to lose those I love
who no longer can joy in the sharing with us.

by Henry H. Walker
November 23, ’11

Friday, November 18, 2011

back and out of the source

Closing With the Primary

primary sources draw me
like a moth to the flame:

within a working farm
the most basic to life reveals itself
as plant and animal animate the inanimate,
transforming the Sun into substance--
plants that supply our table
and the animals that add to the supply,

I feel close to the source when I’m around
where people order the richness of the land
with rows of vegetables, grains,
the earthy treasures of potato and yam,

with fruit trees who tithe back cherry & peach & apple
that others might live,
with the goat and the cow who transform leaf into milk and meat,
with the chicken from whom eggs seem to be made by scratch,

we can forget the source,
the primary reality from where and how
comes the food that allows us to be,

as long as we have food enough to live,
there is nothing more basic, more primary, truer, than love,
we need a “why” for the “what” of our existence,
and it is the other who give us meaning,
early on the parent from whom we come
and who helps us order our growth,

yet basic and primary to who we are
is the choice to bond with the other,
to connect with someone we love and who loves us,
of course, the species needs bonding for procreation,
for out of the darkness, light needs to appear,
another link in its chain thrown across the looming chasm,

yet I find marriage itself,
the commitment of one to the other,

the making of a whole,
qualitatively larger and more real than the sum of its parts,
is a primary source upon which the best of society and culture can build,

weddings should be of tears and joy
for every time one commits to the other
who we are as a species grows larger and truer
to the hope of our being,

I love a primary source for in it I close with what is most real
and upon which all else is built.

by Henry H. Walker
November 13, ’11

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

aaron & abby wed

Aaron & Abby

when a man loves a woman,
and a woman loves a man,
a child can be born,

even when Richard Nixon is President
and Spiro Agnew, that “nattering nabob,” is Vice-President,
even after a decade of assassinations and the Vietnam War,
love and hope can echo from two beautiful children born then:
Aaron Seth Walker and Abigail Mara Lundsten,

every joy, and every bump on their road
from infant to child to teenager to adult
clear as yesterday to their parents,

how wonderful that they found each other
and how hard they have worked to build a partnership together:
the give-and-take,
the learning when to be the individual,
and when to be the couple,

and, like a fine wine, the right aging adds subtlety and depth
to the substance of their love and connections,

to Aaron & Abby, may your love and commitment to each other
grow even surer and deeper, and may you find yourselves stronger
and more full of joy because you seek to be one with the other.

with love,
from Henry & Joan Walker
November 12, 2011