Thursday, April 26, 2012

hold the past & embrace the future

change, and sameness   

the more things change,
the more they remain the same,
the more they remain the same,
the more things change,

a tradition: to bring my students each year to the Smokies,
we stop at Krispy Kreme on the way,
glazed doughnuts and a dozen chocolate cream-filled,
a long car ride,
a stop to appreciate a panorama of mountains,
the creek,
the same meals of burrito and spaghetti,
cereal and sandwiches,
the same joy of loving the cabin,
of loving the mountains,

yet the people change,
the group never the same, even if it has the same people,

each year has the same seasons,
the same dance of Earth & Sun,
yet how clouds and cold move to the dance
can change as if to tease us with what to expect,

technology seems to break us free of the past
yet the telegraph seems to me to echo in cell phone texting,
digital triumphs in music, then vinyl resurfaces,

what makes us human can seem lost in change,
then find itself again we we return to the simple,
to meeting the other’s eye,
to care,
to love.

by Henry H. Walker
April 20, ’12

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

align with the house?

to better the odds   

just to live is a leap of faith,

and within that leap are countless choices
with which we hope to jump to where we wish:
that she at whom we smile will smile back at us,
that the way across the road is open enough
that no vehicle will wreck our self-assurance,
that we can choose well enough to make it harder
for disease and death to be behind the door we open,

I bought Apple stock before ipods and ipads,
when the company made more sense than dollars,
and my investment has grown by 50 times, and more,
so I bought other stock,
and its trajectory humbles my sureness,

this week I’ve thought to sell some stock
for a new electric car and energy-efficient heating and a/c
at the mountain cabin,
so what happens?
my optimism has shrunk
as others’ pessimism has swelled,
and the stock has lost $50 a share,

a cautionary tale, yet I still hope. . .

all we can do with our lives is play the odds well,
the universe plays dice with our lives
and we stand a better chance of winning
when we ally ourselves with the house,
and do what we can to better the odds.

by Henry H. Walker
April 16, ’12
images from Google Images

Thursday, April 19, 2012

what are we about?

Carolina Friends School   

What are we about as a school?

What can make us worth
the cutting of trees,
the leveling of land,
the block, mortar, metal & wood for our buildings?

What is worth the investment of our lives as staff?
What is worth the investment of our children as students?

That of God within calls us to manifest,
to the true to the heart at the heart,

true to the wholeness
potential in each student, staff, parent,
true to the wholeness
potential in community,
true to the light that must be uncovered
to help us all move forward
into a tomorrow even better than today,

Our school should be proudly conservative
in keeping what is most right,
Our school should be proudly radical
in changing to what can be even more right,
the word “radical” itself meaning getting back to the roots,
No matter what the current fad or pressure
we must only accept it if it meets the test
of what is best for who lives behind the eyes
of each and every learner,
At its best, pedagogy derives from the learner,
what the learner needs,

The gift to be simple,
to be true to the individual,
to the self,
to the soul,
and from the one can come
what might fit the many,

The gift to be simple:
the insight of the open heart,
the rigor of the honest mind,

We should celebrate uniqueness and glory
in each soul,
in each tradition,
and we should celebrate the community,
where, like in a family,
the many can still be a one,
where the disparate, instead of flying apart,
come together in a wholeness,
within which, the wholeness within each of us
can find a way to manifest true.

by Henry H. Walker
April 18, ’12

Friday, April 6, 2012

swimming against disorder

I think what I know

I do not know what I think
until I think what I know,

in the actual marshaling of brain, heart, and will
to come up with what makes sense to me,
what comes out is as if
the need for words produces the words
as something inside puzzles out possibility
into what feels real and right,

the forks are there,
yet I only choose when I have to choose,
I only know which way to go
when my feet find themselves already on the way,

we throw words at it as if a name explains it:
intuition, something instinctive within,
a muse, something inspiring without,
“writer’s block” when it doesn’t work,

in this poem, I, too, am throwing words at it,
in awe of every little creation
when order swims against the dissolving current of disorder.

by Henry H. Walker
April 5, ’12

Thursday, April 5, 2012

the mentor of the far

look about, and know

I want to know where I am
within where everything else is:
to know in my bones and in my soul
what is particular about my place
and how connected, or distant, other places are to me,

history and genealogy also draw me
so that I might glimpse the paths before
that have led to now,

the future also calls so that I can imagine
what seeds in the present might germinate
and grow into what future,

I wonder and wander back to when,
in the distant past, we first stood erect
and gained the power and insight of knowing
where we were within where everything else was,
predators included,
and that is just good for us to know,
and might even contain the truth
that can save us from ourselves,
the short-sighted mentored by the far.

by Henry H. Walker
April 2, ’12
images from Google Images