Friday, June 29, 2012

City Scenes XVII: Vision

"Can one have an epiphany 
and not know it?" 

-R. Baker

Text and photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker on Fannin Street, Houston, Texas.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Value Of Life

"Take not lightly the phrase 'Taken too soon' 
for all who are taken, are."

- R. Burnett Baker  

©2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

City Scenes XVI: Pick Your Poison... Life, Or Something Like It


           our old ways 
        were drink 
            and laughter,
      with nary 
      a thought 
       to disaster 

          or great. for 
     each one 
       we've seen 

       (denying it 
            could happen 
   to us or 
        those of us) 

          there harbors
      little faith 
           in ecumenical 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker, Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY.

Monday, June 18, 2012

City Scenes XV: Images Of Self


homily to faith
pursuit of redemption
prayer for need: 

on walls
of desire 
are the 
most compelling
imprints of 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo of graffiti taken by R. Baker off Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Magpie Tales 122: Farewell: Never Taken Lightly


to say 
"I'll see you later" 
is to hedge a bet
that both of us 
will be here

each wave 
of the hand 
dismissing fear,
brushing against
silent doubt, 

footsteps in 
open air. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo  Puddle, 1952, M. C. Escher,  shared by Tess Kincaid 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Morning Sky, June 14, 2012



Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photos © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photos taken by R. Baker, June 14, 2012 Rochester, NY

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

City Scenes XIV: Graffiti Minds

"Too FAt FoR 

the city doesn't 
care about my 

in shop windows 
is revealing only 
to my mind and 
definitely at 
a quickened 
pace, passing

window after window, 
hoping no one 
notices me looking 
at me, checking 
to see if I'd do me…

mostly I'd politely 
pass, proffering,
 "no thanks,
I'm just browsing!" 

besides, I look 
better in baggy 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker at The Bug Jar bar, Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Magpie Tales 121: He Tweets Me, She Tweets Me Not

Still Life, 1670, detail by Jean François de Le Motte


This week's Magpie Tales photo prompt, shared by Tess Kincaid, made me think about now, the future, and the past as they all relate (or not) to our modern, 21st Century techno-lives.  

Sitting in a coffee shop this past week, I was relaxing.  I was people watching.  I was reading.  Yes, reading an actual newspaper,  one of those things you have to unfold, shake open, hold up to your eyes and read in complete sentences. Remember those?  Of course you do!  Anyone reading poetry blogs knows exactly what I'm talking about.  

Relaxing the paper from my face, I looked around the coffee shop.  There were a number of younger people in the place, and all but one had a gizmo in their hands, thumbs jabbing furiously at tiny buttons with letters of the alphabet on them.  


Sexting, maybe?  I doubt it.  I doubt they have that much imagination going for them, judging by the the dull, expressionless faces I could see!

But it occurred to me that with all this technology, all these flashy toys, all the information available to us online, or in actual libraries, (remember those?) we seem to have created, or SOMEONE/THING has created, a nation of the dumbest humans on the planet.  My daily conversations with the young employees at work suggest that a seemingly large number of high school and college age people today are carelessly unaware, and mostly UNINTERESTED in what's going on around them beyond the tips of their thumbs! 

Through this admittedly biased view, though, I wonder this:  What will all these young people, and the older ones, too, who have been embraced by this brave new world of "NoNothing",  have to show for all this information and communication?  What will they remember from their text messages?  What legacy will be left of their lives and interactions with family, friends, loved ones?  What will their children or grandchildren have as touchstones to their ancestry that will give guidance to their own lives?  

"...stories change 
as memory dusks, 
anguished riflings 

I'm so thankful for letters.  There are ones I've sent to my parents over the years from any number of places I've lived, worked or traveled to.  My mother has boxes full of old letters from my dad.  We have, just as millions of other families have, these physical legacies and histories of the day to day lives of our ancestors, and ourselves!  

What are these techno-junkies creating to physically hold in their hands 20 or 30 or 50 years from now - to physically hold and touch an object that a beloved themselves had once held?  Where are the physically written stories of their lives that future generations will someday appreciate and cherish?

"...losing reference 
to our lives at times
is minor annoyance,
but in other circumstances,
it's the ravishing 
decomposition of 
disease that steals 
our pasts..." 

There comes a time in all our lives when we try to remember an event, a name, a small detail.  The iCloud, or whatever it is called this week, will not always be there for us to hold and review.  It's not actually there now.  It's just a concept.  

"...but for those 
lucid thoughts
we signed, folded,
sealed, sent, and 
preserved, life is 
restored to any 
and all who make
time to 
live in the moment, 
or read the past..." 

If anyone wants to leave a legacy of sorts to the younger generation and their future, leave it in writing. Give them something to hold between their thumbs that will not be gone the moment a "sent" button is pressed.  

Tell them they have been texted with pen and paper.

Offer them a future because they can physically see and hold the past! 

Rick Baker 
June 10, 2012 
Rochester, NY 

© 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Friday, June 8, 2012

For One In Sadness

tears enough

there are 
tears enough 
for all the world,
but precious few
for one 
in sorrow -  

burdened, alone,
behind smiles 
for all else,

healing comes
from hearts 
of those 
willing to stand
against the

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

At Any Given Moment

of the

of what 
was said 
to be 
less than 
I see 
beyond the 

                                 sun and 

                                 of color
                                 clinging -  

                                 clinging to
                                 the tenuous 
                                 movement of 
                                 we try 
                                 to preserve. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blue Moon Saw Me Standing...

playing our 

a breeze played
telephone wires, 
every conversation 
cooled and traveling
unknown paths.

was expected 
but not all together
welcome, for 
a daylong 
symphony of thought
gathered, and we,

gathered ourselves 
for soul music in 
sunlight and fire, 

Blue Moon and 
a skipping stylus 
holding us mid-air
against our 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Magpie Tales 120: These Crazy Dreams

Image by Klaus Enrique Gerdes
Shared by Tess Kincaid


I dreamt 
I flew
where sparrows 
floral things, 

through orchard
and field my 
hunger revealed
image, images,

my shoulder 
a burden of 
delight - moon,
light, sky 
this night

of restless 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker

Saturday, June 2, 2012

City Scenes XIII: Up Against The Wall


an overlay of years 
or decades, pantomime 
flash of memory, is 

painted on weathered 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker on Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 2012.

Friday, June 1, 2012

What Appears, Appears.

"Spontaneity creates itself."
- Rick B. Baker, 1988

©1988, 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker