Wednesday, March 25, 2009

slipping quietly

slipping quietly
from your room
I leave dreams 
above your head 
with loving desire 
from passions extinguished.

Photo (c)2009 by R. Burnett Baker
Poem(c)2006 by R. Burnett Baker
Poem from 2006 chapbook "Slipping Quietly", by R. Baker

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

four days

four days 
into spring but 
my life is early autumn 

I wait for warmth 
yet snow is 
still possible this 
time of year 

and in life 
Poem (c)2009 by R. Burnett Baker

Sunday, March 22, 2009

plump the pillow

plump the pillow 
for my head; 

a soft spot 
to store dreams 

lest they fall and 

into pieces 
on the floor. 

Photo (c)2009 by R. Burnett Baker
Poem(c)2007 by R. Burnett Baker 
Poem from chapbook "efficient agony", by R. Baker

Friday, March 20, 2009

safe, yet

I'm safe in the 
silence of my room 

Poem (c)2009 By R. Burnett Baker


reclining Buddha
on a table 

shines golden 
in dim light. 

quietly I nap
in a chair. 

Photo and poem (c)2009 by R. Burnett Baker

Monday, March 16, 2009

Signs Of Spring

March is such a tease.  A warm day here, two there, then bitter cold for another week.  Spring begins on the calendar in a few days.  But in this part of the world winter can rear it's frozen head right into April.  Where's global warming when you need it? 

I'd like to think that we're over the hump with winter.  Along the shores of Lake Ontario (just a mile from where I live) we have often had some of our biggest snow storms in March, and a few major ice storms in April.  So I cross my fingers. 

The following selections provide me with encouragement that warm days are ahead.  It seems a bit late this year, but finally I've seen a few Robins, daffodils, and sniffed the fragrance of skunk in the air.  A sure sign that spring is approaching!  The poem "tulip" was written about a lonely tulip that was growing alone in roadside construction.  The piece titled "islands lush" somewhat represents, in my mind, the desire for change and the need for renewal in spirit. 

My fair weather nature notwithstanding, the sound of gentle rain outside my window will be a pleasant change from the crunch of snow and lung burning cold. 

Rick Baker 
Rochester, NY 
March 16, 2009 

islands lush

to islands lush, 
with quilted green
shading earth
sustaining life
offering refuge 
from oceans surrounding 
a proscribed existence, 

we swim to shore 
on tides and currents,
waiting for a 
healing rain. 

Photo(c)2005 by R.Burnett Baker
Photo taken by R. Baker near Ruifang Township, Taiwan
about one hour north east of Taipei, 2005.
Poem (c)2007 by R. Burnett Baker


between rusted pipes,
ditches, overturned dirt 
laced with garbage; 

aside a city street 
vibrating from traffic 
fouling morning air; 

in view of blank human faces  
walking, driving, riding, 
to destinations of dire need; 

a tulip. 

pale yellow. 
proud petals. 
rising alone. 
desiring nothing 

but sun and rain 
to nurture life's brevity, 
offer vision over indifference 
for passersby,

and give pause

to anyone stopping
for a backward glance.

Poem (c)2006 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo(c)2009 by R. Burnett Baker

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

color of the buddha 

the spirit of 
the buddha 
is quiet repose. 

the color of 
the buddha 
is imagination. 

Poem (c)2009 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo (c)2005 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo of Tian Tan Buddha atop a 
mountain on Hong Kong's Lantau 
Island taken by R. Baker, Feb. 2005.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


hourglass moments
set on a

our time together
flows grain by grain,
top to

a vial of sand
waiting to be

Photo and poem (c)2009 by R. Burnett Baker

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bird Can Sing

bird can sing

a bird can sing 
into biting winter wind. 

I can breathe frigid air 
another day 
till spring. 

Photo taken in 2008 by R. Burnett Baker.  It is a photo of a graffiti 
drawing on the men's room wall at Java's coffee shop on 
Gibbs St., Rochester, NY.  Color enhanced by R. Baker. 
Poem taken from the 2007 chapbook titled "Bird Can Sing" 
by R. Burnett Baker. 

Photo (c)2008 by R. Burnett Baker 
Poem (c)2007 by R. Burnett Baker

Elements of Time

Everything we do, it seems, is a construct of time.  Mostly we try to ignore that fact, not wanting to admit our age, or recognize the end of a pleasant day, or acknowledge the end of a phase of life. We shut off many of our senses, perhaps, to have the convenience of ignorance, or the pretense of bliss. 

But look around at how time surrounds us.  All that we observe can represent its passing, as well as its return.  Return?  Yes, time does return if we just wait.  It leaves and returns in seasons, in the movements of nature, and through the constant renewal of our physical surroundings. 

These few poems below represent simple observations of time, and how we can either ignore it, or watch it unfold, leave us, then return yet again.  Listen for timesongs as you move through your days.  Listen for the lyrics of life. 

face of time 

second hand 
minute hand
hour hand 
in wait. 


increments of life 
on the 
face of time.



petal by petal
a flower on a grave 
blows surely into 
winds of

winter brown grass 
rises green 
on lives gazing at 
tablets of the past, 
testaments to the 


watch died at 547. 
no matter. 

I still turn my wrist, 
check the face, 
and act surprised 
to see an instrument of time 
with moments frozen 
as life's pulse 
beats steadily against 
dead stainless steel. 



backside of a 
morning dawn 
waiting to 
tap us on the shoulder 
from behind. 

Sunset photo taken on the Berri NGL construction site in Jubail, Saudia Arabia, by R. Burnett Baker, 1976.
Headstone photo taken in Somerset, NY, March 2, 2009 by R. Burnett Baker. 
Photos and poems (c)2009 by R. Burnett Baker