Monday, December 30, 2013

from the new surveillance revelations

it's clear that every key stroke
ever acted on
or maybe even
thought on
has found a hole
to be placed in
the vast storage underground
of the great equalizer
rubbing shoulders
with the infamous
     even entire football teams
     some coming up just short
     of the playoffs
the embittered
and eternal optimists
all strewn
through the sea
of no redemption
nihilism of a red-white-blue face
all predicted by the great minds
     ignored by power
     forever eating
     its own siblings

--- e b bortz

(published in, Dec 31, 2013)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

earth note 268

rain swept in from the north
     it left nothing untouched
fronds losing their composure
cutting in the wind
slicing coconuts
in a storm that surprises
     even the path it takes
until bottoming out
in the coral shallows
both sides
of ocean highway
taking a breath
for another pass

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

christmas in the keys...camus & rebellion

if you stay true to the scientific method
not of the technocrats
but of the pureness
of the mindscape
it will be clear
even on a midnight clear
that yesterday's revolutionary
is today's banality
all the way back to the early christians
and then on to 
de sade        marx lenin stalin mao
     opening space for jimmy buffett & endless sunsets
the end of history
the end of progress
the last of the rebel poets vanquished
from plato's republic
rejecting the rejectionists
as an aboriginal rebel poet
     & migrating millions
     driven from a breathing land
     all of whom
     the great philosopher left out
like a lost pod of short-finned pilot whales
dying in the shallows
off snipe point

camus reminds us that
the rebel is no
vanguardist professional revolutionary secret police apparatchik
with show trials and executions and drones and nsa technology
but the simple spirit of
a resister
a worker
a jesus
     what's forgotten
is life
beyond the confines of dogma & man
as it struggles with burning seas
forest fragments weeping
at no-freeway no-exits
     where synthesis
     & honoring a pelican
is no wisdom of luxury
where nonviolence & noncompliance
in a new world order
of new moneychangers
might at last
be salvation

--- e b bortz

Saturday, December 21, 2013

so the winter solstice

passed over our collective bodies again
     leaving scars from the year
of the snake
who will witness
even in the darkness of the longest night
the death of thousands
     by war      starvation      disease
from the hand of one abuser
     there's the enabling of another
from an empty vault
there's no space for empathy
     recurring cries of the evicted
     are dismissed in the silence
          of the noise

--- e b bortz

Friday, December 20, 2013

earth note 267

a northeast wind
in the florida keys
is like a distant cousin
of a new england nor'easter
related but never acknowledged
by the family
their steadiness & eruptions similar
even fifty degrees apart
the eventual rains
like a bloodline
of opposites
in their own path

--- e b bortz

warsh (wash) day

climbed up a ladder today
close to half the elevation
of little torch key
(o.k. some of the key might be below sea-level)
just to re-attach a clothes line

problem was of course
the ladder was too short
for an average height
so a piece of rebar
had to substitute
to give my arms
that extra two feet needed
to fling the pulley
over the hook on the pole

after a couple of tries
the pulley made a perfect landing
with still enough sun
for another
load of clothes
     i vote to forgo that
     & instead pay homage
     find a new spot
     & watch the sunset

--- e b bortz

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

half a highway story

about the time
we split-up hitchhiking
near toledo
on the ohio turnpike
the afternoon was droopy
sinking like a last gasp
of summer

we took our turns
at the entrance ramp
     each of us being singly
     picked up & thrown
     down the highway
some miles closer to chicago
what seemed like incremental lapses
passing thru the rain and darkest
of indiana

the steel mills of gary & east chicago
rose to meet a glimpse of dawn
beneath an acid sky
my ride      a salesman downing the last
of his jim beam whiskey
disguising his condition
     i've often thought many times
whether death of a salesman
unrelated as it might be
ever met him halfway

not sure how i found a commuter train
to the west side of chicago
in time to make a meeting
but it happened
just that way

and even if
i was late
(oddly each of us arrived minutes apart)
     the revolution would
     go on without us

--- e b bortz

Monday, December 16, 2013

earth note 266

on state road 4A
the seagulls have occupied
the osprey nest
at the top of the utility pole
for reinforcements

a shoulder on the bridge
crossing torch key channel

blacktopped & open again
with creamy gray jersey barrier
pre-cast concrete guard rails
a bicycle's view
is not for sale

away from the highway
middle torch key
its subterranean roots
become big torch key
mangroves almost seamless
'cept for a left turn

quiet as a pelican's glide

--- e b bortz

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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

at nineteen

a friend told me
she wouldn't wait
for me to grow up
and figure out
what i wanted in life

and she didn't

& my question was
and still is
what's the hurry
is everything so
goddamn plain
that the roadmap
you have stuck
behind your eyebrows
will somehow fade
and be unrecognizable
if you just floated along
for a while more
looking more
at the terrain
outside of
thinking more deeply
might just be
a revolution in itself
bringing forward an unexpected
not just another crescendo
or dousing
of your inner heat
like a transaction
     you never intended

--- e b bortz

Thursday, December 12, 2013

earth note 265

desperate jellyfish
cashing in their
credit default swaps
at money key channel
something like defending their turf
throwing some stingers
from the floor
of the kayak shallows
     out of sandbars
     & camouflage seagrass
     arms & legs take some hits
reminding all
to poke around gently
when you're in someone else's house

--- e b bortz

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

Saturday, December 07, 2013

morning in paradise

i'm going to stop moving
for a minute
and see if this
love pain
from a past life
will move on
if not
i guess i'll just have to
find new motions
carve a new trail
past the beer cans & houses
snap a few more nature pictures
crank the pedals without letup
cover the kayak in the mangrove
face the anger of the wind
     the vision of the osprey

--- e b bortz

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

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

earth note 264

light green
to dark blue
to light green again
until the sky and sea
meet at the horizon
some scattered clouds
drop their secrets
directly on your feet
bury themselves
in every grain of sand

--- e b bortz

three months

is a window
opening to the sea
i'm trying my best
to not see it
like a schedule
creating seems
like unwrapping
a box of dreams
which may not
always jump out
& take the form
you first imagined

if the breeze
has the strength
to turn over
or reverse a tide
surely words
will breathe
in and out
as the spirit
moves them

--- e b bortz

Monday, December 02, 2013

untitled again

the gap
at the old bahia honda bridge
     a section surgically removed
seems to parallel a void
i keep flashing back to
years in the making
emptiness is a process
that i'll never give up on
in it
are the bare essentials
driving the mind
to touch new limits

--- e b bortz

earth note 263

heat returns from the mangrove
in the form of a tortoise
every deliberate step
a body of work

pavement starts suddenly
like the crazy ingrate
revving his engine
in the afternoon

bicycles pass
from a cluster of coconuts
silent water

--- e b bortz

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