Saturday, June 29, 2013

earth note 251

the big picture
gets in the way
of seeing and feeling
the small things
like differentiating the wild flowers
from aggressive weeds

so what seemed
like an arrowhead
washed from the clay
and brought out from burial
by torrential rains
appeared as just another
blend of rock

certain to be overlooked
by urban folk tales
     in fact
most everything about
the lives of the original inhabitants
had been maligned
on the way to conquest

yet it is in this realm
     in this small historic component
a drum will lead and be heard
     and great truths will surface

--- e b bortz

Friday, June 28, 2013

untitled blues

sometimes i imagine
a flooded burning planet
poisonous machinery and processes
washed out greasy streets
with the scientific evidence
still alarming in the queue
describing how it bled out
and dried up
     mostly without a whimper

and the established advocates
still shuffling       waving in their
pale earth-toned power suits
and self-congratulatory citations
riding a storm of toxic atmosphere
a whirlwind without direction
clinging to a raft made of petitions
and resolutions that passed
like some kind of life preserver
     which they weren't

and even after all the lobbying
of media brokers
congress members and presidents
corporate whores and nonprofit do-gooders
nothing moved decisively enough
to make a fundamental paradigm shift
     a new paradigm also a clique now

there's no intention here
to color the future
as bleak as it actually
     might be
     we all find our own coping mechanisms
with the numbness that surrounds us
needing context
from the endless assault
on all that's considered
alive and vibrant
the best
     of being human

before the great reckoning
can the witnesses and survivors
     expect a coming together?
echoing bells in every town square
riverfront and harbor
everyone speaking from singing bowls
sustained messages
from the inside depths
of a thousand frayed      naked forests
bending to their limits
just before their limbs shatter?

and from the ambivalent university
of apologetics
there might only be another
like an oily structure that breeds
fear      accommodation      conformity
     another betrayal of an entire generation
and for all the talk of responsibility
the decision-making structures are precise
meshing each gear
in sterility
insulated beyond
the slipping troubled masses
out of range
     of the mirrors and truth tellers
          purgatory lock-up incorporated

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

earth note 250

thunderstorms rocked the ridge
setting off some car alarms
as if disputing
the main hypothesis
of the president's speech
on energy
     coddling up
     with the nukes
     and frackers
     and lyin' 'clean coal' hucksters

the skies opened a plethora
of white lightning
the new panorama took over
from tired models
of disease & greed
drowning out the droning
of the moneychangers
     turkeys regrouping in the brush
     as a fox crept up
     on the edge of the ridge
     rain spilling rivers
     toward the rivers
flushing out illusions of every brimstone gospel

--- e b bortz

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

Friday, June 21, 2013

quick review of gasland 2 from a former green party congressional candidate

stay in the democratic/republican frack pond
as little or as long as you want
when you finally come out and shower
you'll still smell like shit
your conscience having been surgically removed
your mind

--- e b bortz

(published in, June 24, 2013)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

perfect summer day depression blues

the yachts and speedboats are piling up
tax write-offs at the marina
a kayak glides past free
     river cooperates
down by the casino
a self-help gambler's anonymous shingle
flutters in the breeze
     the phone number may be out-of-order
     might not pick you up
     unless you own bootstraps
     & a private economy to ride out
     the big waves
you can go barefoot
learn to tread water
like the rest of us

the geese know
how to work the system
even in a crowd & bicycles
     like the sky
          finds perfect blue

--- e b bortz

(published in, July 31, 2013)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Friday, June 14, 2013



an escape as easy as
dark turkish coffee
grounds on my tongue
reminding me of a fleeting kiss
a jolt to the roof of my mouth
even on a saturday
yafa     yafo
palestine     israel
a taste
still fresh
as the brown voiced men
at the table in the corner
the proprietor inviting me
to bring my bicycle in
listen to the streets
     of the displaced

--- e b bortz

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

Saturday, June 01, 2013

earth note 249

after a good rain
the loam opens
breathes new life
into its body

if there's a way
to capture this process
save it
make a path from the withering

the maples have turned
their hands over
tasting renewal

--- e b bortz