Monday, February 23, 2015

to create meaning

Words After the Glimmering

the gestalt of who we are
groks glimmers of the truths just beyond us,

to get to such ideas we scaffold words
who can help create the meaning our soul knows is there,
the elephant is there, and though we’re blind,
we seek to know it,

many’s the time I’ve heard another say
“those words say what I feel,”
a resonance of the net of words
to the inchoate thought and feeling
just beyond our current consciousness,

we know there is greatness behind us and before us,
and we struggle to use our words to connect and build meaning.

by Henry H. Walker
February 22, ’15

Sunday, February 22, 2015

the smiles, the realness

CFS at 50

we celebrate 50 years of Carolina Friends School
and I’ve been here near 90% of that time,

when I first visited C.F.S.
I was surprised that here existed a school
that spoke to my intuitive hope for education:
that teachers could have the power
to shape experience to what students need,
and, really, to what students want, 
for basic to all of us is a drive, a need,
to release the best of ourselves,
to have others realize there is a best readily within us,

I wandered the Lower School
and I was touched by the smiles, the realness,
the sense that all together sought what works
so that learners could learn, and exult in the becoming,

it was so,
and it is so,

at the heart the process must be continually reborn
as teacher and student, parent and administrator, live a shared vision,
while each of us within the community also is unique within the journey.

by Henry H. Walker
February 21, ’15

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

time to start tomato plants!

time future calls

time future can be inherent in time present:

snow, sleet, and freezing rain
sheen all surfaces with a shallow stasis
while blooming crocus hold on to hope, 

daffodil leaves pierce the ice and calmly anticipate spring,
though their few buds up look forlorn,
as if hope came too soon to them,

a week and a half ago I planted tomato seeds in 12 pots:

half large red, the other cherry yellow and red,
and I convinced the seeds with heat and moisture to reach up,
they use warmth in the house and sun through the windows
to get a head start on summer,

if we want a homegrown tomato before the 4th of July
it’s time to pull the future into the present, and prepare,
the asparagus bed weeded and mulched,
the ubiquitous gill-over-the-ground fought back under the blueberries,

part of who I am figures that it’s rarely too early
to do today what will be due to be done tomorrow,

I still use the Postal Service for birthday card and present,
and I rarely mind the lag time of days,
e mailing and texting can be near instantaneous,
yet lethargy and procrastination will still have power,
people will still make little lists and find distractions
that will have time present late to deal with time past and future.

by Henry H. Walker
February 17, ’15

we are makers

the scraper touches me

half-buried, the worked stone calls to me,


amidst the casual randomness of the schoolyard ground,
the shape, the color whisper of intention,
so I act and pull forth the stone from the clay,
and I find a chert scraper,

perfect in how it fits to the hand,
and I realize he who made it was right-handed
for my left hand can’t quite readily fit it,

I can love a tool, not just for what it can do,
but for what it can hint of its maker, its use, its time,
we people are much about what we make,

I want to feel connection
so that at least I can know a little of others 
who reach back toward the first awakenings,

my right hand holds the scraper
and I reach to hold him who made it.

by Henry H. Walker
February 12, ’15

Thursday, February 12, 2015


drama, like sports. . .

clarity of revelation is part of what draws us to sports,
for the ball goes in the basket, or it doesn’t,
will and want yield to what is, and “is” is clear,
so unlike the nebulous ambivalence of so much of our days
when we guess and approximate our paths through the woods,

drama can be like sports
for the audience tells you what you think you feel,
that what you present works,

just as success in sports can feel true
so can success in drama,

the process needs a team
and each can feel the product rise with each and every effort,

when all is right
there is clarity for the actor
and the worth revealed feels sure.

by Henry H. Walker
February 7, ’15

to defy the confining dark

out of our internal prisons

I believe in each young person I teach,
that each can amaze themselves, and us,
with what can be accomplished,
when doubt and fear lose their hold
on the choice as to whether to be bold,
each can take the risk to be true to the best self within,
only when we venture forth from our internal prisons
can our light be seen,
and it’s then when we can see other lights,
who, together with ours, blaze as to defy
the hold of the confining dark. 

by Henry H. Walker
February 7, ’15

exults into awe

I offer tears

how can tears not come to the eyes
when reality before you exults into awe?
I almost get how amazing each young person before me is
in their release of the power of the self within,
others can be more controlled and limited
in their outward response to what can leave me undone,

I watch a musical
and my middle schoolers live it fully on stage,
so much so, and so well,
that they and audience are transfixed into wonder,
we offer applause, even stand in that offering,
yet some of us offer even more in our response,

tears shake us as we see and appreciate
how the ordinary transcends into extraordinary. 

by Henry H. Walker
February 6, ’15

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


it takes a community

Dr. Seuss imagines the fantastic:
human traits writ large in his wonderful creatures,
all within a world wholesome at the heart,
a place to be a maker with our thoughts,

how wondrous the play, 
not only in character, script, and song,
but in what our community creates 
with our bodies, our hands, our souls,
the vision and effort 
directors, musicians, choreographer, set designers, and techies
add to the vision and effort the actors bring with their full selves:
the confidence, the doubt, 
the ability that yearns to release into wholeness and success,
the vision and efforts parents bring 
who envision what costumes, hair, and make-up can be,
and who make it real,
so that what actor and audience see together
can animate the world of Dr. Seuss

and have it be real, onstage, for a time--
brief by the clock
yet amazing to the audience
and thus amazing to each of us
who should then know the power
with which each can “think” and be. 

by Henry H. Walker
February 4, ’15

Sunday, February 1, 2015

wonder at the heart

of faith and science

I feel myself to be a person of faith,
for the spiritual opens me into insights
that mundane cause-and-effect can’t reach,

I also think myself to be a person of thought,
for understanding what is can slap me in the face
with the real world that doesn’t care what I dream,

I find random change as the great determiner
as fantastic as the God of Genesis making all in a week,

I consider creation as a wonder,
and faith and science can be equal
in their straining to celebrate where we are in the cosmos,

how we got here is a wonder.

by Henry H. Walker
January 31, ’15