Sunday, July 28, 2013

earth note 253

another early morning of words
     reaches the avenue pavement
     still cool
          waiting for a metaphor

in the interim
maybe it's better
to dig a few more holes
for the non-discounted hopefully red
     aster alma poetscheke (2004)

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

earth note 252

youghiogheny river valley
ohiopyle to confluence
feels like a rainforest
each day near the end of july
     wet and warm
sporadic rain burst intervals
suddenly on and off
like the monsoons of thailand
the forest canopy dripping
down to the bicycle trail
whitewater rapids spitting up
circles of fog
drifting then sticking
to the riverbank

a roll of thunder at dusk
like hollow distant prayer wheels
chasing a family of deer
up through the mountain laurel
up the embankment
to the arms
of mother oak     maple     poplar

by midnight
the rain finishes tapping
at our mountain tent
     our breath
          now the mist

--- e b bortz

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

Thursday, July 18, 2013

recovering notes from the deep, part 5

there were a hundred reasons
to go live in northern minnesota in 1976
one of which was
it was long past time to evacuate pittsburgh
     the acid of the air truly damaging
young & not ready to be old       lungs
& walls that held us in     a good bit of it     our own doing
     you just had to leave to see it

my young family never believed in panaceas
though what we found in the great north woods
made the winter of hard knocks
a real wakeup
like the cold at the end of the night
     of 38 below
before restarting the wood furnace
or that first blast of cold air
coming out of the sauna

the mornings came especially early
for an electrician at a taconite plant
     unless you were shifting
     to nights or afternoons
     or you got a call to come in
          right now
     for an emergency
and then the foreman
rather calmly saying
     here are the new schematics
     we need to get this online
          right now
          and you did

when the creeks and lakes finally thawed
& the canada geese touched down near the pole barn
fluttering through the swamp grass
     the beginnings of green for a worked-out hay field
     created an aura
          like being freed
          or saved
          just in time

there should be no personal claims
within the commons
     the state forests
     near the continental divide
     & a thousand lakes just in the county
keeping the lakes open
& the wolves & all the species protected
brought out the worst of the human ones
     towing their snowmobiles & all-terrain-vehicles
     up from the cities
     and yeah     they had their bought-and-paid-for allies
     in the state legislature
though i have to admit
we made a few backcountry
cross-country ski trails
     that will always be secret
     lost between poplar and tamarack ridges
          beyond the reach of the engines
          the greasy hands called progress
               into the quiet
                    forever living

--- e b bortz

Monday, July 15, 2013

trayvon lives

between the heartbeats
we touch
     that touch us
from hallowed spaces
     each new sunrise

--- e b bortz

(published in, July 18, 2013)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Monday, July 08, 2013

science & the romantics

there were more than a few times
in high school
when we parked and made out
in riverview park

totally detached from the observatory
at the very top of the hill
like nothing in it
superseded the clarity

of adolescent instincts

and of course you never thought
that the world you were opening
with your body
was anything but
a moist summer night

--- e b bortz

(published in, June 15, 2014)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)