Friday, May 29, 2015

the notepad stayed blank

for what seemed
like many days
of nondescript notions
of importance
     trappings in the
     final analysis
breaking free has nothing
to do with luck

pushing past
still empty archives
of so-called conventional wisdom
is a full-time job

from the highway berm
every blade of grass
the dew

--- e b bortz

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

the wind became a train


rolling up the valley
like every gust
another length
of steel

as i still remember
a spiking hammer
in a ragtag crew

& we laughed
at the possibility
that the town
would welcome us

even with peace symbols
on our sandals
holes for tee-shirts
& no draft card

after work
we'd hide in the hills
til dark
& then descend incognito
to the nearest roadhouse
joy to the world

--- e b bortz

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

earth note 342

moraine state park, pennsylvania

memorial day carp jumping
like they needed your attention
so forget about digging into
another 6-pack

and look around you
where the front lines
meet the fracking rigs
& wasteland miles of pipe & concrete

chewing up forest
faster than tent caterpillars
sometimes it's convenient to confuse
destiny with decision making

only a kayak can split
the coldest part of the lake
without waking the blue herons
     always watchful

--- e b bortz

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

Sunday, May 24, 2015

earth note 341

there's rhythm
in the way
the grass moves

every beat on this
tortured planet
has a refrain

carry your drums
& words
with you

--- e b bortz

Saturday, May 23, 2015

earth note 340

the tree tops
to sweep the sky
the sun has a finite
number of arcs left

the loss of patience
is a sign
of waking up

--- e b bortz

Thursday, May 21, 2015

in the reflection of just one tear

i found your vision

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

primary election day, pittsburgh

my imaginary vote today
goes to a resilient
group of wild turkeys
in my neighborhood
on the north side

& to the deer
in mount lebanon

even to the groundhog
who burrows under
the collapsing

all of them represented
who they really were
without dialing for dollars

--- e b bortz

Sunday, May 17, 2015

darkness at noon on a sunday

been trying to insulate
from these pep talks
the talkers never giving up
on redirecting
every possible thought & subject
     yeah like in a monarchy
or oligarchy

can't say i've had much success

the rain drums down
still the teams take the field
for the beer & peanut hucksters
just trying to get by

madness isn't the worry anymore
since it has become
the common denominator

drones circle the andaman sea
push refugees
to the end of the earth

death sentences
tweeted out
in monotone

--- e b bortz

Saturday, May 16, 2015

earth note 339

there's no point
in belaboring the point
that by some obscure process
weather patterns
remain abstract in my eye
     yet need no consult
     from the newspapers
nor overt descriptions
in the way the clouds face off
northwest by southeast
as if a storm
gathering for a last hurrah
forced the leaves
to face upward
with open hands

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

not sorry for bursting a bubble

but this whole work ethic thing
really is a crock
people work so as not
to starve
it sure as hell shouldn't qualify
as a moral belief system
since every ruling elite
has the game rigged
& the prisons ready
to keep you next to nothing
yet they call it subsistence

the social safety net
is a gaping hole
might as well tell
those doctors & hospitals
thank you
but don't count on me
to recoup your fees
this stone is dry

making jobs
is nothing but propaganda
a mantra
loud & deafening
like the Ds & Rs
all had their chance
& all they gave us
was climate turmoil
oil spills
& broken kidneys

i guess just hanging on
is something of a rebellion
scroll that on your walls if you'd like
     or consider it dues
     & don't ask me
     for a contribution

--- e b bortz

Sunday, May 10, 2015

is it ego and/or fear

that stops me
without apology
another year
in the finite span
i find it convenient
not to mention

there's always
another rationalization
for two lonely gardeners
or maybe adventurers
the best of the day
ahead of us
which for today
is sufficient

--- e b bortz

Thursday, May 07, 2015

earth note 338

the peach
& apple trees
have been chanting
for a few days now
     let me live
     put me in the ground
     with room to grow
     & give me a long cold drink
     from an infinite well or spring
          my health is your salvation
     if you want redemption
     make room for me  
     leave those fossils
          in the ground
                    rip out the strip malls
          & build a living altar
          with the colors
          of the rainbow

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

earth note 337

it's rough being 
an optimist
in fact any kind
of ist

where the monongahela valley
cuts hard south
the smog concentrates
on slowly killing everything
within reach

there will always be
the rah rah newspapers
of american power
conformity without admitting
you've been suckered
by flags & gadgets

on the news last night
we were told about
how much progress
has been made
cleaning up the air
     democrat & republican
hands across the river
one more time

obviously no one
is checking
the cancer hollows

--- e b bortz

Monday, May 04, 2015

earth note 336

this day may 4th
always leaves me
anxious for what
comes next
the sun yesterday
in kent ohio
broke all records
for clarity
each year
a new record
in clarity
as every poet
marks time
and the river answers
those impenetrable questions

i can't help
but listen to the road
     a bicycle
& the sound of a scythe
cutting through the grass
as the equator
finishes another day

& on this side of the planet
the marchers will continue
& the elites will be listening

from every field & forest

--- e b bortz

Friday, May 01, 2015

earth note 335

fog divides
like a ravine
which side
to be on

there aren't many
black cherry left
to be cashed in
so now they're digging
into the womb

every breathing lung
tells a life story
immersed in micro soot
chemistry becomes
your diagnosis

a doctor's notepad
is not legal tender
this valley
is set to be trampled
one more time

choose your side

--- e b bortz

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