Saturday, December 31, 2011

earth note 165

among the scattering
of dead leaves
there are islands of green
even on new year's eve

& even in the clump
of maples
every branch
a fine etched drawing

stands against grey
skies ambiguous
& overcast
not hopeful & not hopeless

it makes no sense
to mull all the possibilities
like a solitary exercise
sophistry ain't necessarily enlightenment

to follow the sun
when it actually rises
might be a beginning

--- e b bortz

(published in Jawbone Open Book, May 4, 2012)
(published in, Jan 1, 2012)

Friday, December 23, 2011

earth note 164

khao sok national park, thailand, 1989

heat and downpour
swelter an original rainforest
sweet mist growing
you can taste it
swallowing each peak
one by one
the ultimate inside-out cleanse
keeping perspective
everything rides
on bicycle tires
rough limestone
.....a cloud touching ground

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

earth note 163

a stand of bare black branches
eke out a living
perching crows
shuffle thru frozen pizza
cold rain turns white

--- e b bortz

Sunday, December 18, 2011

when oliver high school closes

at the end of the school year
how will the streets & avenues go
that used to be
the skeletal frame
of the whole

charles street
marshall avenue
california & termon & davis avenues
woods run
brighton & columbia places

self-fulfilling politician prophets
have long predicted & facilitated
depopulating & dying
of the component neighborhoods
after all
no one loafs on the stoops anymore
music imposters have invaded & replaced
the marcels and the chantels
yet the continuum
and great grandchildren
of the last great industrial migration
cling on desperate fringes
warhola scrapes along
sorting out
a turquoise front fender of a '55 ford
that used to park during school hours
on island avenue
near the corner store

now closed
near the oily oliver football field
now grass

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 21, 2011)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

as the troops come home

we ask ourselves
how will the bodies
be renewed
to refuse another deployment
care for the children
live by the magic
telling each life story
grow the natural within the maze
deconstruct/replace authority constructs
find loving courage
that rests within
.....the meek who touch
.....sand and sea
.....with open hands

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 18, 2011)

Monday, December 12, 2011

on the bus down

to downtown
the forty degree temperature
a good omen
for occupy pittsburgh winterization
in progress
and a robust sun
glaring thru
a child's hand-printed bus window
it was the downer
of knowing that
this sunday morning
had the news of
two more shootings
in my neighborhood
one near the circle k
we stopped at
just saturday morning
dropping blood
as rich & deep & painful
as the deepest
of issues
from the big picture
as vast and as small
as any derivative trader

where every victim needs a name
a chant
a song

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 13, 2011)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

earth note 162

deer and canine
hoof & foot prints
frozen forms
a little jagged
into grassy mud

.....boundaries fall

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 8, 2011)

Sunday, December 04, 2011


death models hide
in the ashes
of mouthpieces
fossilized by their own closed loops

with talk bouncing around
rubber rooms
sliding down sanitized marble halls
from the comfort of one-way doorways
cushioned boardrooms
cocksure no doubt
that the reckoning
can be managed
from the insulated shelters
orbiting every hour
on the hour
it doesn't really matter
who else knows
the scheme
the silos
are all armed
in the shadows
danger is relative
the profit-line

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 6, 2011)