Poetry at the Post: Get the Frack Out of Edinburg-Texas, that is!

The water understands
Civilization well;…
Oasis in Libya
Oasis in Libya

If you’ve been following the story of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline in the Big Bend Area of Texas, you may be interested in this struggle as well: Get the Frack Out of Edinburg, in La Voz de Esperanza, July/August 2015. 

 Governor Abbott had this to say about fracking: Texas Governor Prohibits Cities And Towns From Banning Fracking 
A real environmentalist this guy!
And, here is the latest on the Trans-Pecos Pipeline by Rachel Monroe in Texas Monthly: A Pipeline in the Sand—A group of West Texans gird for battle against the oil and gas industry.

Poetry at the Post: The Loss of Innocence or The Trans-Pecos Pipeline


There is nothing more innocent
than the still-unformed creature I find beneath soil,
neither of us knowing what it will become
in the abundance of the planet.

Sundown Over Blue Mountain  Photo courtesy  of John M. Jennings, 2015
Sundown Over Blue Mountain
Photo courtesy of John M. Jennings, 2015

It’s Day 18 of NAPOWRIMO and today’s challenge is to write a poem of warning. It could be about something fictional, mythical, historical or real.

I decided to go for the real as there is a real threat right now to the pristine lands of the Big Bend Area of Texas—a natural gas pipeline.

Confused by the who, what, where of it all, instead of writing a poem of warning, I’ve posted some informational links about the pipeline. This is not an exhaustive list—but a start.

San Antonio Express News: Pipeline Bound for Pristine Big Bend

San Antonio Express News: Big Bend ranchers, landowners will fight planned pipeline

Houston Chronicle:Pipeline plan raises hackles in land-loving Big Bend

Marfa Public Radio: Opposition to Trans Pecos Pipeline Gets Underway in the Big Bend

Fox Business: Big Bend ranchers, landowners will fight planned natural gas pipeline to Mexico

Big Bend Now: Opposition grows to the Trans Pecos Pipeline

Texas Standard: New Border Pipeline Creates an Array of Issues

 Newswest9.com:Two Natural Gas Pipelines Headed to West Texas

Alpine Avalanche: Residents pack pipeline meeting

Midland Reporter Telegram: Big Bend pipeline proposal has residents riled up

Hudspeth County Reporter:Survey Work Begins for New Natural Gas Pipeline Through Hudspeth County

And check out the Big Bend Conservation Alliance’s FB Page for updated info.

The flip side of the conservation argument is that the pipeline will bring jobs.

“In a fact sheet issued last week, Energy Transfer said the pipeline will provide millions of dollars of financial benefits to local communities in construction jobs, goods and services and taxes.”

I’m skeptical and believe that the damage to our natural lands will be irreversible and will outweigh the financial benefits to our communities. As a consequence, I’ve signed the petition to Reject the Waha-Presidio Texas to Ojinaga-El Encino Mexico Pipeline and I hope you will too. Deadline is May 5, 2015.

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Poetry at the Post, Day 14: Bulgaria Anyone? да, Bulgaria!

Poetry at the Post, Day 14: Bulgaria Anyone? да, Bulgaria!

“Noah, The Carrier” by Kristin Dimitrova, as translated by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

The Season of Delicate Hunger Anthology of Contemporary Bulgarian Poetry, Accents Publishing
The Season of Delicate Hunger
Anthology of Contemporary Bulgarian Poetry, Accents Publishing

To Gilgamesh*, however, he’d spoken like this:

I freed a pigeon, but it returned.
I freed a swallow—same thing.

I was going to head next to Greece at The Post but decided to stop in Bulgaria along the way. Today’s poem is by Kristin Dimitrova, a Bulgarian poet whose work appears in the 2014 Anthology of Contemporary Bulgarian Poetry The Season of Delicate Hunger, edited by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer .

Lake Pancharevo in southern Sofia

I like this poem because thematically it explores myth & legend and truth. We all have those friends who only tell you what you want to hear and then again, many times folks only hear what they want to hear. How much of religion or history is truth? As, we know, history is always written from the viewpoint of the victor, or dominant culture.

There is no way
Truth does not make a good legend
Yet legend is truth’s only carrier.

In an interview Dimitrova says, “I’d like American readers to know that Bulgarian poetry exists.” I must admit I know little about Bulgaria, well, okay, almost nothing.

You can read more about Dimitrova as well as the entire poem “Noah, the Carrier” here. There’s a fun twist at the end.



*The Gilgamesh is one of my favorite epics and we’ll be reading it in the Global Reading Group, a virtual literary salon.

Poetry at the Post Day 1: “Rain” by Edward Thomas

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain


Yes, I thought. “Rain” would be the perfect poem for Day 1 of Poetry at the Post as I was celebrating last night’s rain, a welcome gift, upon my return to my home in Far West Texas. Rain in the desert is good but rain in May in the Chihuahuan desert is super!

I continued to read on. There was rain but there was something more. This was a poem about death and dying—and war. Here is a piece that grounds us in the oft forgotten realities of this Memorial Day Weekend.

Born in 1878 in London to Welsh parents, Edward Thomas graduated from Oxford and earned his living as literary reviewer. Although he thought highly of poetry, Thomas did not write his first poem until the age of 36—only after being urged on by his friend and neighbor, the American poet, Robert Frost. His poetry career was brief, a mere three years. In 1915, Thomas enlisted in the infantry and was killed in action in the Battle of Arras in 1917 shortly after arriving in France.

But here pray that none of whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain…


photo by John M. Jennings
photo by John M. Jennings

While in residence, I’ll be reading poem a day at the post in Mano Prieto. If you are in the area, stop by for the reading. Times vary each morning so check in first before you make the drive. You’ll be able to see each day’s post under the tab, “Poetry at the Post.”