Saturday, January 19, 2019

earth note 653

a windy saturday afternoon
and i'm sorry for revealing all this
but sombrero beach is something
of a beach party today
kayaks up the yazoo
a few sailboats
rhythm of the tide
with a dozen languages
& music mix

out near the horizon
a speedboat race
noise and testosterone
and most likely a few drunks
making waves

the seagulls and pelicans
seem to care less and less
like they understand the cajun french
as well as french quebec
while turning their beaks like pointers
     into the wind

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

earth note 652

cudjoe bay

from patience
you'll find your bearings
there's always a larger vista

if you find an opening
it'll be up to you
to go on thru

--- e b bortz

Monday, January 14, 2019

earth note 651

big torch key

the end of the road
but not the end
of the trail

mangrove rising
like a growing hill
before the sun
before your eyes
a path

--- e b bortz

Saturday, January 12, 2019

earth note 650

denim underground railroad
a mix of hands
eventually landing
in a pittsburgh thrift store
the origins too faded to see
so i'll point them toward
the open water on sombrero beach
where languages mix freely
and no one is demanding a green card

--- e b bortz

Thursday, January 10, 2019

earth note 649

i'm walking highway A1A today
like it's a religious experience
     maybe it is

the north wind is sharp and cold
the tide is meandering in from the caribbean
like a ritual or habit
     might as well call it a ritual

there's an old milwaukee beer can
with its head bashed in
stranded in the shallows
might as well call it holy water

when the beach sands
reach the sidewalk and cover it
the hourglass will begin
traffic will stop
pelicans will gather up their tribe
     the sea will open

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

earth note 648

roots anchor sun
sea swallows light
green sprouts push through

first as rhythm
then as song

--- e b bortz

Thursday, January 03, 2019

earth note 647

iguana highway
is not so much a physical place
as a frame of mind
where the outliers scrape through life
in spite of every aspersion
thrown from the leather seats
of a rented camaro convertible
playing the music of the road
but missing the meaning of it all

the beach sand is brown
beautiful in every angle of the sun
but the road goes beyond
all of that
the waters will rage
as sure as the colors
on the get-a-way brochures
this isn't about ink to paper
but about the perserverence
it'll take to make it
another day

the sidestreets and alleys
are filled with musicians and poets
they didn't arrive in any particular cast
they're not definite
in any one plan or even two
but the bus to miami
might as well be to another planet
the mind and heart will always return
to the authentic but desperate song
having nowhere else to carry it

it's said that the iguana was transported
and placed along the highway clandestinely
to spite the other travelers
their bright green
hides well in the grass
and they move
with the speed of a wild night
in south beach
even as the artist starves
and the well connected
change into their evening suits

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

earth note 646

crossing over iguana highway
the eagle eye of a turkey buzzard
knows where the road leads
from the instinct of talons
     holding deeply held secrets
          dead or alive
out of mangrove thicket
without as much as a gesture
to the incognito
soft perfectly round intense eyes
     of the ibis
left to their elegance
group mentality
gentle curve of the beak
     to glean through the grass

--- e b bortz

Friday, December 28, 2018

the long reach of stan musial

donora to cudjoe bay

to let me stretch the truth a bit

wouldn't you know that at 2:30 a.m.
i suddenly wake up
and roll up a yoga mat
swinging it fast & level
like it was a louisville slugger
at an imaginary baseball
that turns out to be
the rustling of a sidearm curveball mouse
near the plantain chips
in their noisy bag & dugout

putting on slippers
(no cleats)
just in case
i can stretch it into a double
sliding in high if necessary
or even trying a good kick
with no regard
for mixing metaphors

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

earth note 645

white street pier, key west, christmas, government shutdown

the bocce ball courts are empty today
but i still hear the old men growling
even if they've decided
to sleep in late today

"those somnabitches are talking about
cutting social security & medicare again
they should stick their silver spoons
right up their privileged asses"

i guess this bocce ball court
will be our line in the sand
if that's what it comes to

merry christmas

--- e b bortz

Monday, December 24, 2018

earth note 644

i awoke to a gale
highway one deserted
a most unusual moment
leaving only the wind singing

the day before was different
the heat and ocean
brought out the well-dressed
     and us
grungy and independent
never a dress code that can't be crashed

and then there's coffee
but it's never strong enough
the brain can always use a tuneup
so keep looking

there are perfect tans and convertibles
and lots of selfies from all corners
of the body
bless 'em all

a pet white rabbit decided to escape
and throw in lot with the wild hens and roosters
staying clear of the traffic is a feat
requires a quick foot and luck

cormorants seagulls pelicans
skim and dive
fish past dusk
all instinct
no coffee needed

--- e b bortz

Sunday, December 23, 2018

earth note 643

key west

coconuts dried up & splitting
on the world stage
     fronds tremble
like a gray beard shakes at the root
a windy sunday has nowhere else to go
big mutts race across the dog park
never conscious of the peril of a thumb print
or the iris of an eye
just beyond today's broken sound barriers

--- e b bortz

Friday, December 21, 2018

earth note 642

key west

power lines straddling the bay
windy high tension
     tension crossing
anchors in concrete footing
     legs and feet
keeping a sexy slope
like high heeled sneakers

sombrero beach, marathon

winter solstice
wind burn
sand burn
digs deep into the skin
leaving a sharp silica track
sun goes hiding
deluge moves closer
full gray moon
where only the whitecaps standup
     stand out

--- e b bortz

Monday, December 17, 2018

if the light won't stop you the ocean will

then i saw the light
and the palm trees
and the tourists
asking for directions
which in key west
can mean a lot of different things
variations on the theme
     like where did the old man
really hang out
wasn't it sloppy something
and when does the sunset celebration
and who were the original people here
before the conchs

all of this might be so irrelevant
or maybe it's what's
really relevant
in a hedonistic world

even if you missed
all the happenings
fifty years ago
there's still these small wood-frame
artist cottages
next to the key west cemetery
that sing thru the night
just a few decibels below
the crowing of the roosters
     still free
before the storm

--- e b bortz

Friday, December 14, 2018

earth note 641

i know you've walked 1500 miles
to find this empty bench
i can tell from your footprints
they have that worn look to them

the tide goes low a couple times a day
the sea folds out into a flat gleam
you told me once that everything
has a purpose and yours is to heal

there are pelicans that move their gullet
like they're swallowing a fish
but i'm not so sure that they're not just faking it
or showing off for other pelicans sometimes

if you stand in one place for too long
the sand will burn an image
on the bottom of your feet
so you need to keep walking

there are seas and empty benches everywhere
once you know your purpose

--- e b bortz

Thursday, December 13, 2018

earth note 640

there is no pathway to the sun
the ocean keeps secrets

--- e b bortz