CK Baker Sep 18
there’s a network
of vigilance
around the guarded
of walla walla
stacked cinders
smoking rails
and weezers
leave nothing
but black hood

gray halls
and razor scrawls
mark the hellion crust
abandoned overtures
and dead fill
cloud the horror
and retribution
of the hell hole

bloaters and skin heads
(with wretched memoirs)
shout incessantly
from the
second floor
adolphus greely
reading over the
rights of nantucket
and banging his head
on the bent
steel bars

pockets pinched
and tumblers
the stone walls
a seminal moment
crosses the roo house
as mother mary
and the good
painted warrior
loosen a
finely tuned grip
CK Baker Aug 25
Disgusted, and saddened
Vicki’s poetry (and kindness) is an absolute inspiration
She was one of the first (along with Mary, Pradip and WK) to take the time to read and comment on my mediocre work...a jolt every aspiring poet needs
If you are listening Vicki...God bless you
CK Baker Jul 19
through the streets and column cracks
culture weaves and summer smacks
sacred figure, holy shrine
monastery in grand design

cathedrals, convents, heaven’s stars
god of neptune, god of mars
doge’s palace, alley way
gondolier on full display

winged lion on pastel breeze
cicada singing from the trees
pillar walk of saint mark's square
basilica in all its flare

crosses shade the carousel
a bridge of sigh that leads to hell
golden stairs of placid ridge
arches of rialto bridge

torcello! murano! grigio!
the countess rides the river poe!
sins of seven, fiery hides
poplars bank the levee side

black plague, attila the hun
eden formed before the sun
paradise above the marsh
high alter, gothic arch

middle age, religious wars
celestial fountains, marble floors
sculpted peacock, catholic faith
all is true the great god saith
CK Baker Feb 11
lines cut heavy
on a button stretched brow
thick rubber shoes
and dragon canes
fill out the closet floor
gospel sounds
and narratives (drowned)
apparitions set sullenly
with voices of the past

finger pins
and crosswords
find the favor list
point men and preachers
tip up their tuscany caps
twitching and sign gazing
with spectacles held firm
recurring evening news
and beadledom views

clappers and caregivers
raise a crooked foot
grips and rockers
settle in on the front porch
gertrude grimaces
at an untimely turn
as the gooseberry pie
(with a smidgen of cloves)
chills by the night watch
  Feb 10 CK Baker
Wk kortas
She slumped by the archway of the Chapel,
Forlorn, beaten in fact;
She had come to these grounds from Plattsburgh,
(Cold, martial little city home to General Wood’s summer flings)
To lay a wreath she’d bought near the train station at Bayeux
Purchased from a women at a small shop table,
Who’d had the grace not to haggle over-much,
Knowing full well why someone would make such a purchase.
She’d hoped to lay it at her brother’s marker;
He’d been lost at Omaha, likely before he’d set foot on the sand
(She’d no ideas of such things at the time,
Death being a thing that happened to rabbits
Their old shepherd chased down in the back yard,
Or dolls beheaded courtesy of her younger brother)
But the plot number given to her with such confidence
By the young adjutant from the War Department
Had a name wholly unknown to her
(Where the information was bollixed she had no way of knowing,
Not that officialdom would be any more help to her,
With so many sons in Scranton,
So many husbands in Hamtramck,
So many fathers and brothers in the same boat)
And so she sat, overwhelmed with the distance she’d come,
The magnitude of her failure and its implications,
And the whole damn burden of simple humanity
When she was approached by an older man,
Who clearly resided nearby
(Why he was here less evident—the hush of the venue, perhaps,
Possibly some corporal he was indebted to).
He’d understood her predicament in an instant,
No doubt a scene he’d witnessed scores of times before,
Laissez-le sur un monument funéraire,
He crooned, patting her forearm
Ce n’est pas important, and he sauntered away.
She’d considered heeding his advice,
But she remained hostage
To some vestige of latter-day Babbitesque can-do,
And so she soldiered back toward the endless rows of marble,
Stretching out in endless parallel lines
As in some middle-school perspective perspective drawing
Without borders, without end.
CK Baker Jan 19
who lit the candles
placed eloquently
behind purple rock?
the sculpted radiance,
chapel grace
wound in a chosen
defined way
down the spiral
stone stairs

street cars dawdle
the packer slew
biding merchants
shuffle their wares
as madman
and pock face
sing their
holy blues

cut jazz echoes
over accompanied
gabble and drone
incense and haze
pour from
a lower trap door
sack fish, truffles
and splendid crafts shine
inside the stained glass fronts

a wide mouth
with bloated tongue
greets the
morning tide
(not camera shy
in the least!)
fish traps
and beaneries
dot the busy causeway

hula hoops
and ballers
join the
cobaine stage
favoured rogues
and mac jacks
speak easy
of the big daddy

beth’s triple by pass
taking firm hold on
tricky dick
and the nutcracker
maze ways,
taggers and
lost tunnels
of cu chi
strike a
nerving blow

a poised finger man
belts out his tune
(with a sniff sock
and iterating glare)
his nosey neighbors
cut artisan bread
(with a white wine
and jelly spread)
midwives push forward
for an afternoon
toddle and stroll
CK Baker Jan 15
was he loving
was he kind
did he always speak his mind

was he thoughtful
was he warm
did he listen, and conform

was he faithful
was he loyal
did he tinker, did he toil

was he patient
was he tough
did he dream, big enough

was he funny
was he wise
did he brim with dull surprise

was he humble
was he vowed
did he always make you proud

was it sudden
was it slow
was there nothing left untold

was he ready
was it time
was forgiveness left behind
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