Sunday, December 30, 2012

earth note 221

as quick as the heat came
it left
twenty-five mile gusts
from the east
sail off the gulf
as if the whitecaps
could whip up a storm
all on their own
my wheels spinning true
     growing legs of their own
a constant tailwind surges to my lower back
guessing i'm peaking near thirty miles an hour
flat out
head down
     leaving the dogs
     no time to bark

this sixty degree wakeup
     this morning
     this clarity
     this misplaced midwest autumn morning
          this reprieve
          from the tropics

--- e b bortz

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

earth note 220

it felt odd
a dog day afternoon
coming up on a florida keys
     new year
the osprey seems content
high in the nest
     not moving
one pelican
     with not much ambition
     skimming across the water

small puddles near the canal
     like as if they formed overnight
     motionless in the heat

i share a moist sweet mangrove
     organic decay
     thicket of silence

--- e b bortz

Friday, December 28, 2012

glasses of beer

spilling on the sidewalk
running over the sticky stuff
near sloppy joe's
key west if you want it
     there's your metaphor
every blind spot
     comes out of the closet eventually
     messy nonetheless
as sunset celebration misses again
     mountains of empty clothing
piling up at big pine flea market
     thrift stores under their bulges
call it excess
like yachts gathering moss
     in a wall street kind of funk
everybody (knows)        then squirms
inside their earphones
duval street is a makeover
     just sayin
     it might be
     last go-a-round
--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 31, 2012)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

earth note 219

the darkness of the canal
sobering if nothing else
not the waterway
     of glossy colorful brochures
not exactly the best neighbor
though functional
     as our kayaks are functional
as artificial
     it is

on occasion
     an oil slick fouls it
between judgmental stares
     and outboard motors
it's clear
     we're only passing through

--- e b bortz

Saturday, December 22, 2012

earth note 218

sunlight flickers through palm leaves
with a strong wind
it seems like
flashing eyelids
     a lover's dream

--- e b bortz

(published by Green Panda Press, January 2013)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

from the cruise ship

spills a thousand pieces of silver
     gold tarnished by a broken sunset
every earth-toned song from shore by mustafa
bounces off white
     sanitarium walls of the ship
     a distorted high-energy intruder
     surveys the landscape
     shadowing the manicure
     of perfectly placed palms
     stark crisp uniforms
     shifting around the deck

another attempt to drown
every creation of original dirt
     sweating armpits
     artist hands homeless
     whitewashed dreams
     stalking mallory square key west
          failing ultimately
          by next high tide

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 20, 2012)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Occupy Nonviolence

The massacre in Newtown, Connecticut has exposed the essential political failure of the so-called political leadership in our country.

Democrats and Republicans alike have failed miserably in leading our society toward a more nonviolent future. In times of crisis, such as now, the political class nibbles around the corners of the problem, but lacks the vision and capacity to really tackle the culture of violence at its roots. After all, there's an entire military-industrial-financial-media-educational-prison complex that relies on establishment conventional 'wisdom' for so-called solutions.

Independent of this abyss, stands one political party practicing a fundamentally different kind of politics founded on nonviolence, grassroots democracy, ecology, social and economic justice. This is the Green Party.

The fact that the Democrats and Republicans will ultimately wither on the vine, a kind of obsolescence based on a natural historical process, is no comfort for communities and families in the painful here and now. Only a new grassroots political engagement that boldly builds a culture of nonviolence throughout society, can offer any meaningful solace to the grieving.

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 17, 2012)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

earth note 217

the road to
no name key
has power lines now
     slicing the wind across the water
     still choppy
     boldly unpredictable
half a dozen key deer
grazing in reach of a woman
tending her small cottage front yard
     sheltering near shadowy mangroves
     filling in like a forest
     when left alone

the thicket
covers my bicycle
at the endangered key deer posting
     without authorization
     i guess i'm supposed to piss myself
          i break the rules and join the other
     animal intruders
     long live those anarchist
     pelicans      ospreys      turkey buzzards

meeting up later
with highway one
     the mad and only highway to key west
what's left for the hair on my legs
just about
gets a shave
     crazy-driven (textin?) camaro
          keeping that pearl color body
               like a true party animal

--- e b bortz 

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

morning news

the newspaper listed him
as a "52-year-old transient"
who died on the north side
near the railroad tracks
     near the place the openings
     in the railroad trestle
     got cemented up      closed up recently
     to keep "transients" out
          pittsburgh city fathers
          following their political noses
          right thru election day
          throwing their weight around
          detached in their warm homes
          glutting unabashedly
          holding hands
          around the holiday table

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 14, 2012)

Monday, December 10, 2012

earth note 216

yesterday i heard a fisher say
this december was more like summer
the heat and humidity unusual
puddles that don't evaporate easily
overnight condensation leaving
beads of sweat on the kayaks
     like droplets gathering
     then running down
just before the sun
finds and pokes a hole
thru the clouds

lizard blends in
under the kitchen table
     confused perhaps

--- e b bortz

photo by sandy hazley

Friday, December 07, 2012

earth note 215

fragile as the key deer
the slight body of land
looks southwest with disbelief
that the present circumstances
will protect the endangered
animals     coral     mangroves
air and water
there's always another cruise ship
with its target
on key west
duval street prepares for another onslaught
     how many silly tee shirts does it take
     to screw in the christmas lights

still wandering and nostalgic
past the old houses
with roosters and caribbean music
now upstaged by pastels
nonetheless stale
     a housing complex thrown together
     without a sunset

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 7, 2012)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Monday, December 03, 2012

earth note 214

dark water shimmers
with the canal
foam near the mouth
washes ashore
hit hard
by what's blowing off the gulf
whitecaps distract my eyes
launch bottom murky
small fish scramble
     kayak venture
     waits another day

--- e b bortz