Thursday, February 22, 2018

Zigging Road

Zigging Road
By Armando Ortiz
On the splendid heights of dreams, the size of Himalayan Mountains, where you find sacred crystal streams.
Is how I feel when I hear your voice and the words that reach my ears put all frustrations at rest.
But I wonder where these rivers will take me.
Will I meander through gentle ravines and silent valleys where the water glides through the surface of the earth?
Will the journey lead us to violent clashes and tumultuous rapids that slam onto boulders of granite.
This dream turned reality is uncertain and I wonder how much longer am I able to handle the twists and turns of these unknown rivers that become asphalt.
You told me of a deeper good that can be found dwelling in my heart and of the service given to communities.
You were eager to hear my daily battles with youth and told me it was just normal situations in a teacher’s life.
But I feel like that I can’t help you, your course of travel has been turbulent and chaotic with an ebb and flow of violence, and how am I to respond to such realities?
I'm there to listen, but can’t stop you from reminiscing of those days.
Uncertainty with the future is a double edge maze.
Do I want to complicate my life with more problems?
Does that plastic water bottle have vodka?
Is that where your fear of loneliness stems?
Should I not care and just enjoy the ride?
Jumping out before the ship sinks to the bottom of rushing waters or right before it flies off a seaside cliff?
What is love?
What is patience?
Where does kindness lie?
Can it be found under a soothing voice or in the laughter of a mermaids’ pleasure?
Can it be found in my pleadings to cease the drinking?
Cease the mourning?
In many ways you were my rescuer, but I soon found that you too were barely afloat, and disheveled after tempestuous rapids and crazy roads.
A siren swept by the violent waters of a typhoon.
You’ve reached the bottom many times, but have you truly touched the surface of the volcano?
I don’t cry as I did when I let go of your hand at the airport that first time, but there is just an interminable sadness that surrounds me like an aura of uncertainty.
Life is so unstable and with you the ground seemed firm, but what is up ahead and what will we face?
Will you demand your luxurious lifestyle and eat out every day or settle for a common man’s life home cooked meals?
Will you be glad with simple clothes and a gentle warm hand?
I aimed too high and seem to have fallen to the ground and it appears that whoever I meet is on shaky ground or doesn’t want me around.

I miss you, and love you, and so I think of you, but I have to let go, for your sanity and mine. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Valley Oak

Valley Oak
By Armando Ortiz

Valley oak tree,
deeply grounded
roots mingling
with barren gully

like a standing pompom
its long branches
block the So Cal heat
soft winds makes one ponder

Unmoving tree
with dark brown skin
having reached
its farthest boundary

Continuing the cycle
with falling acorn
fattening bounty

Deer feeding
and dying in silence
while red tail hawks circle
watching coyotes dancing

Beautiful lady
baked by the sun
standing naked
like an autumn dream

Go to that canyon spring
and there say a sacrament
for something to happen

For you to become her
and I to turn into a mountain

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Mojave Road

Mojave Road
By Armando Ortiz

A vast land of unknown

Vulnerable desert tortoise
entitled to cross Mojave roads
fetus eggs hidden in Yucca groves.

What if it was a trans-gendered crawler
would it be protected by human law
slowly moving on asphalt only touching with claw.

under the sun it glows.

The diversity of the desert terrain
is it evidence based or an optical illusion
the desert needs a voice and inclusion.

SUV crushing a baby turtle
means the extinction of this rare creature
and that is my science based conclusion.

black light crawlers put on a show.

Malibu Creek State Park

Camping in California: Malibu Creek State Park
By Armando Ortiz
This little oasis of rolling hills, slanted mountains and oak trees is a stone’s throw away from the big city. This is what Malibu Creek State Park is to me and ought to be to everyone. It’s located less than an hour from downtown LA offering miles of trails to enjoy. There is a creek that runs through the park which makes a popular rock pool. I decided to check this place out a few weeks after going there with a friend and enjoying a long hike that took us to the M.A.S.H. set. This is a great place so its best to arrive early, set up camp, set up a picnic table, and enjoy all that is to do there.
            I missed my check in a day before, but arrived before noon the next day. Set up my tent, had lunch, read a book, went to buy firewood (there’s an Albertsons nearby). After returning I went for a short walk, and after that cooked an incredible dinner over the fire. I went to sleep a bit early, a bit weary that the neighbors would keep me up, but everything pretty much quieted down after 10pm. Though I do recall two lines that I heard from my someone nearby, one, “I need my Starbucks, lets go get some Starbucks,” and two, “I want to go home, I don’t like being here.” Needless to say the majority of the people leave by 8 in the morning.
            Woke up early, made breakfast and went on a long hike. Returned to my spot, took down my tent and packed my car. I was out of the park by noon. Great spot to enjoy what was once common all over Southern California, arid environment where oasis of desert shrubs and plants shared the earth with imposing oaks.

This is definitively a place to visit if you like hiking, because there are lots of trails. There are different levels of trails for different levels of difficulty from beginner walks where you follow a flat trail that takes you to information panels giving you a history lesson of the place. Some of the more challenging trails can be steep and long, which are perfect for the trail runner and long distance hiker. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Break of Light

Break of Light
By Armando Ortiz

Break of light
emerging from the night

The beginning has arrived
the start of the day is fast approaching

Dawn’s sky is the pacific
reflecting its image in a vast ocean

Stars glitter like black mica flakes
flickers of people rising from the night

Welcoming the rays of a sunburst
embarking on a journey of life

canoes begin crossing the seas to islands
from this world to the next.

Break of light
emerging from the night

Some awaken into a prolonged slumber
at the cusp of birth

All sides see color explosions
and wonders in all directions

Life conceived
we emerge crying

Into a sea of emotions
and endless possibilities.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


By Armando Ortiz

I want to return to my youth
where I saw untouched landscapes
and from my youth to that imagination
where parking lots were dense forests.

Will I play with diecast cars?


I want to go back to that mind
that saw the Yosemite valley
and from that mind to the eyes
that see the coast expand before me.

Will talking sea-lions and coyotes be there?


With every blink of the eyes
I'm transported to that collective memory
in the eternal conception of time.

Will the sky be as blue as it is today?


I want to be in the land of stone and water
and return to a world forever remembered
crashing waves and misty fog greeting me
seagulls and warblers talking to each other.

Will those sounds be there?


Sunday, December 17, 2017


by Armando Ortiz

The music stopped
idyllic melodies came to an end.

Her kiss
carved on his mind
left him floating in smoke

the central coast
forever virgin
together camp they broke.

Returning there
always reminds him of the time

they found lost canyons
and saw hidden grandfather trees

but she was looking for true love
and all he knew were magical places.

She thought he was interested in
better things, but all he wanted
was a smile that meshed with the present,

a memento of them
enjoying the simple things of life.

There were sparks,
and fires were lit

she left him sweltering
and now everything is dead

limbs, legs and mind are exhausted
the ground completely burned.

She flew while he scorched,
and the cold winds blew

feeding embers through the night.