Thursday, July 30, 2009

the entrepreneur

I dreamt of us. 
you had plans for me. 

I awakened 

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Livin' Is Easy

Summertime.  The livin' is easy.  

Well, I suppose not so easy if you're living in Texas this summer.  But finally we've had some summer weather here in New York.  You know, 80℉ and a bit of humidity.  I've actually turned a little fan on in my bedroom!  

And one little luxury in summer is slipping into a bed with clean cotton sheets then sliding your legs and feet around, searching for those cool cotton patches under the covers.  Much easier than chopping cotton at harvest time in heat and dust.  

A fan in summer and cool cotton sheets:  Now THAT's livin' easy! 

Rick Baker 
Rochester, NY 
July 29,2009 

cool skin 

sultry summer 
standing before a fan: 

cool skin, 
soothing wind. 

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

cotton patch

on bedsheets 
in summer heat 

legs seek 
a cool 
cotton patch. 

Poem © 2006 by R. Burnett Baker

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

gentle kiss 

gentle kiss 
upon your naked shoulder 
paints a thousand words of love 
on the canvas flesh of 
one gentle 

Poem © 2005 by R. Burnett Baker
Poem from 2005 chapbook "Souliloquy" by R. Baker.

Monday, July 27, 2009

lake shore 

tonight I walked Ontario's south lake shore 
as did we the evening previous. 

smooth round red rocks       whispered 
of time's violent eons. 

patterned driftwood              spoke 
to cycles of birth, life, and dying, 
held between touching fingers. 

an sherbet orange sunset sky 
melded horizon to water, 
rock to wood,
the stories of our lives 
to waves beneath our 

Poem © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2008 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker at  Durand Eastman beach, Lake Ontario, Rochester, NY 2008.

Monday, July 20, 2009

before sunset drowns me 

a rugged beach 
sipping the lake, 

a final blast 
of color 
rounded the shore, 

my feet darkened 
gray upon 
driftwood and stones; 

let me leave 
before sunset 
drowns me 

with sounds 
of water, night, 
and seagulls 

sounding an 

Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo of Lake Ontario , Greece, NY  taken by R. Baker, July 17, 2009. 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

distance between

what is 
the distance between
love and indifference? 

the time spent thinking 
of someone other 
than yourself? 

or the length 
of raindrops 
streaking down 
a window? 

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

Saturday, July 18, 2009

fractured clouds 

a waning crescent moon
to the east, 
venus bright in 
southern skies 

offered little light 
for a three AM walk; 

air cooled by 
passing rain showers, 

I dreamed of 

my eyes heavy 
as night 
but open like 
fractured clouds. 

Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Ink, colored pencil drawing by R. Baker, 1977,
digitally colorized 2009. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Humor in the Stars, Buck

Seldom do I go shopping, but today I went to Eastview Mall in Victor, NY for something specific.  Victor, NY is saturated with upper middle class snots, and Eastview Mall is where the "upscale" stores are in the Rochester area.  Whatever. 

In the center of the mall is a Starbucks.  Ever since I didn't get hired by them, I've pretty much boycotted Starbucks.  That's not hard to do since their coffee tastes like burnt cardboard on a good day.  Just my opinion, but taste buds tell the story.  Do I sound bitter?  Almost as bitter as their coffee! 

Anyway, I was in the mood for one of those green icy thingys they make at Starbucks.  So I waited in line with the snots and their snotty offspring.  When my turn came to place my order I asked the "barista" if they still made those "green tea slappychinos".  Without breaking a hint of a smile, he said to me as if he thought he was being educational, "We make a green tea FRAPPAchino."   I said to him, "That was a joke....nevermind."  I asked for a large.  He rephrased that by asking me "You mean 'Grande'?"  If anyone needed to be bitchslapped it was this guy.  Let's call him "Buck".   

There were three of these "Starbuckians"  working today.  (YES, they're called that by corporate, but that's another essay!)  And NEVER once did I see them smile.  Not once!  Guess their sense of humor is in the stars. 

Two years ago I was in a local Starbucks.  The three following pieces were written with a sense of humor as I sat and observed the surroundings.  It was part of my research.  After all, I was to have several interviews with the company at that time.  Guess I wasn't "Starbuckian" enough. 


Rick Baker 
July 15, 2009
Rochester, NY 

Note:  All three selections from the chapbook "manic muse and other observations", 2007.


at the fancy coffee shop
a patron watches a barista 
whip up her beverage 
then asks if it has cream 

to which the barista says "yes" 
to which the patron says "oh" 
to which the barista asks 
"did you not want cream?" 
to which the patron replys
"I really wanted soy, but that's ok" 

at which point I considered 
the stupidity of the exchange 
since neither woman really knew 
what soy is and the damned drink 
was being poured into a 
freakin recycled paper 

and anyway, 
I prefer my coffee 
in fine bone china 
half and half 

Poem © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 

100 teabags 

writing my name on a cup: 
a ploy giving appearances 
of exclusivity to my tea, 
costing more than 100 teabags 
at the grocery store. 

taking money at one end of the counter 
and handing over my drink at the other end: 
making simple process 
a ritual, an added value. 

I passed the grocery store 
to validate pomposity
simply because I'm 
too lazy to fill a cup 
myself and push the 
microwave button. 

all at the same 
end of the counter. 

Poem © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 

talking business 

a man slurping latte 
engages a woman
at the table, latte too, 
both with pens, paper 
and notepads, talking 

she in stretch pants 
and rubber slippers. 

he, white shirt and tie, 
full and stuffed 
in his suit. 

she counting calories 
in a plastic dome-topped 

he, like June, 
bustin' out all over. 

Poem © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker 
All photographs © 2009 by R.Burnett Baker 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ithaca Is Gorges

That's a bumper sticker.  You see it all over Western New York.  "Ithaca Is Gorges".  It is a beautiful part of the state:  A small college town at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes area of central New York.  

I was working night shifts in Ithaca for the past week.  Reporting for work at 9pm, I saw some very beautiful sunset skys around 8:45 pm.  By 5am the first hint of the Earth revolving was an ever-so-faint blue sky crawling over the hills from the east.  On the face of those hills sits Cornell University, still dark and sleeping.  Leaving the parking lot at 6am yesterday, I snapped a few photos with my cell phone of the streaking sunlight shooting over those same hills.  Sunrise in this town of fewer than 30,000 people is quite stunning, cheesy bumper stickers notwithstanding! 

Rick Baker 
Rochester, NY 
July 12, 2009

night broken 

still night 
broken by 
glorious color 

streak behind 
sleeping mountains. 

who, but me, 
has witnessed 
morning's debut? 

Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker, July 11, 2009 in Ithaca, NY. 

Sunday, July 5, 2009

through a hollow

I will 
touch you 
when my arm 
grows longer 

or I taller 

or you 
closer than now 

you will 
touch me each time 
your voice speaks 
within earshot 

or through 
a hollow of memories 
searching for 


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


your words of affection
blind my pragmatic heart. 

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