Wednesday, December 30, 2009















horizon


awaken to sounds 
of dawn on 
Earth's 
edge;

to life claiming 
the horizon,

a line between 
night and 
now.


Poem © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2008 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo of Lake Ontario, Charlotte Beach, Rochester, NY taken by R. Baker, 2008.
cling



cling to hope
if despair clutches your soul.

focus on life
before adversity clouds your sight. 

seek refuge in friendship 
when enemies test your resolve.

have faith in my love,
stronger than 
the loneliness 
gripping your
heart. 


Poem © 2006 by R. Burnett Baker

Monday, December 28, 2009





attractive 



creating public solitude
is my effort to make neediness 
attractive to someone in search
of a rescue. 






Poem and photo © 2008 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker on State Street, Rochester, NY 2008. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009




brave cold


to brave cold 
is to crave heat:

temperature red
against
white. 









Poem © 2008 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2008 by R. Burnett Baker 


Sunday, December 20, 2009


winter walk



each fallen flake
a delicate impact

'til boots shatter 
sparkling silence.

Poem © 2008 by R. Burnett  Baker
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

lotus white

cradle
gently 

a lotus 
white

with 
eyes humble 
and silent.





Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 

journey the steps



journey the steps
to a mountain top

and, still,
the gods tower
above us:

sated,
we descend 
to begin 
again.



Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2005 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo of Tian Tan Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong 
taken by R. Baker February, 2005.
chalice waiting



with Buddha
I sat
not knowing

how to pray
or what to
chant;

within temple
walls a 
cacophony of 
voices bells gongs - 

yet serene
the Buddha's face,

my mind 
a chalice waiting
to be 
filled.



Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2005 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo within Wang Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong 
taken by R. Baker, February 2005. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

casting shadows



a heart beats
under lonely moonrays,

silver slivers
of silent
tears.

dreamscapes 
and nightmares 
are woven 
between stars,

as a soul 
in darkness 
walks the 
heavens 

casting shadows 
in the 
night.



Poem © 2006 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Color enhanced photo taken by R. Baker, 2009.
mind in check


mind in check.
imagination on hold.
voices muted.

  no scenarios
  no fantasies
                        no conversations

                    no need
                    for restless 
               consternation.


Poem © 2006 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo of R. Baker taken by R. Baker.




Tuesday, November 24, 2009















mirror doesn't lie


no matter 
how long 
I hold my 
gaze, 

my reflection 
simply 
won't 
blink 
first.



Poem  © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo  © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo of R. Baker taken by R. Baker

Saturday, November 21, 2009

horizon consumed



on the 
Parkway 

a tiny 
point of horizon
consumed the 
pavement 

faster than
I could drive,

more quickly 
than the sun

setting 
in my
eyes.



Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken on Ontario  State Parkway, NY,
2009 by R. Baker.

years rounded



subdued light 
on faces at night

shines years rounded down;
a mediator between 
youth
and not youth. 

at least
'til
morning. 
__________________________________________


the bar 



red light bulbs 
hanging by wires:

the bar 
smoothes life
between 
wrinkles of 
empty 
faces. 





Poem "years rounded" © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 
Poem "the bar" © 1988 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo by R. Baker© 2007


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shoe Without

shoe without



this morning 
I was annoyed 
by a hole 
in my
sock.

today on 
the beach 
I found 
a shoe 
without a 
foot, 

wet
and cold
as 
stone. 



Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker  on Lake Ontario, 
off Ontario State Parkway near Holley, NY, 
November 18,2009.
time for shadows


before I'm ready
a November sun 
is low on 
the day's horizon.

little time for 
warmth; 

little time for 
shadows or 
reflections.





Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2004 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo take by R. Baker in Redwood Forest, 
California, 2004. 
for tomorrow


don't know 
what you think
of me now,

when you think,
or if you do.
can't imagine 
not having you 

on my mind 
or in my plans 
for tomorrow 

or next week. 

for weeks
I've restrained
my impulse

to see you;

it's been months
since desire 
drove me 
from my 
senses.

I sleep soundly
not knowing. 


Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Colorized photo taken by R. Baker of  an oil
on cardboard painting by Ina Jean Garner, circa 1980's.


affection's bondage



for so long I wrote of you;
of my self absorption with us

and now I write mostly of 
tulips, ducks, waking up to pee.

I think of you less often
and with little agony,
anxious only to understand 
why this is now so and 
how long it will last; 

how steadfastly I'll remain
liberated from affection's bondage,

and whether I'll be able to 
walk away from you 
next time we meet 

without lingering 
or looking 
back. 



Poem © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2008 by R. Burnett Baker 

Thursday, November 12, 2009













eyes falling


wither roses,
color maple leaves,
brittle the twigs
of trees shedding seasons;

time to steam 
cinnamon and cider
for chilled walks 
and frost-turning 
evenings;

for eyes falling 
on night's 
repose. 



Poem © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 

Friday, November 6, 2009


red against snow 


I've never 
seen a 

cardinal 
in winter, 
red against 
snow. 

I'll search
this year 

for that 
moment of
brilliance on 
white. 


Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 



Snapping Up the Moment


It's a gray November day.  Finally I have time off from the madness of work.  At home there's a welcomed silence.  Today I saw the first snowflakes of the season taunting my dislike of what's to come in the months ahead:  The cold, the ice, the snow, and winds that suck the breath out of your soul.  

Windy autumn days are stripping leaves very quickly.  In summer I look out my bedroom window to see green leaves on old shade trees, and squirrels occasionally chasing each other across branches.  It occurs to me that I don't take advantage of that scene nearly enough. We're so quick to grab the camera and take hundreds of photos of colorful, dying leaves, snapping up the moment as if color will never behold us again.  

Yet, it's the same every year, every season.  A couple of years ago I was sitting at this very window in autumn and one squirrel was chasing life;  scrambling for food to store before there was none left. Looking out the window we came face to face: 

sat a squirrel 



on second floor branches 
outside my window 
sat a squirrel. 

the leafless tree 
and he 

staring at my face 
in disbelief. 


I suppose that's one reason we're compelled every autumn to snap photos of leaves:  Disbelief.  Disbelief that the rest of the year has been spent chasing life, and with little pause to let the silence nurture our souls year round.  Disbelief that the falling of autumn can be so brilliant and yet so swift.  

Camera or not:  We all need to be snapping up the moments every day.  And rather than chasing life, we should let life chase us. 

Rick B. Baker 
Rochester, NY 
November 6, 2009

  
one eye opened 



my face
an 
ancient fresco

chiseled on 
a wall:

its story
known by 
chipped stone 

and 
one eye 

opened 
to the ages. 


Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Poem "sat a squirrel" © 2006 by R. Burnett Baker
homeless leaves


daylight
fades

autumn
falls

my solitude
unveiled 

by feet 
shambling

through 
homeless leaves. 



Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2006 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker in Highland Park, 
Rochester, NY 2006.