Sunday, April 29, 2012

Magpie Tales 115: Economic Recovery

Image by Manu Pombrol, 
Shared by Tess Kincaid


opportunity is waiting 
for anyone willing to 
fill the space available. 

or just fill the space. 

© 2012 R. Burnett Baker

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Champagne Lives

Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker

complete me. again 

salutations are waiting. 
goblet lives hold court
in unison expecting 
grandstand recognition: 

sports heros, intelligentsia, 
artistes, politicos, lovers, and 

we have no time to 
inventory our import, yet 
waiting for the buzz is 
all the rage.  waiting for 
anything that fills 
secret voids 

is salutation enough 
for this stage. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Magpie Tales 114: Slumber

Image by Alex Stoddard
Shared by Tess Kincaid


as if 
sleep had 
the inside track 
to an end 
and future 
of this 
construct, I 

into sheets, 
under cover 
seems automatic 
and my routinized 
dealings with
night are as 

there is fear
only when 
wind threatens 
a clean sweep 

I'm safe 
for now. 


no need 
to tell nightfall
that I'm incognito
in his 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday. A Poem

post script 

aftermath is 
ready for an 

residual lives
quantified by 
events; by 

reflections we 
in the 

©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What Do YOUR Kids Value?

I came upon this photo some months ago and was immediately struck by the composition and the expression of joy and gratitude on the boy's face.  Unfortunately I don't know where I found it, and cannot give it proper credit.

But the image makes an impression and suggests deeper questions about needs, wants, and happiness.  It puts into perspective our particularly self-driven society and how we have been teaching the younger generations about what's important in our lives.

There are, perhaps, many stories embedded in this image.  And many lessons, as well.

UPDATE April 18, 2012:  Almost as a postscript to this short commentary, I read the following article from Consumer Reports on "kid friendly" cars.  Not that it isn't important, mind you, but still....

Here's an excerpt from the article that ties in with my thoughts on what we emphasize with our children:

Remember life in the back seat when you were a kid? There wasn’t much to do on long trips beyond counting Volkswagens or punching your sister in the arm. Nowadays, if your budget and propensity to spoil your kids allows, you can provide pint-size passengers with a virtual theater on wheels. But first, think about the basics that will be used every day.

Stockburger advises that you look for cup holders in the backseat, especially those that can accommodate a juice box, and storage areas such as pockets in the seats, which can keep plenty of toys and books within easy reach while also keeping those items from becoming dangerous projectiles in the event of a crash.

Such features, in part, are what sold Melissa Larrey and Tracy Bouton of Falmouth, Mass., on their 2010 Toyota Sienna. As the parents of 10-year-old and eight-year-old boys, they totally appreciate the Sienna’s “seemingly everywhere” cup holders.

“It’s great that the kids can reach things and get to their own stuff,” Larrey said. “It makes such a difference.”

 Cup holders.  Lots of them.  Teach your children well.  And be proud!

proud parent of "______" 

soccer-mom offspring 
strapped to a Town & Country seat
ignore running movies on car ceilings, 
instead fixate on smart phones and texts, 
their mindless stomachs demanding their 
next meal that no one has prepared with 
any thought, no labor of love factored 
into its presentation. 

what will be the joy and true happiness 
these ingrates-in-waiting seek as they 
claw their way from one distraction to 
another, as they flash-mob their lives in
malls and store aisles, as they grow to 
protest what they have not earned and 
demand justice from Blackberry prompts, 
as they cackle over who has what, and 
how unjust it is that they don't? 

who will teach them where life begins 
and ends, 
and how frivolous pride of this, that, 
and the other is?  

if they were left to the wilderness of necessity, 
how many would smile with 
joy in their eyes and 
humility in their hearts, 
and realize even 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Magpie Tales 113: Ritual

Red Roofs, Marc Chagall, 1954.  Shared by Tess Kincaid

daily bread

I picked a flower 
for your grave.  in 

the old neighborhood
dilapidation on every 
doorstep offered no 
prayers for deliverance as
stale air flowed 
across garden tombs
of rooftops.
of burnished effort, 
of silent stillness 
is our ritual resurrection, 
with a tear for water -
for blossom petals
clinging to 
a stem.   

Poem ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Can life be sometimes 
tragic and sad 
because it's 
so good? 

©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012



at last, birds of many colors 
have discovered the feeders full: 

is the menu and condition 
of every season. 

©2012 R. Burnett Baker
Drawing by R. Baker, 2001 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Distant Selves

past lives

farmer, cowboy,
Tab Hunter:

he manned them 
without knowing
caring about 

he rode 
cold wind, 
stick horses- 

fought fires of 

raising lifetimes of 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photos taken by Ina Jean Stovall Garner

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Magpie Tales 112: L'Eggo My Eggo!

This Magpie Tales prompt would have been perfect for my previous "serious" epigram post from yesterday.  But as I was reading various "news" stories this evening, and wondering what I would write for Tess's prompt, I came across the following story.  

Forgive me, all, for I know this is Easter weekend and such, but this story just had me giggling my butt off in my chair.  And holding my legs tightly together.  No doubt, there is a place reserved for me in hell, but yes, I'm still laughing!  Isn't it horrible to be laughing at someone's misfortune?  But still...... 

So here it is, my contribution of sorts to Magpie.  The ex-girlfriend in the story below has certainly taken Easter egg hunting to a new and um, colorful level.  Forgive me, Tess!! 

By Taylor Bigler - The Daily Caller | The Daily Caller – Fri, Apr 6, 2012

Talk about a ball buster.
An Indiana man was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after his scrotum was the victim of a vicious attack by an ex-girlfriend, The Smoking Gun reports.
The victim told police that his former girlfriend, Christina Reber, stormed into his apartment as he was innocently sitting at his computer. Reber, who he had severed ties with a few days earlier, first struck him on the head and then grabbed his scrotum and began “squeezing as hard as she could.” Naturally, he told officers that he “was in incredible pain when [she] grabbed his scrotum and began digging in her fingers.”
The police report indicates that the scrotum area was “completely torn loose from his body.” Reber reportedly “refused to let go of his scrotum,” but that the victim was finally able to remove his balls from her vice-like grip.
As if the story isn’t already good enough, the victim, who has not been identified, was taken to BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. As far as we know, the hospital is not only for scrotum-specific injuries.
In an interview two days after the incident, the man told police that after his ex was done breaking his balls, his family jewels are so swollen that he is unable to work, and he isn’t sure if there will be permanent damage.
Reber was charged with two felonies: aggravated battery and illegally entering the victim’s home. She was also charged with a misdemeanor domestic battery.

Image by Djajakarta, shared by Tess Kincaid

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Another Meaning, Perhaps, For Easter Weekend

Never second guess your 

Never underestimate 
your ability for 

©2012 R. Burnett Baker

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bowl Of Plenty

Photo ©2012 R. Burnett Baker

    by the spoonful 

       there's no denying 
 the concept of 
           half full, half empty. 

                  empty, however, provides 
                profound perspective for 
         those surrounded by 
                          plenty they have not consumed. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker

Thursday, April 5, 2012

City Scenes XI: Environmentalist's Foot Fetish

Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo taken by R. Baker on Yonge Street, 
Toronto, Ontario.

Yes, we must protect the environment.  
We must reduce our collective
and individual carbon footprints.  
Looks like this shop in Toronto 
has come up with a plan.  
Just be sure, if you wear these 
"Kleen Air" shoes, that you've washed your feet.  
And ladies, or men, if you're so inclined, 
paint your toe nails, too.  After all, 
being green and kleen doesn't mean 
abandoning style! 


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Magpie Tales 111: Grandma Tried To Warn Me

empty nest 

never could wrap my head around 

tree hugging,  those activist glory days

so dope-fueled with ideals;  the Long-hairs

and their Chickie-LaLa's singing songs of whales,

saving snail darters,  and sleeping under the trees. 

my grandmother warned me about mite bites, 

those birdie bed bugs that parasitize man and fowl: 

"throw that damn nest away, boy, before you 

get eaten alive!" 

Poem © 2012  R. Burnett Baker 
Photo by Robert ParkeHarrison, shared by Tess Kincaid