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October 1, 2015 / brianbakerwrites

Not Today

Rabbit Lane

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More than any other child, Caleb’s bicycle tires always seems to go flat.  I would patch an inner tube one hour and have it be flat the next.  Those awful three-pronged “goat-head” stickers were his bane.  Caleb was too young to patch his own inner tubes, so he was constantly asking me to do so.  “Dad,” he would ask, “can you fix my bike?”  I grew weary of his frequent requests, and often put him off.  Each time I avoided the task, however, I could see the disappointment in his eyes and hear it in his voice: “OK, Dad.”  I would come around eventually, but my delinquency deprived him of many days of happy riding.  When I began to realize what I was doing to him, and to our father-son relationship, I started patching his tires more quickly, began to teach him to patch his own tires, and wrote this…

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August 31, 2012 / brianbakerwrites

Oklahoma’s Skyscape

Taking pictures is something that I have always enjoyed, and more recently I have become more interested in it, so I’ve decided to add photography as a subject of my blog. For my first photography post, I wanted to share some old photos I took as a missionary that capture the beauty of Oklahoma. They were taken with my old point-and-shoot, so the quality isn’t amazing, but the landscape is. Enjoy! Image Image The sky in Oklahoma is huge! You can see billowing clouds for miles and miles.

If you can’t tell, I love sunsets, and for people like me, Oklahoma is the place to be. Sunsets there are spectacular!

The following is one of the best pictures I have ever taken. The sun was setting in the aftermath of a huge storm. The clouds were rolling and moving as if they were alive. I thought that a tornado was forming over my head!

June 19, 2012 / brianbakerwrites

Catching Butterflies

I search

For the right word

To catch on paper

A color, sound, or mood

That flutters

Like an elusive butterfly—

No avail.

 

What word describes

The burning halos of clouds

Rimmed with sunset?

“Orange” falls short

When the clouds seem

To emit their own light.

 

What word captures

The spring air

Drifting through my window

After dark?

The clean, living scent is

Too delicate to define;

A word would crush it.

 

What word characterizes

The person in the audience

Brave enough to start

A standing ovation?

It takes courage to be right

Without waiting

For the crowd’s support.

 

Poetry is my butterfly net,

The humane way to catch meaning

When a single word is too clumsy.

I don’t pin my butterflies

To a corkboard

Or confine them to a cage.

I admire them for a moment,

Then watch them fly away.

June 6, 2012 / brianbakerwrites

Light and Water

The Poet’s job is comparison.

 

Make the world a house

with mountains for walls

 

and clouds for a cracked roof.

Let starlight drip like rain.

 

I wish I had a bucket to catch

the light leaking through,

but there is too much.

 

I bathe in it instead,

and watch the tide of waxing moon—

nearly bright enough to read by—

 

spread its silvery surf

across the grass.

 

This is the job of the poet,

to turn light into water.

April 24, 2012 / brianbakerwrites

The World of Poetry

 

Remove entirely from the world of prose

Where days have dusks

Sentences have periods

Lives have deaths

 

Enter a freer world where endings are obsolete

And words are not for phone books and street signs

But for living and creating

           Birds

                     Butterflies

                                Sunsets

                     Men

           Women

Made out of words

Living as long as words live

Living as long as we remember

 

Words are for painting the world

And for singing

           Kindness

                     Compassion

                                Beauty

                     Healing

           Harmony

 

Words are a gift

April 24, 2012 / brianbakerwrites

Night

Leaves shake,

Crickets sing, and

The wind whispers.

Earth sleeps to

Natures lullaby.

I lie awake listening to

The sleepy symphony

Until I too sleep.

April 24, 2012 / brianbakerwrites

The Donation

 

Each beggar at the Gateway mall tells a story:

Injured in war, stranded from home, out of work.

(Some say these are lies they use to get drugs.)

Chuck and Billy claimed to be injured veterans.

They sat in wheelchairs on the street corner,

Holding cardboard signs, hoping a generous shopper might

Drop some coins into their money cups.

A young Asian girl played the violin nearby,

And her little sister played on the opposite street corner,

Cases open for donations, hoping for an open audience.

Droves of people swarmed past the veterans and violinists,

Like a river surging around smooth boulders,

But only Chuck and Billy heard the music and praised the performers.

Billy donated a dollar bill to both musicians, and

Chuck emptied his money cup into the older sister’s case:

Hours of begging for desperate money

Donated to two little girls in an instant.

How would they pay for food and shelter?

(Or, as some say, drugs and beer?)

“I wish I had something to give you,” I said.

“That’s alright,” Chuck replied. “It’s the thought that counts.”

Weeks later Chuck and Billy were gone,

But the Asian girls still played their music.

Nobody stopped to listen, but as I passed,

I donated a dollar bill.