What'll We Do There?
What'll We Do There? is a five-poem Red Shuttleworth limited edition Bunchgrass Press chapbook.
Four of the poems in the chapbook are from autumn of 2011... revisited/revised beyond recognition:
Soon... White Autumn Leaves
Ol' Tumbler for the Neon-Somewhere-Else
Poem for October 14, 2011
What'll We Do There?
Since these poems are now on paper, in a chapbook, they are no longer available on the blog.
The fifth poem in the chapbook, Darkness in Particular, is new and was recently posted on this blog... where it remains temporarily available to readers.
Note on the title:
A year before Wolfie, our Irish Wolfhound (of five and a half years) was diagnosed with fatal osteosarcoma, we chanced into a brief talk about death, about the possibilities of an after-life that he and I might share. Wolfie assumed that there is such a place and that we would continue our existence on such a plane. But he had concerns, asking (as would, perhaps, a three-year-old child), What'll we do there? As was my habit during Wolfie's life, I opened a notebook to catch his words. The poem that arrived from the title had absolutely nothing to do, at least so far as I could tell, with Wolfie's question.
Note on the cover photograph:
A couple of weeks ago, at the urging of my wife, Kate, we drove ninety miles to a pull-off-the-road place east of Washtucna, Washington, on the north side of state highway #26. It is the site of a recurring dream I have of our beloved, lost-to-bone-cancer Wolfie. In my dream, it is night and raining and there is a greenish hue to that world, and Wolfie asks, What is this place? And, Where am I? I rise out of this recurring dream in anguish... filled with irrational guilt and rational loss. Kate and I did not perceive anything of-or-from Wolfie at that lonesome rest stop for weary truckers rolling from Moscow, Idaho to Seattle... not a sign of him at all. But, looking north up a hill, looking at Mullan Road, a 19th century unpaved road between military forts for the cavalry, I remembered the several times that, halfway to or from Moscow to visit my daughter, Ciara, and my son, Luke, we walked Mullan Road, Wolfie and me, walked uphill and looked back down at the beautiful, still-rough 'n hard cow country that borders the Columbia Basin and the Palouse. Wolfie always enjoyed that walk. After I snapped the photograph that is on the cover of this chapbook, I walked uphill on Mullan Road with our current Irish Wolfhound, Peaches, walked it in living, loving, forever-memory of Wolfie. Although the photograph seems right for the included poems, the poems are not about Wolfie... not consciously, no.