Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plugging A Blog: (Can you DO that?)

Just a quick plug for another blog.  My other blog.  

I started Baker'sTake in April 2008.  It was to be poetry and opinion pieces.  The poetry just didn't seem to fit with my opinions, so I set up Efficient Agony in 2009.  After that, I didn't do much writing on Baker'sTake.  

Lately I've been trying to make time to write there a bit more often. If you venture over there's no telling what you'll think about the rants, raves and screeds I post.  One might think I'm a rabid conservative, or liberal socialist, or just plain nuts.  I'm none of the first two, but some of the third!  

Anyway, I have had Baker'sTake in my blog list for some time now. Have a visit if you like.  Maybe you'll agree, disagree, be fired-up, angered, or none of the above. Sometimes I'll be serious, sometimes not. But it further serves to help keep me off the streets! 

Thanks to all who have been a support and inspiration!  I truly appreciate your support, comments, and blogging friendships!  

December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Magpie Tales Photo Prompt 46: Wooden Soul

wooden soul

did I 
doff a 
heart for

beside your 
wooden soul
even my 
hoary hands
now wrinkled 

softer than

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo courtesy of Tess/Willow at Magpie Tales 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

day of alms 

seek a posture of 

this day 
in all its revelry 
is a day of alms 

and quiet 

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo created by Pastor Stevan Sheets, Shippensburg, PA.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Christmas Music Rant: Just Indulge Me, Please!!


It's nearly over.  But before anyone calls me a Scrooge, indulge me, please.  Just lighten up, 'cause this little rant comes from 30 years of retail and having to fight the wars of some of the worst of the worst of shoppers who, well, you know what they do...

But this isn't about that.  This is about Christmas music.  At work we listen to the same loop of songs played through infinity, it seems, from early November until after Christmas.  This year's selection had to have been selected from the worst of karaoke night.

And online today, there is an article by Paul Grein on a music blog called "Chart Watch" that talks about the "top-selling holiday song of all time," and how it "beats out seasonal classics from Bing Crosby and Burl Ives".

The song?  "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

The artist?  Mariah Carey.  Oh puleeze.....stab me with a Magic Marker.

First and foremost, I'd rather scratch all 10 fingernails on a black board than to listen to the warbling, yodeling, 30 octave screeching of Mariah Carey.  Ya know, just SING.  Stop with the vocal acrobatics, already!  And if  you can vocally reach octaves that don't exist, DON'T!

Fact of the matter is this:  According to the Guinness Book Of World Records, the number one selling Christmas song of all time is "White Christmas" by good 'ol Bing, with estimated worldwide sales in excess of 50,000,000 copies.

Mariah?  1,794,000 downloads, more copies than "any other holiday song in digital history," according to Mr Grein.

Ha!  I knew it!  Digital smidgital!  Downloads! Who cares?

So here's my not so humble opinion about what artists and/or Christmas songs should NOT be played ever again:

1.  Mariah Carey.  Nuf said.
2.  Any song by pre-pubescent Michael Jackson.  Just creepy.
3.  Bruce Springsteen.  I mean, who told that man he could sing in the first place?
4.  The song "Santa Baby".  By any artist.  Rated R.
5.  The song "All I Want For Christmas Is An Alien" by Fountains of Wayne.   Huh?
6.  No Christmas "music" from ANY rap artist, Beyonce, or TLC.  Period.
7.  American Idol contestants.   Get a job.  Go back to school.
8.  "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee.  Sounds like she has the hiccups.
9.  "Little Drummer Boy."  Second most annoying Christmas song ever.  RumpumpumEEEK!
10. "Carol Of The Bells."   Most annoying Christmas song ever.  Take it into war, play it full blast at the enemy 24/7, and they'll surrender!

Oh, I could go on, but enough!  Just give me Bing, Burl, Andy, Ella, Dean, Nat, and yes, even Alvin and the Chipmunks!

Merry Christmas to you and your families!  May you all find joy, happiness, and love this coming year!

Rick Baker
Rochester, NY
December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice: Let There Be Light

abide with me

the long morning
each day 

season extolls
"abide with me,
my light 
will prevail." 

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2008 by R. Burnett Baker 

Friday, December 17, 2010

On Growing Older

harbors of time

on fear we are 
fused as one
to twig beauty 
as centuries brittle 
our bones

through fading eyes 
clarity is ferried on 
memories cached in 
harbors of time 

and into sunset 
we shield our faces
as temptress light 
teases horizons 

just beyond our 

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2008 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R.Baker along the Hudson River just north of the George Washington Bridge, 2008. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"I've witnessed all suffering,"
the jaded one spoke,
"no one escapes - 
season to season
reasons for living 
made prisoner by 

"I've swallowed all sadness," 
the jaded one mused, 
"joy heralds darkness,
anger fells peace, 
reflections of lives 
we've squandered 
and used." 

"I've heeded each silence," 
the jaded one thought,
"with eyes wide open
eternity sleeps for 
paradise dreamed, 

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo by Tess Kincaid, "Magpie Tales" 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tis The Season

we are risen

the animus 
of our lives, 
boxed shelved faced
fronted gimmicked
disposable new
improved door-busted

praise the lord 
along the aisles
between shelves 
of pietistic fervor,

for we are risen
and paid for: 

the season of 
our cross to 

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Magpie Tales Photo Prompt 44: Slay The Beast


against a wall
a crossbow, 
I thought.

from a
hilltop trigger
I'll pierce
the heart 
of winter,

slay the 
beast of 

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo courtesy of "Willow" at Magpie Tales 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Settles In

December 1st, the beginning of meteorological winter, did not disappoint.  Western New York is snow covered.  More is on the way throughout this coming week.

I don't really like the idea of re-posting previous poems, but here goes.  This is one of my own favorites and since it is nearly two years old, I've decided to share it again.  


wind sun snow

my breath cloud
on frozen        wind

to winter's       sun 

fearful of 
the virgin 

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

Monday, December 6, 2010


there were
prayers and 

I whispered
to my 
curious soul, 
"be silent." 

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2005 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker at Wang Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong, 2005

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Six Months Later

the gloaming

half a year
is twice a 

and I've 
tried to 
the last time
I heard your

when you 
left us we 
you and 
carried on
with our 

the precipice 
of the gloaming
taunts the 
memory of 
our yesterdays, 

but not 
the strength 
of your 

(To the memory of Eugene M. Baker, 1923-2010)

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo© 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Magpie Tales Photo Prompt 43

two steps 

virgin snow 
dares footprints.

I want to peer 
inside your 
windowed door,

to leave my mark
two steps at a time.

Poem © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker 
Photo courtesy of Willow @ "Magpie Tales"