Ben H. English

Ben. H. English ~ Alpine ~ Big Ben ~ Texas

But this is no new ‘undiscovered country.’ In fact, it is far from it. It is a very old land and no matter where you may venture, you are walking among and upon someone else’s life.

One needs to always remember that and to remember them.”…

-Ben H. English, ‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend’

Above the long-abandoned Roman De La O place and away from the crumbling rock pens, the still seeping desert spring, and the remaining three pillars that once provided shelter for his family, are two graves atop a tiny mesita.

I come here to prowl about and find what I have missed before, and to picture in my mind’s eye the past lying before me. Occasionally I set the cross back up for the larger grave, my own little battle against the desert that in the end, I will surely lose.

But I still do so all the same.

Because these people, perhaps anonymous save to God Almighty Himself, need to be remembered.

They were the ones who came before. Back when this country was still wild and free, and before countless others came.

Those who now blast by not a quarter of a mile away, kicking up a plume of dust seen five minutes before they arrive, wrapped securely in their shiny $65,000 cocoons with air conditioning, satellite radio, smart phones, seat warmers, parking assist, backing cameras, GPS and who knows what else.

How can they see anything, so isolated from everything surrounding them along a track they’ll likely never travel again, while concentrating only on the two ruts left by the past before them?

The dichotomy between the two is often so poignant, so jarring that you can almost taste it on the breeze.

It speaks to us as to what we have become, and where we are likely headed as a society.

And that is why I still come here.

God bless to all,

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas
USMC: 1976-1983
TCP: 1986-2008
Author of ‘Yonderings’ (TCU Press)
‘Destiny’s Way’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend’ (Creative Texts Publishers)
Facebook: Ben H. English
‘Graying but still game’


Life is like a bunch of roses. Some sparkle like raindrops. Some fade when there's no sun. Some just fade away in time. Some dance in many colors. Some drop with hanging wings. Some make you fall in love. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Life you can be sure of, you will not get out ALIVE.(sorry about that)

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