Sunday, June 29, 2014

earth note 286

there's a poem
that hides
in the thicket
of a 60-foot norway spruce
along the back ridge

it precedes us
by decades

the poem/spruce
carries our burden

pine cones cover
the ground every year

our friend paints them
for the holidays

the tin birdhouse is empty
but the thicket sings

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

earth note 285

even without a rain
sometimes the air
is as thick and moist
as a teardrop

heavy enough
to leave an impression
on your tongue

in a language
as common
as sorrow

--- e b bortz

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

earth note 284

a couple of books
in a backpack
one being the atlas of thailand
a phrase book
two water bottles
an empty space
for chrome fenders
now gone
a crank & chain
in need of a degreasing
the road
just too hot
first light is best
for leaving

no movement
in the coconuts
another breeze-less

dark corners
on the cliff
at bannasan
rock still
as it swallows
the whole sun

two water buffalo
work the field

orange & red prayer flags
make an offering

--- e b bortz

Sunday, June 22, 2014

solstice report

news: still waiting for peace to break out
weather: it'll change tomorrow
tides: check them before putting in
civics: go back down to the river & cleanup
arts: foundations are precast pedestals
sports: make it participatory
financial: take those silver spoons & ...whatever
traffic: take the bus
science: watch for floods
energy: you've been fracked
politics: see energy

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


as in everyday
the weight of the world
is measured
by the cumulative
breaking away
lifting off
broken streets

--- e b bortz

(published in, July 29, 2014)

Monday, June 16, 2014

water is running out in iraq

blood will be the replacement
thousands more refugees
keep their heads down
& scatter
coming to the conclusion
that oil is the
the tic in the uptick
of the dow
the plague
on being borne
our ethos
     being written

--- e b bortz

(published in, June 16, 2014)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

there are no sand sculptures

on a desert
unless scorpions
are having an opening

no beach parties
unless the ukes are perfectly tuned
and the wind has passed

once the sun goes under
all you can do is wait

the highway is deceitful
in time it will disappear

your shoes are finally broken in
& you can search again tomorrow

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

earth note 283

morning fog
the mask
that leaves
the imagination

concrete truck
starts its day
up the avenue
can't stop

sky mixes
like gray soup
dripping heavy
with maples
barely passing for canopy

river is silk
rolls like a cloud

--- e b bortz

Thursday, June 05, 2014

burning fossil fuels...subtlety at its minimum

even without the additives
even the most submissive
will wake up
smelling the gas

but there is no shortcut
or endless scenario
or grand bargain
on the pathway
where extinction looms
yet the valley remains

when did geoengineering
become anything other
than dark holes from snake oil hucksters
& when will universities become unapologetic
     when will middle ground
     be seen for what it is

methane shifts & finds the fractures
the casing & tank & human failures
leaving a burned-off poison
on our collective tongue
garbling our speech in so many words
the money follows the accomplices
     we'd be fools to think otherwise

--- e b bortz

(published in, June 7, 2014)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

there were times

when i kissed
the pacific ocean
that i imagined
the gulf of thailand

maybe camus
could explain this
or maybe
no explanation
is needed

the water is
seldom gentle

--- e b bortz