Thursday, February 27, 2014

aching toward spring

spring bugles, I nap

this winter cold has come and stayed awhile,
so that it’s cost more to heat the house
and fewer plants outside have tempted probability
by an early budding out toward bloom,

the trees are still bare

and hesitant daffodils bide their time
where they fear the cold

and only release their joy where it’s the safest,

the crocus around the house do not hesitate
and on a warm day blossom after blossom
quietly shouts that spring will come,

spring peppers call loudly as if all were waiting in unison
until a switch was thrown  by future tadpoles who want to be,
birds and squirrels seem to have the same switch turned-on,

when liquid dared to come north from the Gulf in clouds,
it recently covered the ground in white

and finished as an icy sheen upon everything,
I worked to photograph cherry and dogwood branches

as the clarity of ice-encased buds ached to remember last year’s hope
for a tomorrow that will bear a sweet future,

the garden is tilled 
and hard at work incorporating fall’s leaves 
in the plans for summer,

inside my first tomatoes have a month start in plans for summer
and exhibit their first true leaves,

bear and bud and frog have slept so they’re ready to wake
whereas we humans have worked through the winter
and fought entropy with lights and heated rooms,
and lists of chores that must be done,
now, as the natural world wakes up,
we are tired and need to retreat
just as spring bugles that it’s time to charge,
this year, again, I feel the disjoint
between nature’s energy and my need for a nap.

by Henry H. Walker
February 25, ’14

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

unacceptably lesser

a loss is a hole

I walk forward into the future
with the gift of others with whom to share the journey,

when a companion drops away,
particularly from an untimely abrupt death,
I feel a hole in the group--

an absence where I still feel
the ghost of a presence,
yet I can no longer walk with them,
listen to them,
laugh with them,

the jigsaw puzzle of who I feel myself to be
misses a crucial piece,
the hole is real,
and, while I walk forward into the future,
next to me is an absence,

and it’s hard not to feel unacceptably lesser.

by Henry H. Walker
February 14, ’14

Monday, February 17, 2014

two windows on the universe

the active and the passive

a Wordsworth poem long ago drew me,
as William sat on a stone
and argued for a “wise passiveness,”

most of the time, I love action, doing,
I spin web after web of connection
to see what can be built,
to support each effort of the building
by noticing, and applauding,
and working to be a glue
that helps the one bond to the other,

I feel of worth in the doing,
and it’s hard to stop and rest,

when I disconnect a bit from the frenetic spinning,
I find tears and joy both rise within me,
for I see where I am, I feel the losses,
and I see again, anew, her, the one I love,
the one whose presence by my side
shakes and grounds my universe,

the active and the passive are both windows to treasure,
for the truth of the universe is so awesome
that no one view can reveal enough 
of the hidden meaning that we need to find,
so that we know where we are
and what we are called upon to do.

by Henry H. Walker
February 16, ’14

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

what can become. . .

the reality of possibility

reality is,
and it is right to see that clearly
with no filter of expectation,
how else can science help us, for example?
for we have to know where we are
in order to decide where we want to go, and how,

however, reality is also potential,
and it is possible to imagine,
to foresee how this reality 
can shift into somewhere better,

I’m proud of us
when we see the possible within students
and then when we find a way 
to help innate possibility become skill,
and skill to be expressed,

reality is,
yet, significantly,
reality is also what can become.

by Henry H. Walker
February 7, ’14

tentative, and audacious

the seed, and hope

here in mid-winter
I like to start my tomatoes inside:
I choose varieties that the seed catalogue shouts to me
will respond well to my desire for the perfect fresh tomato,
I prepare my cup containers of potting soil
and carefully place 2-3 precious seeds in each,
I keep them wet and warm, and hope. . .

today the first seedlings broke into the air--
tentative, audacious, full of hope in their reaching to the sky
and full of doubt in the frailty of the earliest shoot,

here in mid-winter
I also like to produce a play
in which middle schoolers reach out 
of the stasis that calls to them
and venture forth into the audacious tentativeness
that risks failure while it reaches toward the sky,

there’s a lot of reality that challenges each reach upward:
how sure the foundation from which to reach,
how sure the confidence with which to reach,
how blasting the winds from peers, or culture, or self,

and yet the seed takes the risk,
the plant reaches into being,
the actor opens self to what can be,

I hope for reach plant to release
the awesome reality of a perfect fresh tomato,
I joy when each actor releases a performance
that binds us in a spell,
the excellence of the potential within the seed of self
reaches toward the sky, and makes it!

by Henry H. Walker

February 6, ’14

Saturday, February 1, 2014

a way into the light

the play as vehicle

a play is a vehicle
within which we can enjoy the trip
and find ourselves at its end in a new place,
still the same people,
yet who through the journey have learned
to be truer to the potential of the self within,

when we cast a play,
we see amazing potential that aches to be released,
and we work each rehearsal to clear a path,
so that what can be, will be,
and the wholeness we see in the possible
reveals itself as a wholeness before us,
and each is seen and appreciated,
both as an individual light
and as a great beacon as all together flare,

nothing can be better for a teacher
than for the glory within each
to be released and to be seen,
for potential to find its way into the light,
and to be the light.

by Henry H. Walker
January 30, ’14