Monday, November 30, 2015

albino turkeys!

wild turkeys

a dozen wild turkeys clustered and pecked
amidst a pile of nut brown oak and sycamore leaves,
so intent on their own late afternoon Thanksgiving meal
that they tolerate me and my snapping camera with 20 feet of them,
the two albino birds draw me the most,
and I ache to hold their flowing beauty in a frozen image,

I decide to attempt to shepherd them
so that they will move to and up along the creek,
giving my camera rock and creek backdrop
to the sleek sinuousness of their form,
and to their staccato pecking head thrusts,

it works and I move with them up the creek,

they even indulge me 
with short flights of morphing large into the air,

so that they could stay with each other,

I write these words along the creek where they passed,
my life and theirs intersected for a bit,
they knew me as a minor annoyance
who led the dance for awhile,
till they returned to their own lead,

I knew them as the lead in a dance
I love to do with the wild.

by Henry H. Walker
November 26, ’15

Sunday, November 29, 2015

the sun sets, the sun rises

the loss of observer after observer

the stream is both constant and never the same,

we humans imagine the world will end when we do,
for it’s hard to imagine the roach, the squirrel, the tree,
as protagonist in a new world with bacteria and viruses
still the bulk of life-forms,

the sun of each of our lives sets,
and the sun will still rise when we are not here to see it,

I feel the absence of those who have gone before,
and it almost troubles me that the world doesn’t seem to care,

the stream still flows 
despite its loss of observer after observer. 

by Henry H. Walker
November 25, ’15

Saturday, November 28, 2015

of Heraclitus and tension

the tension of self and other

I don’t like confrontation,
yet I also hate to not speak my own truth

connection and relationship are vital to our well-being,
and somehow we must be true to self
while also being responsive and true to the other,

it reminds me of Heraclitus’
“the way up and the way down are the same,”
for somehow we must balance seeming opposites: 
unique to self and also sharing sameness with the others,

the challenge of a middle schooler is to be an individual
while also enthusiastic as a member of a group,

maybe part of why I still work with middle schoolers
is because I’m still working hard to figure out how to hold that tension:
to honor myself apart and together,
being one while also being many.

by Henry H. Walker
November 25, ’15

Monday, November 23, 2015

may history not repeat itself here

the Devil in the heart

many of us obsess about World War II:
intrigued, captivated by how a modern country
could lose its mind and follow the devil in its heart,

in retrospect the story is so optimistic:
good overcomes evil, and we wake from nightmare,

and yet, somehow, now in the United States,
history is repeating, 
as those who are different are blamed and scapegoated,
the Muslim becomes he who should be 
feared, labelled, stigmatized,
subject to the full force of our nightmare,

we in the U.S. like to think ourselves enlightened,
and yet the dark within us
is brother to what twisted the Germans 
away into being lost.

by Henry H. Walker
November 22, ‘15

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

the electron, the Moon, and the poem

writing and quantum mechanics

reality trumps even the most brilliant:
Einstein just didn’t want to accept quantum mechanics
for he denied that an individual observation
could force an electron into being one way over the other,
Einstein felt the Moon was there, whether he observed it or not,

I often write of the creative process,
at least in terms of writing,
the how and where and what seem to materialize
once a choice is made by the author,
the very act of putting words on the page
somehow lets this one reality come into being,

how marvelous that the writer 
is as observer to reality,
somehow the writing is forced
to become one way or the other
because a writer exists, and chooses,

the Moon may exist independent of us,
but the poem and the story do not.

by Henry H. Walker
November 16, ‘15

dark dreams

lifting up rocks

I’ve gotten to a stage in my life
where the dark currents below my awareness
leak more and more into my consciousness,
particularly in the middle of the night,

at night it’s like there’s a little boy in me
who just has to lift up rocks
to see what’s underneath,
and then my dreamscape shudders with what is released,
when I can clearly see what slithers out and forth,

I cannot compartmentalize very well,
I cannot wall off doubts and fears,
and so far I can ride their bucking
until I’m back in control,

I imagine it’s like a rider and the horse,
if you can know who you’re riding, 
you two can work together
and find the way forward.

by Henry H. Walker
November 13, ‘15

Monday, November 9, 2015

upon the slate of the cosmos

ways for meaning to express itself

many are the ways 
that meaning shapes itself into reality,
I know words as a prime conduit,
I also appreciate dance, 
when movement and stasis
speak loudly in their own way,
music, when melody and rhythm,
move us at our deepest,
service, when giving to the other
heals the giver, too,

I appreciate work
when doing trumps all else,
as action is immediate to the moment,
one can talk,
and one can do,

I appreciate the laying on of hands
of those who care, of those who shape,

humans at our best fight dissolution and entropy
and seek to let that of God in us come forth,
for meaning to write itself
upon the slate of an unconscious cosmos.

by Henry H. Walker
November 7, ‘15

more conduit than magician

aching toward wholenesses

I love to create meaning with words:
letters morph into strings,
and strings knot themselves with other strings
and somehow construct scaffolds,
scaffolds that ache for wholenesses of thought and feeling,
intimations of what might be
if order can coalesce from out of the primal ether,

in the beginning was the Word
and we who write dare to remember creation
every time we leave the formless to find form,

it always feels like a conjuring whenever it works,

and we who write are more conduit than magician.

by Henry H. Walker
November 5, ‘15