Sunday, August 30, 2015

To Ghostly Venture into Old Age

To Ghostly Venture into Old Age

Wildfire smoke from seventy miles north...
then a south wind... dust across scab rock.

You're wary-stepping into dry grassland,
eye-burned, worried a lump-of-rattler waits.

The gift of reverie... age-seventy onward:
dreamlike moments when you become

a past not even your own: a large
weather-loosened gray rock.

There are letters... emails... sacks of kibble
to open,,, tubes of black paint for canvas.

What if you take a knee, roll, stretch out...
find communion with ash, sand, some clay?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

THE SEVENTH WAVE, A Red Shuttleworth One-Poem Chapbook

The Seventh Wave

a one-poem chapbook

Red Shuttleworth

The Seventh Wave, a poem first presented on this blog in 2011, slightly tinkered with, is presented by Bunchgrass Press as a limited edition chapbook.

On the Road, Milford to Ely....

Red Shuttleworth
ready for the next road trip....

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Woe to the Land Shadowing

Woe to the Land Shadowing

Less evening wildfire smoke from the north...
and you step into the path of a black car,
no headlights, ten minutes past sundown.

You're listening to the laughter
of twenty-five years ago:
loopy-drunk rodeo girls in striped shirts
unsnapped to black-ribbon turquoise bras.

You're following a center pivot's
far nozzle over late August alfalfa...
shower of glacier-cold ancient water.

You're not yourself... a voice inside
a dust-clogged old fashioned telephone
on a filling station wall... you're not yourself.

A no-headlights black car blares
a horn... brushes past on blacktop.
You're alive... post-rumble upright,
whiff of gasoline... baled alfalfa.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Feeling Superimposed

Feeling Superimposed

Darkening alfalfa fields...
quilt for the hospice-placed.

Foreboding-gold sun..
band of red... charcoal sky.

You want toasted black bread
after this four-mile hike...
lather of strawberry preserves.

Daydream: a Rawlings infielder mitt,
candy hop grounders to catch and toss.

Memory: a Santee coyote mask
in a Cedar City, Utah, curio shop.

Daydream: a laughing
treadmill-addicted stage actress...
chocolate cake, bourbon, a motel room.

Night sky, we are the offspring of stars?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sky-Ashes Poem... With Irish Wolfhound... Again

Sky-Ashes Poem... With Irish Wolfhound... Again

Scribbly weeds, sagebrush, center pivot
irrigated alfalfa to a verdant side
of a barren two-track: conjure solidity...
or gone-youth under funerary clouds.

The Wolfhound huffs, Promises... promises....
When has there not been a nice
Milk Bone biscuit at take-rest end?

We walk... cough-trot in death-haze...
ash of pine... ash of black bear with cubs....

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Campsites of Ghosts

Campsites of Ghosts

You drag yourself and your sidekick Wolfhound,
grainy wildfire-particulates air, for a another
sagebrush walk.  North, in front of flames,
deer, badger, back-scorched coyote...
the last wild pony... run for their lives.

Pale orange sun at bacon-cheese noon.
The Wolfhound hard-sneezes black smoke grit.
It's on your plate.  Then you're on a crumbled
blacktop road through dead bunch grass,
the hound circling haunted stone circles.

You tell your friend, Mouth's so dry...
could use a bulge of chewin' tobacco.
The lead-white/gray sky turns ash-yellow.
The weight of each minute is a saddlebag
of ripped cotton shirts wrapping bone.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Unfinished Works at Smoke/Haze Sunset

Unfinished Works at Smoke/Haze Sunset

As you stumble-step gravel-'n-rock...
cover three-plus miles of farm two-track,
your all-black acrylic paintings,
set against memory, plunge you
into a compression of sadness.

The evening sky is visible, wildfire
smoke held up north from lack of wind.
There will always be car dealers...
finaglers... constant truth-chippers.

You read of exponential growth
of the urban coyote population.
You feel you should invite four
local coyotes to make a panel
for the next AWP or MLA
or Rumi conference for ninnies.

You should, before you buy
a suitably garish cobalt-blue car,
a sonofabitchin' tank of a rig,
buck-'n-fail reality a lot better.