Saturday, May 31, 2014

earth note 282

during the drunken frat party
the bankers changed suits
grabbing their insiders
& raising the extractive industries
up to the highest altar
grotesque contours
to the land
from its dark bowels
to the sun of its mountain tops

a hangman's noose
a fait accompli
outlives the judge
posing now
as a lariat
changing colors regularly
to match the new panache
threading the new hipsters
for another go around

the growling heard
is the same old machinery
chewing & spitting
covering the tracks
like any addiction

--- e b bortz

Saturday, May 24, 2014

talkin earth note blues, rev zero

so the united states and russia
have carved up the fracking planet
for their similar yet disparate ends

and those of us who scream on the coasts
on the river fronts
in the lakes & forests
on the deserts
at the wellheads
are deemed alarm makers
and worse

so we won't be entering
that McPeter
without the do-ra-me
as woody might say
staying right here instead
passing on the song
in climate refugee purgatory
clockin time
diggin sod
gathering raindrops

--- e b bortz

Friday, May 23, 2014

earth note 281

love is a hot
westerly breeze
strong enough
to raise waves
downwind ohio river geese
with a row of goslings

--- e b bortz

Sunday, May 18, 2014

red-blue-red, part 4

a cardinal flies in with a message
lands near the top of a small white pine
leaves a calling card
with a website
disconnected phone number
a press release announcing
a presidential run
looks left and right
by the sound
of wings flapping

a blue jay follows
singing's not his strong suit
stage left

the geese on the ohio river
have post-traumatic-stress
     bloodshot eyes

i'm not colorblind

--- e b bortz

Saturday, May 17, 2014

recovering notes from the deep, part 6

it can take decades
to write it down
maybe even irony has a place in this

the greyhound bus lines began
in hibbing minnesota in 1914
i took a one-way greyhound
leaving the iron range
from hibbing in 1991
with a backpack
and a boxed-up bicycle

scores of towns & stops
before nyc
and then jfk airport
and then israel

but this isn't about that

but about the act of leaving
the beginning of summer
coming on strong
drying up the low lands a bit
the first real heat 
bicycling itasca county 8
     the boys bravely keeping up
     with the 'club' ride
the new sprouts
on both sides of the road
though my eyes looked
straight and immediate

separating from my sons
the twins graduating from high school
the two older ones off to college
our futures were destined
for many directions

the hundred pine seedlings dying
in the front field
a few weeks late
in the planting
still glad we tried

on the way out
a last go around
at nashwauk high school & track
where frozen spring begins
with a pounding on your feet

and then on to hibbing
past the library and high school
it'll always be zimmerman's high school

in the distance
the mines & stacks
of the taconite plant
brothers & sisters
keeping on
it'll always be north country blues

with every blue lake
the thaw is only temporary
gouged out red rock piles
every white birch       bark peeling
deep green tamarack    
aiming straight for the northern lights
remembering when my eyes
first crossed sight
with a gray wolf
a fly over of geese
letting us all know
     there comes a path
     and a time

--- e b bortz

Thursday, May 15, 2014

earth note 280

heat & rain
rush in
clouds parting way
to awaken a japanese lemon thread
     wild yellow
through the night
up the hillside
     a radical renewal
     from the dormant
every border has been scaled
worms tunnel      topsoil breathes
leaves turn over
their veins swelling
green & sweating
     an anonymous catalyst
          handing off       an embryo

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

breakout is like spring

a red maple grows a thicker skin
worn without apology
the new day shocks every status seeker
     old ways die first
     by not being listened to
washed out political honchos
spill like cliches
emit what can't be acknowledged

     most everyone is moving on

--- e b bortz

(published in, May 16, 2014)

Monday, May 05, 2014

beliefs in a backpack

still waiting for the paper
to spit the words onto

saying it won't happen
is defeatist

doesn't matter what the
weather's like
or where a daydream
comes from
or what the crows
keep squawking about

the paper is its own voice
considers itself
still a cousin to the forest
simple and complex
in a hurry
when the water's high & fast
     slow when the decay
     sets in

--- e b bortz