While you are sleeping
     they are sharpening the guillotine
Loading their guns
Sheathing knives at their thighs

Tiptoeing while you snore
To tie the noose
And expose the poison
Planting mines where your feet will step

During your dream state
They are writing the nightmares

You have no idea
     what awaits.

                           —Rick Baldwin ©2018

The Realization

How disappointing it is to arrive at 56 years of life
     and not know what I am doing.
Where I am going.
What it’s all about.

I thought I would know useful things by now.
I thought I would be an expert at something.
I thought I would be enlightened or at least
     receive a handbook
     or rule book
     or guide book.

Some kind of book.

I thought I would be better.
I thought I would have major accomplishments that
     people would write about
     or discuss on talk shows.
I thought I would have achievements that
     changed lives or
     made the world a better place.

I thought I’d be richer.

Where are the young people asking me for advice
     and the business people asking me
     to speak at their luncheons?
Why are there no invitations to address the graduates
     at their commencement?

56 years is no different from 16 years
     when I wandered blindly through existence
          waiting for a future moment I would know
               my way around and be a more complete human.


                                        —Rick Baldwin ©2018


a wooden line of lovers
like weathered rotted fence posts
each stake more brittle and hollow
than the previous
until the last
completely broken and
serving no useful purpose

                           —Rick Baldwin @2018




New Studio Construction

I’ve been planning for some time to turn our garage into a studio space. We rarely park in it and, after recent home renovations which relocated our HVAC, water heater and laundry room, there’s little room to do so even if we wanted to. A few weeks ago, we had the garage door removed and replaced with double french doors. For weeks I’ve been working on the daunting task of clearing out the garage and finding new storage for all the junk that has been stored there for over a year. It’s coming along and, even though it may not seem like it from these photos, the space is getting close to being emptied.

Studio Space 1

This week I should be able to have a completely empty space and I can start patching and painting the walls. Once that is completed, I can bring over all the junk from the studio I’ve had in another location for four years. Organization is going to be the ongoing challenge and how to keep that while still keeping some type of design in the space will be my goal. Pretty sure it can be done.

I’m only posting these because I’m hoping to have an amazing “Before and After.” Going out on a limb here.

Pokey LaFarge at Terminal West

I was fortunate to attend the Pokey LaFarge concert at Terminal West in Atlanta on December 6. I’ve been wanting to see him perform for awhile now and I wasn’t disappointed. You can always tell when an artist or band has been touring for years. Their shows are tight and solid. This was certainly the case with Pokey LaFarge. They played an enjoyable selection of oldies, recents and brand new tunes and there wasn’t a dud in the bunch. It was unfortunate that they had to play without their multi-instrumentalist side-man, Ryan Koenig, who was struck by a car in Charleston, SC the night before and was in the hospital recuperating. Ryan will be forced to miss the remainder of the tour but the band proved they will continue marching ahead, even if with a slight limp.

I was able to photograph the show and I’m posting a few of the photos here. If you wish, you can see more photos in larger format on my Flickr account.

I’m posting a link to The Ryan Koenig Recovery Fund for those who might want to donate a few dollars to Ryan’s medical expenses. Help if you can.

When History Repeats

holocaust prisoners

I’ve always had a perhaps deeper than normal interest in the subject of the Holocaust. It started in high school when my sociology teacher showed the television series “Holocaust” and the whole thing became a part of my soul. I’m not Jewish and I grew up knowing no one who was Jewish but for some reason I’ve always felt I was somehow connected to it. When I see photos of the prisoners in the camps, I always feel like I’m looking at my own family or even myself. Earlier this year, I went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC and it was an emotional, terrifying, sickening walk through an unbelievable but real event. I’m currently watching a Holocaust documentary on the National Geographic channel and it feels like this entire year, whenever I watch something about the Holocaust, I’m seeing an old map of current events. I feel a horrifying deja vu. I tell myself I’m probably just over reacting but then, daily, events seem to reflect way too closely the timeline leading to those events in Germany. Only this time, there will be no Americans to swoop in and save the day. Anyone else feel this impending doom? Can the course be turned?

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