Friday, October 31, 2014


Ah, Grasshopper. . .

our modern world lacks patience,
particularly as our electronics cater to the moment,
a few seconds of wait on the computer
can feel interminable:
each click should spell whatever next we want,

watch the stars at night,
at first it’s a static snapshot,
the wheels of star and Moon and Sun
turn so slowly that we move on
before we notice the movement of that slow unveiling,

at the dawning of a new day
I work to be there and to feel the wholeness of the transformation,
we’re usually told that 
when the sun actually rises above the horizon 
is the time of sunrise,
as if the climax is all to care about,
I like to get out on the east shoulder of the mountain in the dark
and appreciate black velvet pinpricked by brilliant stars,
I love the patient transformation of black to blued gray to rose,
as if a play unfolds before us 
with differentiation slow and steady as shape and color
softly release back into perception,

plants also teach the rewards and pains of moments in the future
the present only hints at being able to reach,
particularly trees who can readily live across generations,

I planted chestnut trees about 50 years ago
and now they stand tall and bountiful,
treating the bears who find them in September,

I work at meditation every day,
and one of the first effects on me of smelling its roses,
was I was less reactive, less quick in response 
to the mosquito-like aggravation of the moment,
less obvious is a deep rewiring of me
within grand traditions of others 
also within the great journey of spirit to be true to itself,

modernity’s tools can seduce us away 
from the very understanding
they seem to make so much easier to find,

Google gives us answers 
almost before we even ask the question,
and, yet, Grasshopper, 
what we need to know at our deepest self
is beyond any iMoment.

by Henry H. Walker
October 28, ’14

computer images courtesy of Google Images
sunrise pictures from Mt. LeConte, 8/14

empty seats like holes

the circle broken

seasons turn—
occasions repeat
and we revisit a coming together,
though the next time can lack 
some of those here the last time,
and the absence can shout,
an empty seat at the table can feel like a hole,
the presence of the absence like a ghost,

the circle unbroken only in memory,

those of us here
can still breathe in the fresh glory
that every moment can hold,
yet a weight increasingly settles over us
as the love of each now gone 
reminds us of how the price of death
inevitably follows the gift of life.

by Henry H. Walker
October 26, ’14

Thursday, October 16, 2014

the captain of my ship?

dark currents within

within me, below where my consciousness can easily dip,
flow streams, some of sorrow for losses,
that my awake self thinks are past
but that really move with me,

while I am the captain of my ship,
shoals and contrary currents are always there
to bedevil me 
despite how sunny and clear 
the way seems to me,

my tears are always close behind my eyes,
for down deep I feel the deeper levels
within which so much of us journeys,

I use such power to help me
know and appreciate the effort of the lives
of those I teach, of those I know.

by Henry H. Walker
October 11, ’14

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

step out of the moment

a frame of the movie

I like to take pictures
so that it is easier to remember
the gestalt of a time
by holding a moment in the hand,
having at least a frame of the movie
within which we act and move,

the plasticity of our mind, our drive for order,
can recreate, reach to remember the whole,
since a part can be in our hands,

yet I have to step out of the moment
to photograph the moment,

there’s also a rightness in how one can be completely in the moment,
in how we can ride the wave and forget before and after
while the moment feels eternal,
and we know the present as all that is real, 
for now,

still, I will often step out, snap a picture,
and hope I can treasure the past
that has led to this present.

by Henry H. Walker
October 10, ’14

Friday, October 10, 2014

a revelation in the night

a lunar eclipse

as a ghost-white full Moon
drops toward the horizon and dawn,
the Earth’s shadow creeps across its face,
transforming it to reddish brown
from upper left toward lower right,
the last remnant of lit surface is yellow in its white,
till brightness is gone and then creeps back
as if the Moon turns back toward the Sun,

we are used to stimulation,
far more extreme than this subtlety,
yet we can still feel wonder and inspiration
as the night sky elders us with such a show,
not from any power we wield ourselves.

by Henry H. Walker
October 8, ’14

a subtle Fall

change rules

Fall is subtle so far, murmurs not shouts,

rusty poplar leaves start to gather on the ground,
yellow moves in with the green above,
like the first grey hairs of middle age,
lower leaves on the rhododendron, 
yellow like flat bananas,
point to the ground as if each knows
the imminence of their return to the earth,

high up on the mountain cold comes earlier
and brings color to the high trees,
who, when released from the hovering grey fog,
almost shout their individuality,

as the deciduous differentiates from evergreen spruce and fir,

at 6600 feet sleet moves in with the wind-thrown drizzle,

nature prepares for the inevitable
as the year cycles toward the dying,
toward the clarity of winter
and the hopeful rising of spring,

so like the cycles of the Moon,
who each month remind us that change rules,
that there is a time to be new like a birth,
to thrive in our summer and slip away as winter calls,

as the air clears, so may our understanding.

by Henry H. Walker
October 5, ’14

Saturday, October 4, 2014

the self aches to not be alone

the way in can become the way out

a group of middle schoolers
each perfect with unique gifts
each striving with unique challenges,
yet each united by the challenge
to know who lives within them
and to like that self,

somehow in all that commonality of striving together,
each can feel the common essence within the other,
and bond after bond can form,
the whole becoming even more 
than the sum of its parts,

somehow the way in to one’s uniqueness
can also become the way out to the other,

spirit knows it’s large
and aches to know itself as not alone. 

by Henry H. Walker
October 3, ’14