Thursday, August 30, 2012

isaac wins republican & democratic presidential nominations by default

so finally the fossil hogs
have lost one
at least in the surreal sense
     fixating instead on an antidote for trichinosis
a desperate lot of characters
aimless convention minions
lining up legions
comatose or apologizing for
     and via surveillance incorporated
coal mountain-top removal pillagers
gas fracking water poisoning land men
on & offshore oil barons baronesses & bankers
all feigning competition with
     the uncontainable
     metastasized nuclear hucksters
and of course
you already know
about climate-change-denying
locked & loaded
fog-of-war storm troopers
coming home to roost
hiding temporarily underground
dodging drought starved wildfires
     offering spit
     looking to buy the next election
          or coup de tat
          on lay-a-way

--- e b bortz

(published in, Aug 31, 2012)

Monday, August 27, 2012

earth note 202

are we still curious enough
to be looking
for a unified field theory
for life on this fragile planet
that connects every being
plant and animal
with one another
regardless of station
language or no language
conscious or unconscious
     an unbreakable bond
that's not negotiable
     doesn't require believing
     is omnipresent
          and as simple or complex
as one cell
     in the sea?

--- e b bortz

(published in, Sept 8, 2012)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Friday, August 24, 2012

a note to the republican convention

there's a swelter
moving in today
that will pull
the curtain down
leaving a room full
of the disbelieving
looking at an empty stage
waiting for the stars to arrive
     or maybe align
but the result will be the same
they'll all break out
in a collective sweat
     and like from sartre
          no exit

--- e b bortz

(published in, Aug 24, 2012)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

earth note 201

the ohio river had a buzz yesterday
as i rode the riverfront trail
it looked like a traffic jam
down at the casino
many gray hairs getting off
     a riverboat full
     being shuffled in for lunch
     and gambling losses

--- e b bortz

Sunday, August 19, 2012

earth note 200

i find it easy
to revert
to the dream again

what exists this
very minute
leaves the muse abandoned

misty hills
in southern thailand
make no promises

but the illusion
is just too real
to let go

a thousand years
may separate us
from enlightenment

so let the magic

--- e b bortz

Saturday, August 18, 2012

we all breathe within this morality play

no hiding off-stage
     & it has nothing in common
with how society
interrupts it
& then kisses its own ass

or how religion
through words & symbols
instead of deeds
     hiding the poverty
          of the sophists

no one gives anyone
any rights
which are
     not for an authority
     to grant

there are no answers here
make your own covenant
          beneath your breast

--- e b bortz

(published in, Aug 19, 2012)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

earth note 199

i don't know why
one of the white pines
in the backyard
has brown needles
at the very top
even with a full green apron
surrounding them
     too high for the deer to reach
     maybe blight or drought
left its dead mark
but i won't clip the appendage
     the contrast has a purpose
          life and death
          need to coexist

--- e b bortz

(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

an honest dialogue

with an aluminum can
blowing     clanging
     down the avenue
that's what this political season
has come to

a bit of truth
spills out here & there
thanks to the greens
     certainly not the apologists
for the big money six-packs

they all want to find 'common ground'
for austerity
for 'take backs'
for 'pulling your ass up by your own bootstraps'

keep listening
     where there's a loose aluminum can
there just might be

--- e b bortz

(published in, Aug 15, 2012)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

earth note 198

so for now
even with the journey
the light refuses
to be categorized
in some predefined
magazine format
there's a mist
that pierces the skin
     never leaves it
          becomes your body
round pebbles
     smoothed by millennia
a fractured butte
     still standing straight
a thousand mysteries
     of the rivers' wombs

--- e b bortz

Saturday, August 11, 2012

earth note 197

somewhere between chinook & glasgow montana
along highway 2
two 60ish cross-country bicycle riders
heading east
stopped in this little town
(the name escapes me)
to clean & repair their machines
wheel skewers and bearings disassembled
a neighbor's water hose made available
to cleanup the mud
from a previous day's travel & campsite
and yet they talked
most calmly about the route they were doing
by way of the adventure cycling maps from missoula
which made me remember
one of my first published stories
about bicycle touring in southern thailand
     published in the adventure cycling magazine
     twenty years ago but who's counting
     which made this whole episode
     somewhat familiar
          with strangers
               no more

--- e b bortz

Thursday, August 09, 2012


at gros ventre
within sight of the tetons
i fell asleep
to the courage
of shoshone drumbeats and songs
a message for all to hear

our own thanksgiving of sorts
taken by force
the machinery of so-called
'new world' empire

what makes the shoshone
reunion here now?
how have we become witnesses?

between dances
the shoshone chief
this was our hunting land
our sacred ground
our spirits
have lived within these mountains
since the origin of time

--- e b bortz

(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

earth note 196

the new tires
(not the retreads we nearly collided with)
kept us
& the van from becoming
a foggy mountain breakdown
     like in the old days
unless you're considering
everything else you witnessed
including the crazy-ass drivers
with too much texting
under their
     too fat thumbs
     called goal or success
     oriented tools
even as the roadside grew
into a hangman's knot
     there will always be enough rope
     to wrap every present
     in time for christmas

and the big & small rigs
& roadways
hell bent
are nothing
if not the doorway
of the empire
keeping every eye & nose
tied like a ring
for the unfathomable energy shortage
or the next day
     & all the armies (not of god but of profit)
     standing ready
     to pounce any inkling
          another way

--- e b bortz

(published in, Aug 10, 2012)

Friday, August 03, 2012

earth note 195

large brown feathers
     white specs underneath
cross i80 eastbound
touching down in the median
     for a moment
then darting back
in time for me to notice
that it looked like a hawk
     leaving empty-handed
back to nebraska tree-line
     masking dried-up corn fields
          front man for drying up planet
masking entrenched denials
     masking what goes for political discourse
          right now

--- e b bortz

(published in, Aug 6, 2012)