Saturday, September 28, 2013

nothing is irrelevant

1.  my better judgment
slow down
don't rush this
the words need
to germinate on their own
after a while
they have a way
of regrouping
your immediate vision
finding a place
from memory
you never thought
would see the light of day

2.  if you're over 60
& can stand
on one foot
for five minutes
you should probably
try out
for the senior olympics
they'll have to find
a place for you
even if it's
equipment manager

3.  breakfast
is way overrated
unless you religiously
abandon sugar
the secrets
of battle creek michigan
shouldn't be spread around
like the flu

4.  o.k.
this thing has dragged on
long enough
sun's been up for hours
fetch the paddles
point the kayaks north
leave the rubber ducks
in a splash
with the media whores
after all
     all art is inflatable

--- e b bortz

Thursday, September 26, 2013

earth note 260

the maples came through
across the avenue
making the transition
like changing hats
from green to rust
     disregarding the morning traffic

opening eyes
have but
to see it all
     a perspective
that explains intuitively
     why every forest

--- e b bortz

Thursday, September 19, 2013

i'm writing this for my own clarity

The cosmos has spoken.

The ideological storm coming will transpose everything we thought of previously as 'politics'. There will be no vindication or rescue: liberal, progressive, moderate, socialist, libertarian, tea partier, large or small d Democrat, large or small r Republican, independent this or that, revolutionary, 99%, a believer or non-believer, corporate monarchist or safe-haven follower, or any derivative of anything else...your analysis is obsolete.

The oceans and storms and floods and poisons and droughts and wildfires and poverty and violence is rising and your safe assumptions and coalitions are no longer valid.

Politics will boil down to hundreds of transformed Green Parties, standing alone worldwide, against all other political mish-mash: co-opters, framers, apologists, indentured leaders, obedient followers, no-label labelers, do-it-yourselfers...but don't fall for the line that this is somehow 'green sectarianism' or a utopian pipedream.

It's survival.

There has never been a middle ground or a table to be compromised on with mother nature. She laughs and cries for everyone deluded.

There's still time for a choice. Make yours count.

--- e b bortz

(published in, Sept 19, 2013)
(published in, Sept 20, 2013)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


at the bottom
of an empty washtub
where the grit's left
bare against rippled steel
something leads you
to hear a beat
that only you can make
     detached from it
you thought
everything would fall
into place
     you miscued
a hollow sound rises
like a drum
tingles the hair
in your armpits
squeezes out confusing rhythms
always dropping a half-step
     you try to latch on
but fail to catch up
like a bead
sweating it out

--- e b bortz

Monday, September 16, 2013

the poetry reading

was on monterey street
a couple blocks up
from the y
a place where i honed
my bumper pool
& pin-setting skills
fifty years before
(when the streetcar still ran)
and though the neighborhood
is called 'gentrified' now
i'm still at a loss
to make a connection
with that
and words like
'gentle' or 'gentry'
none of that applies
from what i guess is
my historical vantage point
     there's animation
in the dissonance
that rings out
     scores of voices
     wash down
     but never whitewash
          soot-laced bricks

--- e b bortz

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

Saturday, September 14, 2013

earth note 259

the marsh inhales
a strong deep breath
landing the kayak
on the edge of the weeds
beside a jellyfish
quivering near shore
green sandy bottom
takes in the sun

breaking from stillness
a blue heron
moves in protest

--- e b bortz

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

Thursday, September 05, 2013


let me see
is there a new way to justify
going to war
     we'll protect civilians
even if we kill lots of them
and the more that flee
the easier it will be
     now go
find yourself a safe haven

     i know
it won't be american families carrying coffins
in their birkenstocks
through the streets
shouting grief
     they usually play taps & do it quietly
and don't worry about the money
there's plenty to feed war profiteers
hiding in the fine print
of every ledger
guns & butter keep the machine oiled

don't we all love wrapping ourselves
in the shroud of phony sacrifice
convincing ourselves that we're
riding the high road
     a gutter it's always been
for every official bureaucrat
there's an army of apologists
     & lonely dying soldiers
     too late
     for atonement

--- e b bortz

(published in, Sept 5, 2013)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Monday, September 02, 2013

seventeen septembers

since we first saw
toronto spreading out
like a flock of geese
     every morning's a wakeup
our campsite drying out
from last night's downpour

the west humber river trail
finding the cracks more pronounced now
the graffiti painted over
then tagged again in another language
then painted over again
authority can't ignore the resilience

scores of cultures from every neighborhood
     head dresses finding deep roots
     growing each tradition
like the geese find their flight path
in a spot of blue

--- e b bortz