Saturday, November 29, 2014

i offer no excuses

or truths
we are vulnerable
     humans that is
to the glitter
& status extraordinaire
of dominant specie-ism
rationalizing dog-eat-dog
     a rabid misnomer
to career seeking
banking with a smile
payday loan-sharking
     shark misnomer

the district attorney stands
without clothes
but with his gun still cocked

so what will we do with our lives
before and after
     the great fall

we've never learned
to take care
of each other

--- e b bortz

Monday, November 24, 2014

no polemic

it's been one-half century
since the real streets
of hearts & minds
found each other

egos falling 
to the drama kings
coming and going

empty chants
making it
holier than thou
tuning out still an option 

a drum
even without rhythm
could become
an unexpected insight

began at dawn
caressed unconditionally

--- e b bortz

Friday, November 21, 2014

if you look long enough on big torch key

there might be an escape route
back from the mundane
that will reveal itself
maybe hidden just before the water
or right behind a misplaced road sign

it won't look like much
just a few well worn hoof or foot prints
like an old newspaper
before times new roman
took over the world 

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

first draft: life is a sea

conclusions from first contact with key west
& surrounding navigational maps
7305 days ago

you always need a safe harbor
or at least a cluster of mangroves

when coral becomes dead rock
rock becomes a road of trepidation
don't go barefooted

osprey see
far into the future

every pelican has the poise to lead
elect some to congress

from the barracuda
comes tenacity
from the sandpiper

find the patience
of a jellyfish
waiting for a rising tide

waves connect all beings
from the gulf of thailand to the mediterranean
from the source waters of kilimanjaro

a cajun band at the green parrot
was about as close as i got to mardi gras
     and then you danced like it was mardi gras

a sunset shadow
becomes a celebration
of sunrise

every storm seeks an eye
a tear is stronger than a poem

life is a sea
there is no final draft

--- e b bortz

Monday, November 10, 2014

iron ore strike update

near thanksgiving 1977
the strike ended
we went back to work
the layer of taconite dust
still in place
where we had left it in august

the machines started up
with reluctance

bodies moved across the grate
up steel steps & ladders
finding nothing mystical
in the grit
true or otherwise

sulfur exhaust
the chemistry
of the damned

& combustion chambers
moving without emotion
firing thru the seasons

every ton
a landscape paid for
lungs without resilience
even thunder
turning away

--- e b bortz

Saturday, November 08, 2014

the politics of collapse

can't be bailed out
by wall street

a dry river
leaves a bad taste
in your mouth

for every carbon artery
there are a thousand
hemorrhaging forests

the crows
will not be silenced
they gather for the darkness

corn rows
left their calling cards
the silos all are empty

the money
of the desperate
has no collateral

there are sunspots
to pull you closer
call it void if you must

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


isn't the best word
to begin with
it has way too many
misleading ways
but the election is over
and the roosters came home
a long time ago
when very few
were paying attention
     don't look for a way forward
all anyone can do
is feel what moves inside
and then
feel it again

find a tributary and let it touch you
before it dries up
shut off the noise
     sing while you still have a voice

--- e b bortz

(published in, Nov 8, 2014)