Friday, September 30, 2011

City Scenes VI: Snapshots Past & Present

Click to enlarge


there was innovation, dreams of greatness 
holding promise for shining lives and 
utopian cities.

we worked, lived, feasted, and drank in every
snapshot of imagination 
only to be left standing outside 
windows of wood, 
streets of dampened memory, 
and walls of plastered 

I suppose there was a time, in the heyday of Kodak in Rochester, NY,  when many Kodak employees thought they were living in a sort of utopia.  At one time, Kodak was the largest employer in the area with over 50,000 workers.  Today the company is a mere shadow of that glory,  having been too quick to diversify its business interests, and too slow to jump on the digital roller coaster.  In 2010 the company was taken off of the S&P 500 Index.  

I recall a front page story in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle a few years ago that described the struggles Kodak was having with one of the last products that was "made" in America:  The throw-a-way camera.   One the front page was a color photo of the Kodak camera, and the Fuji camera.  Lines and arrows pointed to various components of each, and told where each part was made.  For the Kodak camera: Mexico, China,  Mexico, China, China, Mexico.  For the Fuji: South Carolina, USA.  

The story told of the difficulties Kodak was having with globalization and such.  But the upshot for me was this:  Buy American.  Buy Fuji. 

Utopia is a dream.  Not even a vision, really.  

Reality is in the streets. 

R. Baker 

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo©2011 R. Burnett Baker 

Photo of the Kodak World Headquarters, Rochester, NY  taken by R. Baker. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011



what terrible retribution 
we lay upon ourselves 
for the unhappiness we allow 
to define our lives. 

Poem ©2009, 2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo©2011 R. Burnett Baker 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wishing Rain For Fellow Texans


prodding embered ground
prolongs raging and 

sparks scatter,

every utterance of pain
its own salve and 
ultimate cure.

green unfoldings 
emerge from blackened 
earth, and we, 

we are 

Photo:  © Narokzaad |

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Magpie Tales Photo Prompt 84: Laugher In The Rain


the raven

ravens always

                 when to
roost at 

                  why they
fly at 

                 how to 
cast a rictus 
mocking face
in the 

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo from Google Images shared by Tess Kincaid

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Facebook, Cookbook, Bookbook: Screwit Book

In The Beginning I Was... 

Yes, I was doing it wrong.  I resisted Facebook for a long time. About four years ago a friend got me on it and my "account", or whatever they're called, just sat there with nothing on it.  Of course, most people might argue that now that I'm actually posting there's STILL nothing on it.  Got it?  

Despite my underlying thoughts that FB is inherently evil, and an ultimate tool for totalitarianism, (Review Orwell's "1984") I've been posting my blog entries on my FB for anyone bored enough to check them out.  Truth is, I don't really do anything so interesting as to warrant the need to post my every move.  I mean, really who cares? And why?

So anyway, today my FB page is all different.  I read the news story about the changes.  I watched the video of Mark "Supperbird" giving a presentation about the upcoming live timeline or some such nonsense.  (This guy REALLY comes across as a social misfit dork) You know, he was up on a stage with a power point thingy going on, and he probably imagined himself as a techie guru on the same level as Steve Jobs.  Well, he showed us how we will now be posting our life histories on our page.  LIFE HISTORIES.  

Well, hell:  We all have lots of time for that, now don't we.  

Gawd the world is just filled with stupidity.  And meaningless crap. And more meaningless crap to take up the time we don't already have to do other things that we could do if we weren't too busy trying to keep up with technology designed to keep us in our meaningless mindsets.  

Did any of that make sense?  I didn't think so, but that's the point.  My most recent FB post:

Ok. So FB is changing this or that or something. I'm not too intelligent about these things, and have resisted FB for the most part. But a "timeline" to tell the entirety of my life? Puleeze. This just proves that we ARE a neurotic society. Totally. Ok...the whole world's neurotic if we need this much pointless info about each other. Get a life? Nope. There aren't any left!!
 ·  · a few seconds ago
Hey, I  Like that. Comment.

Anyway, I hardly know what to do with the "old" FB page.  And frankly, I don't have freakin' time to learn all this other nonsense. And that's what it is:  Nonsense.  This all reminds me of a saying by Ashleigh Brilliant:  "I could do great things if I weren't so busy doing little things."  

And so it is with FB, I'm afraid. Trivial nonsense to keep the citizenry occupied while the big business honchos and politicians think up more trivial nonsense to keep us enslaved by the very toys and "social media" that we think makes us so free.  

I don't want to learn more technical apps.  I don't need to have my life story set up as a profile page on some Big Brother website.  I like to keep up with the times, but come on, people.  Get real.  Get serious. 

Get a life!!  

Oh. Wait. We can't get lives.  There aren't any left to get. They're being retweeted, refaced, and replaced with the latest shiny toy invented by some dumblucky college geek who now has more money than he knows what do with.  He may be smart, but he isn't very perceptive.  He may have created just what the Orwellian masters' wannabe's are licking their chops over:  A gadget that looks like a toy, but is a potential tool for total governmental control. 

Ah, Freedom.  Ain't it grand? 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Magpie Tales Photo Prompt 83: Snake Charmer That I Am

seduction's forest

to my lips
come flute-bait
primal tones,

fern to 
fauna to 

nature's morass,
natural and -un

plays a riversong
pliant to my
fingertips and

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker
Photo: The Snake Charmer, Henri Rousseau, 1907
Weekly Magpie Prompt courtesy of Tess Kincaid

Silly Sunday

Ok.  Lighten up before reading the newest posts on my other two blogs.  If you're the sensitive type, don't read Baker'Take today.  Just watch a rerun of The Sound Of Music or something.  My perverse sense of humor doesn't sit well with some.  Oh well:  I've gone this long letting my mouth overload my ass, so to speak.  But other than that, have a good rest of the weekend! 


Monday, September 12, 2011

Magpie Tales Photo Prompt 82: Glory Days


there were 
tropic days
in jungle white
I'd fashion
myself to 
prospects du jour,

and adored 
I'd walk 
the walks 
of what 
set cupidity

these ashen 
stains on 
collars and 
sleeves - 

tattered shades 
in love-making 
rooms - 

unveiled now 
but for the 
canvas smudge
of blanched

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo:  The Revenant, 1949, Andrew Wyeth
Photo courtesy of Tess Kincaid

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Memorial Flag

Photo from Google Images

9/11 Memorial Flag 

The flag in the photo above is the ONLY flag we need 
to remember and memorialize the 9/11 attack on our country. 

There is a "new" 9/11 flag that will be unfurled, and two days 
ago a local area woman was pictured on the front page of the 
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle with the flag that she had 
designed to represent 9/11. Her design wasn't chosen and she 
was upset about it.   

Poppycock to all of this nonsense.

We have a flag.  It was attacked on September 11, 2001.  
In the days following this act of war, millions upon millions 
of Americans displayed this flag in their windows, on their cars 
and just about anywhere else it was deemed appropriate. 

It is the flag of the United States.  It was the flag for that 
horrible event then, and it still is now.  

Let's stop trying to dilute what happened, who did it, and 
who they did it to.  

The Stars and Stripes IS the flag of the United States, and 
it IS the only flag we should fly to remember 9/11. 

More required reading: Baker'sTake.

Rick Baker
Rochester, NY 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Nope.  New York.  Being a transplanted New Yorker from Texas, scenes sometimes look very much like home.  Here are a few photos for my Texas friends and family who may not know this side of New York.   (click photos to embiggen!)
Rough and tumble:

The smell of the cattle yard:  Ahhh! 

Pretty, but painting these babies is a pain:

Nothing runs like a Deere:

Yep. The alfalfa made my eyes itch: 

Line 'em up: 

Park it, let it rust: 

Big sky in New York: 

Hay!  Let's eat:

Oh hell no! We feed our horses in Texas: 

Yep.  Unless there's a drought. Then NO water:

Photos taken by R. Baker 9-10-11,  Route 18, New York. 

Yee Haw. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

No Madness Today

blank slate 

this day 
to myself
is quiet. 
wet blanket
gray is the
color and 
feel, but 

the silence
is a 

shall I 
make of 
these hours?
what will 
I think or 
move or 

will I 
travel or 
sit or 

will the 
be read 
after all the
introspection - 


Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Changes. Again.

awakening September

I dreamt summer heat
and green, then 

came this 
sudden morning 
silver-wet and 

a maddening chill
laughed lightly,
mocking my 
childlike embrace
of naked 

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker at the American Falls, Niagara Falls, New York, June 2011. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Texas Fires: Prayers For Our Fellow Bloggers

Some of you may have been following the news of the fires raging just southeast of Austin, Texas and in other Texas locations.  I was in touch last night with one of our regular bloggers from that area.  She said that their house was in the path of the "perfect storm" and that they didn't expect to have a home by this morning.  I was heartsick over this, and am concerned about my family in Austin, and my mother in East Texas near Livingston, as well.

I'm not posting her name or blog at this point, since she was planning to update when she could.  I don't want to intrude on their potential tragedy and privacy, but I would ask that anyone reading this remember these folks in your thoughts and prayers.

A couple of weeks ago my mother said that many in Texas were wishing for a hurricane.  That's just how devastating this drought is throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and surrounding areas.  Nature is harsh sometimes.

Terrible to have to wish for one disaster to end another.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Magpie Tales Photo Prompt 81: Lovers' Lane

Photo courtesy of Tess Kincaid


remember how 
we kissed in 
dingy lanes,

summer heat to 
soak our breathing, 
curling between
window cracks, 

engines at idle
for the unexpected 
escape from 
unplanned harried

the sins of our youth
and playground fervor
waited patiently 

to bind us to a road 
we never considered
as winding. 

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker 

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Mid-Day Poem On Friday


it's the 
overlay of time 
when senses recall
burning leaves,
hickory smoke,
latent blossoms, 

the past in 
each fragrance,
bitter or fresh;

within every layer 
of air cool or 

beyond each echo
of your voice 
creating a 
season tethered 
in sweetness.

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker at George Eastman House, Rochester, NY June 2011. 

A Silly One For Singles. Or Anyone Who's Ever Been Single. A sly grin ;}


when I smiled
I wanted to 
be all that, 
and have 
you adore 

when you glanced 
I thought I was 
suddenly lucky, 
and then your 
glass was 

and I...

was standing 
in the center 
of the room 
as you nodded 
and walked 
out the 

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo©2011 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo:  A junk shop classic.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just Keep On Truckin'

Photo ©2011 Cheryl Cato (Used with permission) 

as I thrive 

my heritage, 
incarcerated by 
past glory, binds 
me to the soil. 

from battles 
lost and won, 

scars remain 
not so hidden within
the ever-living 
growth of time. 

there is dignity yet, 
even in pockmarked 
ruts of long abandoned 

Poem ©2011 R. Burnett Baker