Karen Baker


Karen Baker is a Modesto poet. She was born on Staten Island, grew up in Rockford, Illinois, and has lived in California’s Central Valley for many years. She is fascinated by the possibilities and limitations of language and by the synergy experienced in writing groups. She also enjoys studying dreams.

Her latest venture has been to edit and publish a new publication called hardpan, a journal of poetry. With her coeditors, debee loyd and Gordon Preston, she enjoys gleaning voices from the valley and nearby.
She can be reached at khb425@hotmail.com  or hardpanpoetry@sbcglobal.net.

In transit

leaven works
what rises
may be bread
put in a word
water it
soak for three summers
any beach, any coast
if it rains
find shelter
a teardrop is a prism
a teardrop is a prism
every night
the shadows stretch
and hunch at noon
and hunch
my feet are full
of crumbs of sand
I bake


Long necked, legs stretched
The pelagian bird tries the wind
Soars even in sleep
To instinctual southern harbors

In origami’s unfolding
The crane unflaps its wings
Turns its head inside out
Becomes and envelope to open
Into a thin flat sheet

A boy comes in at seven years
Toys with the undone paper square
Almost makes a wing, a backward beak
A down-turned tail
Then tidily smoothes the paper out
Staring at the pattern of the creases

As you exit
You neatly swallow your well-phrased defense
Cast your focus on a blinding bulb
Throw aside your Pendergrass coat
Go out of style




I Before E, Inc. 2005                                                                                                        Website Design by  Sacramento Web Design