Monday, April 9, 2018

how much a Luddhite?

tech attracts, repels

I can’t decide if I’m a Luddhite—
all askance at how electronic do-dads
divorce us from what is most real,
or if I can be as a kid on Christmas morning,
loving every bell and whistle
our servant masters offer me,
I just voiced a text for the first time this afternoon,
I had to adjust and consciously add punctuation,
but I did, and it worked,
I shared my day with Facebook, too,

this afternoon I also pushed myself through the woods,
up the trail, and then cross-country up a thicketed wash,
and then steep up a hill we self-centeredly call Walker Knob,
a hundred years ago we heard it was called Chestnut Hill,
ten to fifteen minutes of intense climbing up a half-angle slope,
mostly clear to the walking by the Fire that raged
a year and a half ago here,

the Fire left laurel and pine trunks: black, diminished, enduring,
with new shoots of laurel tapping the roots’ memory,

and pine seedlings, like the English, ready to colonize,
decades ago I forced myself up here
and I could see little past the woods that engulfed me,
now the Fire has allowed vista to reappear,
it is worth an hour of effort, sweat, 
and aggressive tough branches tearing at my skin,
so that we can summit and appreciate where we find ourselves,
the beauty before us, to our south, incredible!

back down the mountain, I jump into the creek,
and feel as elemental as the waters seeking the sea,

I work to contain multitudes,
I want to appreciate and use the tech,
but, when push comes to shove,
I want to know a mountain, a creek,

more than I want to know my computer and its cousins.

by Henry H. Walker
April 4, ‘18

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