Tuesday, May 31, 2016

earth note 407

not sure if it's superstition
or truly an alignment
of the planets
when a weed wacker
suddenly stalls in the shade
finally quiets
& lifts away its smoky fossil facade
before taking to the highway
on the back of a flatbed trailer
just as the sun goes setting

it might not seem like much
out of the ordinary
ask an astronomer
if we're heading into
some great unknown
celestial sphere

friends are dropping
all their routines
and setting out
into the unknown
or at least little known
away from the concrete sandbox
all its trappings
engineered road detours
mall constructions
gladiator games
of chance

if someone tries to sell you
another gadget
to alert you to the upcoming
wifi alerts just over the hill
tell them you're cool
and to stop texting you
about the greatest weed wacker
within or beyond
this universe
     'cause you're a hitchhiker
     and you travel light

--- e b bortz

Sunday, May 29, 2016

early summer dreamscape from a thermonuclear war

real enough to suddenly wake me
in my own sweat and shared heartbeat
     from every specie
surrounded in hellfire damnation
burning to the center of the earth
the quiet of the president's words at hiroshima not withstanding
the only acknowledgement in this so-called
political season       of oligarchy & cartels never ending

the tweet machines & gonad aircraft carriers will peter out
     go silent with all their enigma codes in every language
          that never fooled anybody

who's the exceptional
     choose your pejorative here
thinking that they were born lucky
& unlucky enough
     to survive

--- e b bortz

Friday, May 27, 2016

earth note 406

in the heat
the maples seem to be holding hands
standing silent
like at a wake
body and spirit

--- e b bortz

Thursday, May 26, 2016

wendell willkie hat in hand

mural in rushville indiana
looking down on us in his patriarchal way
as we ate our eggs
and wondered if every big-time politician
had at least one clean double-breasted suit
or pant suit
'cause the way things were going
folks were really losing all respect
to authority & authoritarians
so maybe a clean suit
will makeup somewhat for
the dirty money
sewn into the linings

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

earth note 405

highway 24 kansas revisited

in every tornado there is a wakeup call
when the path chosen
is too simple
the prairie in its rich knowledge
will always question your intentions
as darkness will pass
on a new crop of sunflowers
working its way
to where the roads

--- e b bortz

Saturday, May 21, 2016

i can't for the lifeboat of me

figure out why millions of voters
who have finished their primary and caucus
     their voices all analyzed and deposited
     as small raindrops
     in the rising oceans
haven't deployed the green kayaks and moved on
abandoning their abusive relationships
in their respective (un)democratic & trump-republic
     parties of
money laundering schemes

i've been advised that all of that
is 'in process'
which i take to mean
there's still hope
provided we don't land on some small remote island
     and declare utopia

so forward on
keep paddling to the bittersweet end
     & watch for sandbars

--- e b bortz

(published in opednews.com, May 21, 2016)

Friday, May 20, 2016

it ain't funny to be the laughing stock of the planet

when the water is rising
or there's a drought
or a thousand more refugees are locked away
it's easy to find heads in the sand or up someone's ass
     become the norm
cataclysmic events become secondary
to every single pubic hair on the body politic
a politician with a magnifying glass
and cell phone video just announced
he was getting ready to offer himself
to trump or clinton as vice president
in charge of public bathrooms

all coming up live
from the situation room

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

i tried my best

to keep a stride
running up brighton road
late for school
the graveyard monument stones
polished grey
standing up in the showroom window
watching me as i passed
on the balls of my feet

there was another track meet today
i wish the coach would stop trying
to make me a sprinter
i was strictly a long distancer

about the time i walked into homeroom
the bell for first period began
but it was just more machiavellian history
i was late for
and just cunning enough
to have memorized
the day's assignment

i ditched another class
that afternoon
and threaded new spikes
into my shoes

--- e b bortz

Sunday, May 15, 2016

earth note 404

gulf of thailand, 1989

body surfing
you've given up everything
     except the moment

the waves are warm
when they pass
     you'll find yourself wanting

---e b bortz

Saturday, May 14, 2016

earth note 403

wanderlust is the only road
heading toward the rockies
that i've been able to keep
as a secret

the dust settles at night
without shooting stars
is the only shade of honesty

if you travel along the rio grande
the coyotes will guide you
wild voices will take you north
but you'll need to pack extra water

there are no riddles here
they've all been debunked
as decoys
from the truth

--- e b bortz

Friday, May 13, 2016

earth note 402

the tops of the trees
are a green movement
worth waiting for

sometimes wind can even move a mountain

on the street below
people ignore the signs
paycheck to paycheck

is a glass a whole lot less than full

if the clouds are bright enough
the shadows will try to follow you
so don't leave

--- e b bortz

Thursday, May 05, 2016

earth note 401

lower northside, pittsburgh

before the baseball stadium
there was a neighborhood
of brick row houses
by the river
with small backyards
and an occasional fruit tree
just behind where
the old kenyon theatre
used to stand on federal street

the kids in those yards
were a page out of a
charles dickens novel
but without the chic crowd
to protect them
they became lost
sent away to some faraway land
with a rifle and a pep talk
about freedom

--- e b bortz

Monday, May 02, 2016

earth note 400

the kimchi was
a perfect sour
like the cabbage knew
before it was cut

on this sunday
seoul would let the rains come
but not before
my bicycle traversed the hills again
to itaewon where i politely
passed up handmade shoes
a clipless demeanor needs no apology
i held my gaze on the river han
& a score of kites
swallowing the sun & wind offering

across the river
thousands of teachers marched
for their rights
the tear gas came
just as the rain started
a family motioned me
into their shop
huddling in a corner
to share shelter

--- e b bortz
    seoul, 1990

Sunday, May 01, 2016

earth note 399

phlox drank all night
waking up in a stupor of
soaked to the marrow
bobbing their heads
in the rain

--- e b bortz