Thursday, May 31, 2012

into the Smokies

find the still center

what are the voices within us
that it’s devilishly hard to ignore?
I think it’s other people,
I think we’re wired to be social,
to reach for ourselves in banter back and forth,
in the validation of performing and being performed for,
we love to feel connection,
we love to be entertained,
we crave stimulus,

and we can feel lost when we’re by ourselves,

I contend, though, that even more as we reach outward,
we need to reach inward: we need to still,
to not dissipate ourselves in frenetic grasping
of who and what’s outside us,
for most of the time we only touch and cannot hold all that other,
instead we first need to get to know the center within,
as a first step we need to fit ourselves
 back into the natural world


where we can feel awe,
then perhaps we are ready to feel the awe
of what we can create
when after we find the center
we can leap forth,
for then, as we express, our voice can be worth hearing.

by Henry H. Walker
May 21, ’12

mountains uplift

mountains resist the leveling of sameness,

I am drawn to mountains--
my eye wants to soar up their slopes,
my feet want to follow my eyes
to find what’s just ahead,

at the top I love to hold the world in the palm of my hand,
and, when the sky swallows me in cloud at the top,

I want to learn how to forget the large for a time,
and remember how to hold only what is just before me,
in my eye, in my camera, in my heart,

mountains pull water from the sky, as well as from my eyes,
and they shape water’s falling back to the sea
and offer us rapids, pools, waterfalls in celebration of journey,

in our words we can speak of being uplifted,
the very term like a mountain,
we feel God to be above,
our best to be the highest calling,

in mountains I feel I’m home,
and, like a parent,
they pull me up to be better and better.

by Henry H. Walker
May 23, ’12

beware the whisperer

a voice within
just when you want to go out a door,
it whispers that you’re not good enough,
that you don’t really get it,
that, if you step through, everyone will look
and know that you’re just faking it,
you’re an impostor only pretending,
then you can feel others are real
and you’re not as good as them,

whereas I think each of us hears that same whisperer
and self-doubt is the self in front of far too many,

a calling I feel is to see through the doubter in front,
 and celebrate the true self, hidden behind, as it steps through,
and new star after new star can have its time in the light,
and all are brighter when each of us steps through that door.

by Henry H. Walker
May 24, ’12

doors into wonder   

Alice finds a rabbit hole,
Lucy a wardrobe,
Meg and Charles Wallace a tesseract,

like each of those characters
we readers are drawn to the adventure
just beyond the ordinary,

I think nature herself is full of entrances into wonder,
which open when we open,
and, when we’re not ready, we see no portals,
we see only shapes that can seem as if a wall,






I watch as a little salamander opens a door for a student,
a snail for a colleague, a bear for some struggling on a hike,
flowers open for others,
vistas open us all,
water pulls us through into its magic,
as does the bark of a tree,
the feel of a rock,
a tadpole opening into legs and the air,

we need to let the Alice within us
follow the rabbit into wonder.


by Henry H. Walker
May 24, ’12

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

time to move

a dancer in the soul

I have a dancer in my soul,
a spirit who knows that only movement
can truly partner music
as feet or head or limb deny stasis,
within we exult as we feel the gifts of the moment,
the rhythms of song ache to release and express
that which life struggles to bring forth,

we live between the great sleep from which we first awake
and the final sleep that can slip upon us any time,
and movement deserves what time it can have,

tonight at our middle school dance
the music and the dancer within called to me
and I joyed in both letting go and applying myself to dance,
and to the other who danced with me
and matched and inspired my movements,

the life force moves
and how wonderful to be able to move with it,
and joy
that, for now, we are.

by Henry H. Walker
May 18, ’12

Friday, May 11, 2012

the spark within needs out

Arts Eve

within everyone
a creative spark wants to find a way out,
so that what one can do
reflects light back on who one is
and light out to others,
so that our companions on the journey
are heartened by what can reveal itself,

at our best we know that we grow larger
when the other is true to self and to the spark within,

the greatest competition we face is the one within ourselves
to let the best of who we are out,
and, at the same time,
to celebrate the best of everyone around us,

we lose the game if we think we only win when the other loses,

tonight is Arts Eve at Carolina Friends Middle School,
a celebration of individual and group:

the musicians, whose years of work on technique, on skills,
allow virtuosity of spirit and instrument to reveal itself,

the dancers, who labor to understand self
and to understand how body in space and time can express
what that self needs to release,

the drummers, who create sound and storyto tell us what they want to say, emphatically,
the actors, who each create character,and who together use those characters to create story,
and delight the audience,
the singers, who with the musicians, crescendo into songs,and all of us in the audience come together in appreciation,

 an appreciation that has built and built
as spark after spark has come alight before us,
and I hope within us,

finally we flow out and into where displays of artwork draw the eye
to appreciate the line, the structure, the way the spark has released itself,

the way into one’s talents becomes the way out to an audience,
many are the sparks tonight that find a way out to flare bright.

by Henry H. Walker
May 10, ’12

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the inertia of the heavy weight of the past

will our wings burn?

this week in Detroit
workers will build our Chevy Volt,
an electric car that has touched a hopeful future
and come back to help us toward sustainability,
away from a future within which we are heedless with energy
and our wings burn as we forget ourselves and limits,
and we will lose who we could become
by being too much the lesser parts of who we are,

tomorrow in North Carolina voters judge what is a marriage,
and too many are sure that only who they are can love and last,
and, like the lesser woman to whom Solomon gave the choice,
they would cleave the baby in two
rather than let the other side have its love,

the future calls to us of hope,
the past calls to us of fear,
and with our choices we will be
either saved or cursed, found or lost,
we will either fly
or our wings will burn.

by Henry H. Walker
May 7, ’12