Saturday, September 29, 2012

earth note 209

if the early morning fog
had lasted a few more hours
maybe the confused
would have looked
more seriously at the distance
between their preconceived notions
and what's really on the ground
the most modern of machine prints
     nothing more than tracks
          to our forearms

--- e b bortz

(published in, Sept 29, 2012)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

earth note 208

in the valleys and plains
below the tetons
the early morning has a special chill
even in july

at first light
the old dog
gets me up
like a puppy

ready to find
the universe
his black paw lifts
towards elk     sometimes bison

jumping out of the tent
as the zipper opens
his head eyes nose
become one with the land

our only constant
are the smooth stones
scattering in the ever changing
gros ventre riverbed

--- e b bortz

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

earth note 207

there's a young maple
out back
that may not survive
another year
though it's had
a good/bad
bumpy few years

the deer have browsed
nipping off some
of the sweetest new branches
and more recently
scraped their antlers
repeatedly up and down
a small mostly vertical trunk
naked now
maybe bleeding
even at such a young age

but the maple has plodded along
and reached eight feet
tall enough to dress
a good cluster of perfect leaves
and the actual beginnings
of a color burst
not to be ignored

clapping my hands
at the deer
scares them away for now
serves as an applause for the maple
     vents me as powerless

--- e b bortz

(published in, Sept 26, 2012)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

siphon this

after years of misinformation
among so-called
strategic voters
     so-called liberals & progressives who believe
     that staying in the coveted loop of pseudo influence
     somehow creates change
     or rectifies the historical record
          even while arguing for manifest destiny
          of all things
          an exceptional ism part
          of 'historical development'
          and seeing exploitation as
               so twentieth century
          or the raping of the earth
          as balanced accommodation
          to the corporate state

the ojibwe still bleed from the bounty hunters

i find myself uneasy but still resolute
     reaching out
     with my one inalienable vote
     not obliging
     power brokers
          and empty suits

--- e b bortz

(published in, Sept 23, 2012)  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

september is renewal

not an oxymoron
the rivers come to life again
leaving the dog days of august
an empty heat-sink

new color drips into the hillsides
biasing my eyes
     for new directions
     are inevitable

winter stores
are being rebuilt
from the carelessness
of summer

there is motion
in my feet
     i know not
     from / to

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

earth note 206

autumn rhythm
arrived today
on the back of white cloud clusters
background in committed blue
cold air filling
     every formation / movement
     everybody transient
          northwest to southeast

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

earth note 205

those three wild turkeys
out behind the house
sitting on a low hanging tree branch
overlooking the ridge
their heads darting
left and right
     where are the rest
     having seen a group of six before
consider them the sentry
tuned in to gun shots
in the neighborhood
     (it happens often)
wondering where & when they'll get
turkey t-shirts
     don't shoot.....nonviolent
     love a my wings

--- e b bortz

Thursday, September 13, 2012

earth note 204

i never felt the summer heat
of montreal
only the quiet snow banks
     a peace to itself
shoulders of frozen rivers
stoic evergreens
     i am

--- e b bortz

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

Monday, September 10, 2012

i know i've sacrificed subtlety

at times
mixing the metaphors
lazy and/or impatient      no doubt
& i don't make excuses
'cept to say
frustration is as much a verb
as a noun
now you see it
relying on the dictionary again
     to fill the empty lines

--- e b bortz

Sunday, September 09, 2012

recovering notes from the deep, part 4

the anxiety
of riding into late evening
with the next installment of my column
     bicycling notes
tucked under my windbreaker
     and nothing but
the forecast of another twenty-five dollar check
from a struggling rural newspaper
after detailing the facts of the
last county commissioners meeting
and the citizens who might speak up
     for transparency
     the most radical of ideas
from the great north woods of minnesota

and yet
the anxiety of not writing at all
     was greater
than any other scenario
making the early blast
     of spring
an arousing wakeup
leaving no doubt
that a new road was consciously
being taken
and wherever it would lead
would by necessity
     not be
where i was
right then

my hands had bore
many thousands of days
     of grit
     never to be hidden
     a part of any reality to come
          a confessional of sorts
          as uncomfortable as the word might be
and there wasn't an illusion being fed
     that i       would admit to
     since the way those spring clouds converged
     was clear evidence
that the returning canada geese
     came just in time

--- e b bortz

Saturday, September 08, 2012

earth note 203

what hangs in the balance
can't be measured
by gurus or pundits
     a cold rain dulls the green
     leaving the tree tops waving goodbye
     just before the crash and downpour
     so unexpected the results can be
and i know you've thrown in your lot
with the visible
forgetting what drives
the cosmos
but that's

--- e b bortz

(published in, Sept 10, 2012)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

no winners


i'd be happy
to let go
     my straw men
     all high minded
     pillars of the community
when & if something new
the perpetual road
isn't just a continuation
of old clich├ęs
empty atm machines
     living under a bridge
world war 3 survivalists
     likely only cockroaches

force fed progress
     grand finale fireworks
          raised to spectacle


even a short time before my father died
it was apparent that he would never accept
a world of broken dreams
a be all end all
for a revolutionary
envisioning the possibilities
regardless of the immediate conditions

and i knew all this from the last twinkles
in his last good eye
me trying to sing goody goody
in the same spirit as he sang it
in the pain of his immediacy
     his soul
     still on the battlefields
     of the spanish people
     1937 and 38


there's not much point
in drawing conclusions
facing what is here
is enough
if there's an inner candle
sing with it
while it's still hot

--- e b bortz

(published in, Sept 4, 2012)