Friday, February 29, 2008

central park 1967 summer concert

stevie wonder once again
found harmonica heart
was made to love her
as we loved

me & marian
kendra & franklin trying to make sense
& dialectics of the entire
two hundred thousand individual bodies
with their own way to enlightenment
without the map makers
& confusion of history

so stevie sang past the pain
to a place
just beyond our reach
yet we reached
& it gave us chills & warmth
all at the same time
finding the stuff beneath
that makes you understand
how the rain can soothe
even a parched body

& days of rage
still a year away

--- e b bortz

Saturday, February 23, 2008

windless light snowfall

drops straight
putting depth perspective
front & center
three small white pine
coated veil
covers a stoic ice frame

hundred crows pass through

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

earth note 111

1991...somewhere near poriyya, israel

it was hard bicycling the drum beats
to bob marley
legs ache last ascent
an overlook sea of galilee
vista & hostel without travelers
opened a door
and let me in

an hour later the surrounding hills
were the darkest passage
no moon
but the clarity of the milky way

so i walked down the road
to smell a landscape of scruffy pine
& stooped down from time to time
to feel the warm asphalt surface
& road break
with rocky brush
a perimeter into the unknown
much like a skin covering the organs
a darkness with purpose

feet wander where they want
and when the familiar road
left me
it became an opportunity
to stop and listen
without definition or direction
not a car nor dog
nor light nor gleam from galilee
lost & peace at the same time

was there a link
between these footsteps
and those before me
or was i an intruder
how does the earth
keep such a record
of those living
& deceased

a cool wind
from the north
gave me bearings
& i turned toward it

--- e b bortz

Friday, February 08, 2008

Change Revisited

I was twelve years old in the summer of 1960, as my father
whispered to his closest friend at the kitchen table
in our hot cement-block farmhouse.

“Hymen, it looks like the people might vote for change
this year.”

“I’m not sure Lou. But I think Lenin said something
like ‘give me three workers and we’ll make a revolution’.”

“Yeah, but right now, the people are on the move...
they aren’t waiting for us,” Lou answered.

In our family, the 1950s was a time of economic desperation,
caused directly by the witch-hunts against us personally, and
against communists, labor and left-wing activists of all kinds,
all over the country.

But 1950s America was also the Korean War, economic stagnation
and poverty, segregation, lynching of African-Americans,
the suppression of women, the disenfranchisement of black people
and young people...a political system so corrupted by the thugs
of big money machines, racism, and fear, that anything close to
thoughtfulness was seen as almost radical.

This was the context in which JFK was elected 35th President
of the United States.

And of course that was only the opening of the decade and the
beginning of rising uncharted course of turmoil
and transformation lie ahead...a cultural-generational-human rights
revolution bringing millions into the streets with marches, boycotts,
sit-ins, teach-ins, draft resistance in the face of a war that
extinguished the lives of millions...Vietnamese, Cambodians, Americans.

Are we a better, more conscious people because of all this?

You’ll have to answer that question yourself.

Maybe there are isolated windows in time when symbol is as important
as substance. When a society has proclaimed moral abandonment as
its mantra for decades, the not-so-simple act of awakening and
unleashing our imaginations can be a revolutionary message in itself.

--- e b bortz

(published in The New People, February 2008)
(published in khubz, Spring 2008)