A little rain (or a lot) and some warmer weather in parts of Texas mean the ground has sprung back to life. This Typewriter Rodeo poem celebrates and investigates the human efforts to cultivate the earth.
The weather does not always perfectly align with the changes in season. And, in Texas, those seasonal highs and lows are often very dramatic. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
Oh the weather outside is gonna get frightful, how low could temperatures go? And what should Texans do now to be prepared? All of the state expected to be affected by plummeting temperatures. We’ll check in with the Dallas Fort Worth office of the national weather service for the latest. Also a standoff between the U.S. and Mexico over corn. Most of Mexico’s corn comes from the U.S., but Mexico’s president is considering a ban, one that could have major ripple effects for both countries. Also, the latest on a newspaper strike in Fort Worth. And Michael Marks with the story of one very expensive Longhorn. All that and then some today on the Texas Standard:
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, three species of bluebirds make their homes in Texas during part of the year. Right now, you’re likely to see those pretty little birds building nests or caring for young. But don’t mix them up with their bigger, angrier cousins. This poem came by request from Texas Standard listener Chase Brooke.
Call them lightning bugs or fireflies — whatever you prefer they are sign of warmer weather in Texas. This Typewriter Rodeo poem was inspired by a listener request.
Bars, tattoo parlors and rodeos. What a return to normal is shaping up as in Texas as Governor Abbott moves to the next stage in reopening. Reopening dates vary by industry and rules aren’t being relaxed everywhere at once. Tony Plohetski of KVUE and the Austin American Statesman spells it out. Also, is the U.S. Government fast tracking child deportations? And why are so many small businesses having trouble getting promised aid? Plus the Hill Country spider that caught the attention of the Texas Supreme Court. Those stories and more today on the National News Show of Texas:
It’s all sunshine and good times until you discover you’ve brushed up against a patch of poison ivy. This Typewriter poem commemorates those times when you take a bit of nature home with you – the kind you definitely don’t want.
The days are getting warmer and the attire is getting shorter. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
The senate approves pay raises for Texas teachers. The House has a bill of its own. What does it add up to for school reform in a larger sense? We’ll try to reconcile the differences between two approaches for fixing Texas public schools. Also, here’s a sentence some thought they’d never hear: the push to decriminalize marijuana gains momentum in Texas. We’ll get the how and why. And after a wicked cold snap, your forecast for bluebonnets. All those stories and then some today on the Texas Standard:
It’s that time of year when just breathing can be challenging in Texas. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
In Texas, it’s that time of year when everything is blooming and it’s pretty hard to drive right by without stopping. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
When I was fifteen, weighed down by concerns about high school – algebra tests, term papers, girls – there was no better spot in the world to silence the mind than on top of a 35 foot windmill at my uncle’s farm. In the spring, it was heaven up there on that platform. To the north I could see hundreds of black angus cattle dotting the new grass of irrigated pastures, a scene fitting for Van Gogh’s brush. To the south, way south, there were citrus orchards. The southern breeze blew in the sweet smell of orange blossoms. In the brushlands of south Texas, that was the second harbinger of spring.
The first I could see to the west, the new sheen of emerald green covering miles of mesquite. The huisache trees, too, were adding their bright golds to the mix.
Just a few days before it had been a bleak, brown landscape, but overnight, nature turned on her lights and from the platform high above it all, as birds sang with greater enthusiasm, and butterflies fluttered among the bluebonnets far below, I could witness the world being born again.
And the windmill turned and squeaked. I think a windmill squeaking may be the only squeaking in life that is comforting. It’s soothing somehow, perhaps because it is the sound of life itself being pumped from the ground.
We used to keep metal coffee cups on hooks down by the water tank so we could get a fresh drink of water, delivered pure and cold from deep in the earth, whenever we wanted.
I think photographs of windmills are the pictures Texans seem to love most of all. There is something romantic about them. The giant turbines are not loved like windmills, perhaps because they are so enormous they overpower rather than blend with the landscape.
And windmills stand alone, never in groups of twenty of forty. Windmills seem independent and solitary, historically symbolic of the Texas character. They have a unique place in our heritage. They transformed much of the land from arid to vibrant.
This reminds me of a poem by the great cowboy poet, Mike Moutoux. He makes this point about windmills far better than I can.
A FITTING MONUMENT
by Mike Moutoux
In the dry land stands the monument of a dreamer
It is a testament to hope; to years of yearning
Standing tall above the grasses, rocks and scrub oak
Below a cloudless sky and sun so brightly burning
No babbling brooks cross here, just silent sand arroyos
Few linger here at all; fewer still would stake a claim
Only fools and dreamers could love this barren land
It does not suffer fools; dreamers love it just the same
‘Twas the Homestead Act that brought him here to dream and sweat
It was the solitude and grass that it made it feel right
But there were months when precious rains were non-existent
Each cloudless day brought another worried weary night
All that changed when the Aermotor windmill was delivered
The well was dug, the tower raised; each rod and gear in place
The wind blew as always, but now it turned a shiny fan
And both the cowman’s heart and dreams begin to race
The cowman would talk about that day for years to come
How the blades spun, the rods creaked, how he paced and paced
And then water, precious water, poured from pipe to trough
Giving hope a thing a man could actually taste
Within weeks trails appeared around the water trough
As thirsty critters, one by one, found the water there of course
Not just cows, but the antelope, fox and deer drank there
The tower, a beacon, led them to their water source
The story of the dreamer is old but not forgotten
The tower still stands although its working years are spent
A testament to one man’s hope and all those years of yearning
For a dreamer and cowman, a most fitting monument.
For more of Mike Moutoux’s work, go to www.mikemoutoux.com
It’s mid-January, it’s cold, and it’s the time of year when we begin to ask the question: how long until spring? That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
Wildflowers are dotting the highways, fireflies are flitting about during dusk and it’s still cool enough to sit outside most days. The telling signs of the spring season — and the anticipation of summer — inspired this week’s poem.
Spring weather in Texas can mean damaging hail. That was the inspiration for this week’s Typewriter Rodeo on the Texas Standard.
There comes a time of the year when spring just can’t come fast enough. That was the inspiration for this week’s Typewriter Rodeo.
One of the prettiest moments of the year in Texas? The Monarch migration. That was the inspiration for Typewriter Rodeo’s Kari Anne Roy as she wrote this week’s poem.
It’s hard to tell when spring comes and goes here in Texas, but one surefire way to tell? The wildflowers. That was the inspiration for Typewriter Rodeo’s Sean Petrie as he wrote this week’s poem.
Texas is seeing a lot of insects right now. Thanks to recent rain, mosquitoes are especially prevelant. That was Typewriter Rodeo’s Sean Petrie’s inspiration this week.
Along Texas highways, wildflowers are popping up – giving commuters something interesting to look at when they’re stuck in traffic. That was Typewriter Rodeo’s Kari Anne Roy’s inspiration this week.