Thursday, March 28, 2013

there's no production schedule

out of poem bankruptcy
agony and melancholy
    creative twins
    feed the spirit

sustenance is the darkness
of the abandoned blooming mill
    a growth product
    of many words

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

earth note 234

between the sudden snowmelt
collapsing       pouring off
bare branches like sweat
a mad rush to the river
becomes a race
with a wedge of dark storm clouds
moving in       passing through
afternoon remains a question mark
all characters still in the queue
with their own logic

a patch of blue sky
sneaks in from the north
rolls out a contiguous form
     of new possibilities

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

let the ladder climbers rise

to the top
of their imaginary pyramids

if they end up
with their heads
in the clouds

we can always
communicate with them
by kite colors

yellow will indicate we need to talk
     face to face
earth brown will show our dissatisfaction
     if we get no response
orange will let everyone know 
     that a great vision is in the offing
blue will be our color
     when the weight of the pyramid
     becomes unbearable

no kite
might mean
we are pulling the bottom out
from under them

     and creating circles

--- e b bortz

(published in, March 29, 2013)

Saturday, March 23, 2013


can't be co-opted
it's that intangible
just when you thought
the demons had
broken through again
with their proverbial whitewash
a hand or a voice
rises to the light
a range of vision

--- e b bortz

(published in, April 10, 2013)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Friday, March 22, 2013

most livable city

two days into spring
sitting in a cold van
across the street
from a busy goodwill store
a few blocks over from
three men and a shopping cart
positioning themselves
in the brush
along the river embankment

if you leap the riverfront park
& a couple of river crossings
you'll land beside a dozen tents
braving the wind
smack up against
a cold concrete overpass
expressway indifference
leading advocate
for a casino
& a couple of stadiums
     turning their backs
as the snow starts up again

--- e b bortz

(published in, March 23, 2013)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

earth note 233

wooden wind chimes
like drumming
a clairvoyant hollowness
not to be confused
with randomness
there's a rhythm
if you choose
     to listen

--- e b bortz

Sunday, March 17, 2013

earth note 232

the little colorado river
in the arizona high desert
is nothing more than a dry wash
most of the year

if you walk the riverbed
long enough
you'll hear sharp canyon walls
speak truth

of empty water vessels
and sudden dust storms

of a rich blue sky
with no promises

rolling sage brush
sheared in the wind

rocks that replicate the sun
too hot for the touch

rough brown texture
supplanting green

life on the bare edge
     fragile species      go hiding

--- e b bortz

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

Monday, March 11, 2013

i know i'm a believer

in the ideal
rather than the real
     sugar coating the possible
     isn't like leaving reality to the cynics
     more like refusing
     to be willingly bored
     into submission
choosing to escape the droning
     of some hard facts
     doesn't make one an accomplice
     to oppression
it's more like leaving materialism
     to the sophist philosophers
     & their neat diagrams
          choosing instead
          to throw poems
          like bombs

--- e b bortz

(published in, March 13, 2013)

Saturday, March 09, 2013

earth note 231

the glassy calm
on the ohio river
is a disguise

the dark green water
is a color
that avoids definition

only the tug and its armada
of heaping coal barges
are speaking

the geese squawk
but have no standing
in this court

--- e b bortz

(published in, March 11, 2013)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

from the top of a 50-foot norway spruce

a hawk
head twitching left then right
eyes for prey
soaring off instead
piercing a city valley
blending with traffic 

--- e b bortz

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

Monday, March 04, 2013

earth note 230

koh samui, thailand, 1989

under the strain
of being overrun
by the farang
the fishing families
and banana farmers
     that still carry on
     eke out subsistence living
look to the sun and moon
     to their hands and tools
     to the weather and a slipping landscape
survival something of a gamble
     powerlessness a fait accompli
          where only soil and sea have reverence

--- e b bortz

Sunday, March 03, 2013