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

INNOCENCE BY LINDA HOGAN

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: Finding Salmon in El Centro

Becharof_Wilderness_Salmon

It’s Day 17 of NAPOWRIMO and today’s prompt is to try to write a “social media”-style poem. We were to raid FB, Twitter and blah blah blah. I started with a line from a FB post but then found inspiration reading Octavio Paz.

Finding Salmon in El Centro by Alice-Catherine Jennings

We are in the city without
four rivers, larger than three
yards square, but not endless
like a galaxy. Salmon swim

in the waters of time. We await
their arrival in streets, busses
taxis, pigeon coops, and catacombs,
in the fish markets near Merced,

where time ceases to flow
and so do the four rivers

.

Poetry at the Post: Terzanelle Thursday with Charles O. Hartman

Terzanelle by Charles O. Hartman

In Pandemonium the vases stand
Blue-venied as breasts, still bloomed as finger bowls,
Ready to hold the orchids of the hand.

 

"Blue and white vase Jingdezhen Ming Yongle 1403 1424" by World Imaging, 2009. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
“Blue and white vase Jingdezhen Ming Yongle 1403 1424” by World Imaging, 2009. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

NAPOWRIMO’s prompt for Day 16 of National Poetry Month is to write a terzanelle—a cross between a villanelle and terza rima. Think Dante on steroids. Here’s what I have so far.

Delhi
—After Octavio Paz

Monkeys with red asses scream. Crackling rain,
the clumps of people and animals on the ground.
God, men and beasts eat from the same plate.

Neither here nor there through that frontier of doubt,
I am one. I am not. I walk among the images,
the clumps of people and animals on the ground.

To be continued…

 

Delhi, India January 2014
Delhi, India
January 2014

Poetry at the Post: #twitterpoetryclub —A Peak at Chika Sagawa

The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa,* as translated by Sawako Nakayasu

"1.2.3.4.5" by Chika Sagawa
“1.2.3.4.5” by Chika Sagawa

Today I was stumped so I did not write a poem for NAPOWRIMO—or 30 poems in 30 days. My work around was to participate instead in the Twitter Poetry Club.

“What’s that? Well, it’s a sort of loose project in which, on selected days, people take photos of poems (from books or printouts or what-have-you) and post them to twitter with the hashtag #twitterpoetryclub…if you search twitter for the #twitterpoetryclub tag, you’ll find oodles of new poems.

sagawa 2

While in Minneapolis last week for #AWP15, I stopped by Canarium Books’ booth and picked up a copy of The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa. Chika Sagawa? Who was she? As I learned from the book’s introduction, Sagawa is considered to be Japan’s first female Modernist poet who tragically died in 1936 at the age of 24. As translator Sawako Nakayasu points out, she has been referred to as “everything from a ‘minor Modernist’ to ‘everybody’s favorite unknown poet.'” So, what would I think?

Back from the crush of AWP and settled in my studio outside Marfa, Texas, I have had some quiet time to read and reflect on Sagawa’s poetry. Its sparseness and space complements the full emptiness of this remote area of the country. A lovely and profound work by someone so young—an old soul, perhaps.

Canarium Books is offering The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa for only $8—now through April 16th. Get your copy today!

Poetry at the Post: Exploring Macaronics

White Knight Syndrome by Antoine Cassar

Ribussa ai miei pensieri un desiderio d’ieri,
chagrin malin d’amour, a cold and burning bliss,
mil noches sin dormir, il sogno in cui non c’eri,
u f’qalbi llejla jriegħed, niftakar f’ħarstek biss …

Translation:
White Knight Syndrome

Knocking on the door of my thoughts comes a desire from yesterday, malign grief of love, a cold and burning bliss, a thousand sleepless nights, the dream where you were not, and in my heart tonight it thunders, as I remember no more than your look…

Copper engraving of Doctor Schnabel [i.e. Dr. Beak] (a plague doctor in 17th-century Rome) with a satirical macaronic poem ("Vos Creditis, als eine Fabel, / quod scribitur vom Doctor Schnabel")
Copper engraving of Doctor Schnabel [i.e. Dr. Beak] (a plague doctor in 17th-century Rome) with a satirical macaronic poem (“Vos Creditis, als eine Fabel, / quod scribitur vom Doctor Schnabel”)

Poetry Month continues and today is Day 14 of NAPOWRIMO—30 poems in 30 days.

Today’s challenge is “to write a poem that takes the form of a dialogue” but I got a bit diverted with the idea of macaronic language, or the mixing of languages within the same conversation. So, here’s my take on a macaronic poem in dialogue.

In Pursuit of an Errant Act by Alice-Catherine Jennings

That is when I understood the magical meaning of the circle. If you go away from the row, you can still come back into it. A row is an open formation. But a circle closes up, and if you go away from it, there is no way back…I left the circle and have not yet stopped falling. (Milan Kundera)

Me parece:

macaronisch marxista mop
macilento mephytic monk

me pareció:

mythopoeic maan
morfien mood

Translation:

Methinks:
macaronic marxist mop
macilent mephytic monk

Methought:
mythopoeic moon
morphine mood

Moonrise over Mano Prieto  photo courtesy of John M. Jennings, 2013
Moonrise over Mano Prieto
photo courtesy of John M. Jennings, 2013

Poetry at the Post: Dreaming in Calligraphy

Dream of Ink Brush Calligraphy
BY KAREN AN-HWEI LEE

In prayer:
quiet opening,
my artery is a thin
shadow on paper—

The Georgian calligraphy is centuries-old tradition of an artistic writing of the Georgian language with its three scripts."მარიამისეული ქართლის ცხოვრება" by Buba Kudava - Georgica.ac.ge. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The Georgian calligraphy is centuries-old tradition of an artistic writing of the Georgian language with its three scripts.”მარიამისეული ქართლის ცხოვრება” by Buba Kudava – Georgica.ac.ge. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Day 13’s prompt for NAPOWRIMO, or 30 poems in 30 days, is to write a riddle poem. I’m not a fan of riddles although I do love calligraphy, or the art of writing—especially scripts that one cannot “riddle out.”

Here is my only attempt at a poem that contains a riddle.

After Gerard Manley Hopkins* by Alice-Catherine Jennings

Look at the ant! Look down at the earth!
O look at the anthills, perfectly round, nary a square!
Tiny insects leave their scent trails, here, there.
They follow their leader in tandem, hard at work.
The pale purple butterflies so full of mirth
Wings beat kindly on desert poppies rare.
They sip water off petals damp, devoid of care.
All is well! Days to death unknown at birth.


On Calligraphy by Mi Fu, Song Dynasty
On Calligraphy by Mi Fu, Song Dynasty

“After Gerard Manley Hopkins” first appeared in Pyramid, January 2010

Poetry at the Post: Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce or In Search of Heat After #AWP15

Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce by Alice-Catherine Jennings
(a found poem based on a recipe by Chef Eric Simeon of Grace Restaurant in Portland, Maine)

"Bhoot Jolokia ( Ghost Chili pepper )" by Vikramjit Kakati - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA
“Bhoot Jolokia ( Ghost Chili pepper )” by Vikramjit Kakati – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA

Warning!

Ghost peppers are hot,
the hottest in the world.
(This is a scientific fact.)

When you cook them
be careful.

Use tongs, gloves
& do not inhale
the steam.

The recipe is simple:

Slice
Boil
Blend
Bottle:

paprika peppers
shallots
sun-dried tomatoes
ghost peppers
salt & apple cider

Recommended for:

Minnesotans
Those in need of an elephant repellent

Source: Come in, We’re Closed by Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy, Running Press, 2012.