Sunday, July 29, 2012

Magpie Tales 128: Relationships

this bond

hanging on 
your every word,

          with trepidation, 

my hand 
holds fast 
believing nothing's

          or mispoken. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo by  Zelko Nedic shared by Tess Kincaid

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unknown In Stone

in doubt, in prayer 

as we keep you in our steed
we anguish over destiny, and
bitter that this is so. 

the anarchy of living is 
having no extant guide 
to offer meaning for the 
presumed grand scheme - 

for the aftermath unseen.

and so, as guardians that we 
may be and may be to one another,

trust in the unknown 
is our bond and 
saving grace.

Photo taken by R. Baker 

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Endings And Beginnings: One And The Same

"Every sunset is a simultaneous sunrise." 

- R. Burnett Baker 

Text © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo© 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Magpie Tales 127: Measure Of Life, Art Of Life

"A life's worth is measured not 
by achievement, 

but rather by the visceral 
response to simply 

-R. Burnett Baker 

© 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Painting shared by Tess Kincaid:    Figure Eight, 1952, by Franz Kline  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fragrance And Memory

the air

I smell
and youth, 
family and 
birth in 
dust of  
trodden path,
at once 
wonted and

I feel wind 
and breeze,
middle to 
not so 
my face a 
rampart to
gales stirring
before me, 
the past 

these are 
visions preceding
each ancient
never unknown,
portent to 
each next 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo ©2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker July 20, 2012, Ontario State Parkway, Kendall, New York.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Being Fed

"To have loaves is a luxury, 
but to then have leftovers, 

is a blessing." 

-R. Burnett Baker 

I wrote this as a comment on Facebook to one of my favorite poet's post yesterday.  I don't know what Arian was referring to through his words but that doesn't matter:  His post holds a universal truth about kindness.  I hope he won't mind my reposting his words here:  

"And so we give away some part of ourselves, to find that part returned to us tenfold, in ways we could never have predicted and cannot rationally stand. Loaves and leftovers. In kindness, miracles do happen."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Magpie Tales 126: One Night


we're leaving now.
I'll make a scene 
of this parting shot,
        tuck the edges 

of vision into 

need was 
temporal: drinks
chatter, footplay
under the table, 
        then under 

this landscape 
of brick holds 
no appeal - there 
are no reasons
for tears;  

 I always carry 
an umbrella 
for good 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Artwork by  Jack Vettriano  shared by Tess Kincaid 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

5:45AM In July

gathers me

as morning
opens and 
gathers me,  

stillness - even
a tinge of 
sound - echoes
sleep and 
for this day: 

it is, to imagine
this as the 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2009 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by cell phone, Greece, NY.

Friday, July 13, 2012

An Old Poem

Here's a poem from my old poem files.  This particular one was written in 1977, and later published in The Albany Review, 1985, State University of New York.  That year I was on the Editorial  Board of the AR.  I don't believe the AR is being published now, and I have no idea when it ceased publication.


can you, 
               so far away,
hear my mind as it cries
               within my skull 
for the warmth of your 
               hand upon my face? 

               you must, 
for I can fleetingly
               and vaguely feel
your fingers gently press 
               my cheek 
to lift the tear 
before it 
               smashes onto the 

© 1977, 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

City Scenes XXIII: Achievements

Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker on High Falls Bridge, 
Rochester, NY. 

"Men built bridges over great divides, 
tamed the wild, harnessed energy, but 

never taught their youth 
gratitude or self restraint."

-R. Baker 

© 2012 R. Burnett Baker 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Magpie Tales 125: As Times Change, They Remain The Same

During my recent trip to my mother's farm in Texas, her neighbor, Mr. Hughes was cutting the hay as we were returning from Austin and San Antonio.  This week's Magpie Prompt of the painting "Chilmark Hay" 1951 by Thomas Hart, shared by Tess Kincaid, has prompted me to include some photos of that day in Texas (and a short poem), so timely and appropriate! 

        beast and machine 

              it seemed harder then.
            horsepower was less. 
             a pitchfork baled with
             armpower and sweat. 
          dirt encrusted hands 
        and dust powdered 
       crows feet capture
   every essence of 
toil and effort.

it seemed so. 
    but labor doesn't
           discriminate between
        beast and machine: 
             every harvest is ageless
           for all sons of the soil.

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photos © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Painting image "Chilmark Hay" by Thomas Hart, 1951

Saturday, July 7, 2012

City Scenes XXII: Following Directions

"Oh, I can take a hint. I'm quite happy, thank you, to use the other 
side.  I'm in no hurry to be heading in the opposite direction of 
that arrow!" 

-R. Baker 

Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker July 6, 2012 next to Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester, NY.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

City Scenes XXI: A Kodak Moment

it's frame, 
its context, 

I am: 

A reflection 
of my 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo:  Self portrait in the car.  Taken near Lake Avenue and Toronto Street, Rochester, NY.  Kodak World Headquarters in background. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

City Scenes XX: Independence For Granted

"To suggest through art, disenchantment, 
is a luxury of freedom to which all 
eyes are witness."

-R. Burnett Baker 

Text and photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo taken by R. Baker on July 4, 2012, Monroe Ave. Rochester, NY.  Board over broken window. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Aw Ange....!"

As we skip stones across water, an icon passes.....

Monday, July 2, 2012

City Scenes XIX: Shuttered Windows, Vacant Hearts


your travels 
unravel shadows
this night unfolds. 
inklings of 
years past 
sparkle and fade
in gardens wet
with ocean waves
of tears to 
taunt my 
heart ( the 
one I've sheltered 
with distance 
and muted 
response) : so 

go with your 
sojourn heart. 
I'll gather 
and repose
this night sky 

as if rain clouds
had never 
covered my

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken June 2012 by R. Baker on Fannin Street, Houston, Texas. 

City Scenes XVIII: Life In Transit

gate 5B 

              someone decided 
      color would 
           temper tedium, 
      the epitome 
                    of arrivals/departures

                       a mural life                  
          would preclude 
     the need for 
          contrail clouds. 

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2012 R. Burnett Baker 
Photo taken by R. Baker June 22, 2012 at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Magpie Tales 124: Dreams


there may be 
dream scenes 
tonight, I will

or a 
cricket's song
hidden in the

Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker
Photo of Ophelia by Odilion Redon shared by Tess Kincaid