Tuesday, June 30, 2015

most of the time

there's nowhere to go
to block out
the boredom & powerlessness
of the present

i retreat
not from fear
but from monotony

& find solace
in words
& the imagined

--- e b bortz

Monday, June 29, 2015

if there's a ticker tape from greece next month

let it be a beat
from the bluest
of the aegean sea

fearless facing the storm
alive in the tradition
of ancient mariners

where the surf
offers up hand to hand

where the shipwrecks
& outmoded machinery
are scrapped with every illusion

--- e b bortz

Saturday, June 27, 2015

there's no pattern here

never was
in every recipe
there's embarrassment
of the obvious
like a steady rain
for hours now
needs the freedom
to keep going

& when the wind
shakes the bowels
don't believe it
until all the dues
have been paid
a promise
is nothing but another schedule
that can change

scribble down everything
remember nothing
every answer is really a question
pick through the remnants
& if the thrift store closes early
keep your backpack empty
the sidewalks
are still open

--- e b bortz

Friday, June 26, 2015

earth note 349

colors of the soul
drip down
just after dawn

with a cluster of red-brown leaves
burrowing in
a leafy green maple
across the avenue

as the rains come
& the traffic slows
the withering ones
& try to cover their tracks
worming inward 
drooping lower

a steady crawl toward the body
     where the trunk
     does not flinch

--- e b bortz

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

earth note 348

the planet records
an endless toll
on everything & everyone
who speaks her name
in vain
never forgetting
the ornery fool
staking a claim
& recoloring the forest

--- e b bortz

Saturday, June 20, 2015

running out of excuses

hearing the phrase
ego is exploited by the system without your consent
can be confusing
free will via madison avenue evil lesser
is beyond your control

in an average lifetime
the bed you make
repeats itself
thirty thousand times

even the ration books
have been sold off
to the highest bidder
& you've known that
many thousand times

you still have the word

--- e b bortz

Friday, June 19, 2015

in the raindrops

left last night
is the original sin
brought to the shores
of a misnamed rock
near a forest
without borders

this is not an answer
nor a hypothesis
the great minds
have all forgotten
since it may have been
beyond the pale

a manifest
of innermost logic
self-fulfilling prophecy 
has no challengers
     but the river

--- e b bortz

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

earth note 347

assateague island

mosquitoes picked up
our tent
as the flap opened
& buzzed right up
our asses
as we headed
to the pit toilet

telling all of this
is like giving up
a pound of flesh
blood & all
& the secrets
of the goddess
of self-identified
nature know-it-alls

in the wind
kayak calm
finds a marsh
& crab landings

--- e b bortz

Thursday, June 11, 2015

earth note 346

assateague island marshes & beyond

on the third day
just behind a cluster of trees
the wind calmed
at peace with the water
spots of sun bouncing upward
finding a pair of herons
circle the bay
     as one splits off
     leaving the other
to fetch in the high grass

to the north
at the town inlet
heat & commotion grows
at the breakwater
gulls glide
just above the spray
before heading out
     to open water

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

earth note 345

assateague island

if there's such a thing
as a light gale
     lots of wind
     & a little rain
lifting the sand
off the beach
like hard-hitting dust
on a lonesome highway
     it was last night
that i brushed back
the memories
of that journey

morning solar panels
soaked in wind & salt
with only a touch
of sun

in the old part
of the ocean city boardwalk
the old carnies are long gone
but the millennials
     or maybe generation z
still have a representative
in the space balls girl
sitting behind
a fading shell
     a slow day
     a faraway stare

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

earth note 344

mount 'elden', flagstaff, 1980

the boys were ready
to take on the world
so we settled
for climbing a mountain

each step
up the trail
volcanic rock
crunched & released
a faint presence of sulfur
& as we left the trail
digging into the steeper parts
a calmness opened
as we gazed the valley
the manic highway
in the distance
the snow capped peaks
     the original holy sites
     of the original people
     & so many

aspen hugged the range
in the distance
leaves waiting to turn yellow
while the pine
on our shoulders
& in our shaky grip
were still black
in their recovery
     fire a few years earlier
     had marked the land

where the footpath ended
& the outcrops protruded
our steps became
most deliberate
     the purity
     of ancient water vessels
     shaped & painted by many hands
     broken by upheaval
     & time

we still search
for your pure waters

--- e b bortz

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

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

earth note 343

out west
floods wash over
every precursor ignored

a tornado by any other name
is still a bad place
to bet the farm

the crows have left
a parched field
without a trace

when the wind
sings a new tune
it'll already be too late

--- e b bortz