Friday, September 29, 2017

earth note 528

black canyon of the gunnison, colorado

a photo misses the heartbeat
touching deep
below your breastbone

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

it's a short jump

from the cult of the individual
to the cult of personality
in every president
there's a dictator
falling all over himself
the landed gentry
always with their hands out
a handshake seals the deal
even through a hurricane
even as the floods
swallow the sperm

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

earth note 527

photo by Sandra L Hazley

monticello utah: august 21, 2017

an hour south of moab
we camp in the aspens
dodging the archery hunters
with the deer

one cafe in town
with a pick your kind
of breakfast wrap
hoping the spice lingers

this is open range land
where angus graze
in sight of the schoolhouse door
     where kids wait & chatter for the eclipse

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

earth note 526

north shore ohio river trail

bituminous is still hanging on
in the epoch
of forgotten autumns
the colors change
the river churns up
silt and coal ash
out of cold furnaces
rusted reds and yellows
call them out
for being late

--- e b bortz

earth note 525

a blue jay
with a loud voice
picking thru the rain gutter
i'd be surprised
if he wasn't from the northside
like us

school buses speed
up & down the avenue
getting antsy
behind the beer truck

the casino never closes
there's always a safe place
     to lose
your self-esteem
just a piss away

i expect to see the cardinal
or poet christopher franke today
there's nothing embarrassing
about wearing red
if you really believe in it

--- e b bortz

Monday, September 18, 2017

earth note 524

dove sits alone
deep in the fog
on a wire
the body listens
cicada early this morning
no crescendo til evening
dove sits alone

--- e b bortz

Saturday, September 16, 2017

earth note 523

marshall trail

mosquitoes have eaten their way
to the promised land
at least for the rest of the year

stones pulled up from cobblestone streets
still capable of working
are dumped near the trail

one hundred rings
on a sawed-off tree
     still counting

for every leaf turning color
there are three premature

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

the cemetery in key west

is buried in hurricane water
     except for the catholics
who get a little extra lift
from the cross

the latinos and latinas
proudly display
de colores
     otherwise keeping a low profile

jews keep their foundations
even to the point
of segregating the suicides

most likely
there are quakers
and many others
who defy most definitions
but speak with their silence
or absence
by choice

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

earth note 522

after the boats capsize
the trailers topple
the road chews up what is left
& you know it's time
for the floods
they've been promised
like a covenant
covering the land
all the way in salt water
til you puke
til you reach
the great north woods
where the northern lights
never betray you
even in the snowbound
of frozen lakes
unaltered memories
leave the loons and herons
to sort out what comes next

there's no point in arguing
with the willingly deceived
every insurance settlement
is grand larceny
the losses are infinite
it may be a hundred years
before you see it

have always known this
     higher ground
may be rocky
roof falls happen daily
but moses never asked
for an arc

the superhighways
are false prophets
there's no concrete
water can't cover
all the mouths that
keep moving
have passed up the last
sound barrier

the sky makes no promises
the leaves are beginning to turn
but they're not
as sure of themselves
each year more tentative
for high noon

--- e b bortz

Friday, September 08, 2017

earth note 521

black canyon of the gunnison, colorado

the shadows and light
are never duplicated here
each line on the painted walls
mark the beginning
of a poem

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

some artists have left their paintings

on the walls of a cafe
     i think it was norwood colorado
an out-of-the-way town
just past the big red rocks
you'd only see if you
were looking for an escape

the walls were plain
but some of the pictures were
dark and dense
like a message
with so little time
like an hourglass

i looked around the room hard
for color
and pastels
and finally found it
on a wall by themselves
who are these painters
next to a sunny open window
with dark interiors
are they lost now
     have they moved on

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

his trigger finger to the world

is his middle finger
caught in the chamber
of no return
without an amputation
nuclear armageddon has no sex appeal
     isn't yet a new thriller
(but watch for the worldwide video game release)
     available in all languages

--- e b bortz

Monday, September 04, 2017

earth note 520

    photo by Sandra L Hazley

   highway 36 kansas

  no apologies
  for a back road
  and a field of sunflower sutras
  they started as wild flowers
  along the shoulders
  until they discovered
  the farmers
  since then
  every town makes a point
  of exclamation
  for their particular shade of gold
  wrapping 'round brown cores
  like the earth itself
  without grease & machinery

  the rain comes
  in deliberate beats
  like a chant
  passing mouth to mouth
  between the stems
  a field of flower

  --- e b bortz

Sunday, September 03, 2017

earth note 519

joes, colorado

just down the road
from cope
isn't a bar
or rib joint
but a flatlander town
with a grassroots community organization
that maintains
the activity building
a park
& pit toilets
clean as a field of sunflowers
the horizon
never gives up
a day without
a nod to a strong wind
as the crops bend
giving reverence
as their due

--- e b bortz

Saturday, September 02, 2017


are covering
a well-worn carpet
with their secondary bets

the rain won't stop
until everyone
wipes their feet

takes a deep breath
and comes in
from the parking lot sprawl

eventually acknowledging
that we'll need multiple million jackhammers
to break up the paralysis

the negation of negations

--- e b bortz