Thursday, March 27, 2014

we were probably the only family

washing the kids' jeans in the bathtub
one day shy of payday in simi valley california
two thirds of a salary going to rent & utilities
but close enough to bike to work
     and a damn good thing

we loaded a fiberglass canoe     bicycles
     the kids' beds and no furniture
     into a supercab pickup
made the trip from northern minnesota
to the san fernando valley and then over the mountain
     into ventura county
          just to find other families living in cars
               and picking through trash bins
but those beautiful tan bodies on the beach
     sure could fool ya

my oldest boy spent hours
     in an empty bedroom with a guitar
     making sun baked middle class blues licks
alone but juxtaposed
with the television generation millions

the next son read almost all the ray bradberry books
     all the science and chemistry he could take in
     creating a room full of maps & procedures
          a labyrinth of logical fantasy

the twins sean and neil ended up being
     the most social among us
     bringing over the neighbor kids
     to build a fort in the rocks      cactus
     ledges with black widows behind the house
     telling them that our furniture was
          coming soon
     when they peeked in
     at empty walls

those california freeways weren't free at all
     we packed it all in after a year
retraced the road back to the minnesota woods
just in time to smell the last hay cuttings of august
          and a lake superior thunderstorm

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

earth note 277

there's an assumption
that the virtual world
is smaller now

corporate banners drape
the walls
just beyond the buddha gaze

it's over twenty-five years
since i worked in southern thailand
the heat persists
everything else has changed

i stopped eating prawns
decades ago
mango rambutan and little bananas
are still sweet

the tapi river
may not be fished out
but the teak forests
need to be hidden away

in every dark alley
a lone welder strikes an arc
a hundred baht
less than yesterday's exchange

--- e b bortz

Friday, March 21, 2014

earth note 276

two wild turkeys
feathered angst
in a strip mall
parking lot
anxious to leave
the roar
of the highway
penned in between
another sprawl
with vengeance
like looking for safety
in steel awnings
dark corners to hide in
a pile of loose
auto parts & asphalt
everything feeds
an unspoken chaos
politicos offer their personal
dialing for dollars
that special touch
     warm as concrete

--- e b bortz

Saturday, March 15, 2014

earth note 275

where are the seeds
or maybe you're already
a seedling

a barren hill
is only temporary

an open hand
kneads the soil

make no mistake
simple digressing
will happen on its own

sometimes the sun leaves
without being noticed

there's already
another one coming

when the crow finds
gray clouds
new roots are taking

--- e b bortz

Thursday, March 13, 2014

from nature

your innermost thoughts
on who you think you are
your physical health
is a precise instrument
     even love
finds its parallels
in a storm or a sunrise
it's the omnipresent source
that's never fully understood
the mystery keeps unraveling
without needing an introduction
or a footnote
small bits come to our vision
like a new universe
is noticed
though it's been around for eons

from nature comes
all religion
all spirits
not vice versa
a belief system
is only as good
as the soil
across your torso

when's the last time
you tasted
the river

have you heard
the forest

--- e b bortz

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

earth note 274

followed by delusional
a droning repetition
paints a blood mark
on the first born
followed to the pit
a million-fold more
     another sacrificial forest
a hundred chainsaws signal
a clearing of the way
the frack moneychangers
belly up to the bar
licking the boots
that brought them

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

earth note 273

brown leaves have been lying
building a decay
since the fall
even as the traffic
passes for concern
what's gray above
is really the afterlife
there's no sadness
in any of this
what is
existence ain't necessarily
in fact it's all way beyond
my comprehension
but when the wind speaks
     i listen

--- e b bortz