Monday, August 31, 2015

Thin Strips of Bed Sheet Tied to Barb Wire

Thin Strips of Bed Sheet Tied to Barb Wire

Out back of a boarded trailer,
scattered deer bones from poach years,
bright tricycle bars
poking up from drought grass,
a no-engine, no-tires Econoline Van....

There are worse places to drink.
A wife blowd bath tub bubbles,
manic hums, starts scissoring more
than colored paper cut-out dolls.
But you follow her to Gilroy.

Paved road, nearly eight acres,
good well, stove not used
in the last good dozen years.
Jaundice yellow-gray sky.
Call realtor before looking.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Always Trying to Make Country Singer Parallels

Always Trying to Make Country Singer Parallels

Brief reunions... old lovers at sunset:
1980's radio static, medicinal-purpose whiskey,
echo-drip of a missile silo pipe thirty miles east.

If showers from the Pacific weaken...
in case... in case Chelan fully burns.
you work toward a palette of smoke colors:
raccoon-blood smoke... lemon-sky haze.

Night-grazing horses, baled alfalfa
a mile west in pie crust light...
nothing explains pebbles in running shoes
or how far you keep at a stutter-jog before....

Or the lovers are honorary mayors
in rubble-thick villages, age-withered...
with gold cardboard keys to nothing.

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.

Woe to the Land Shadowing is the title poem of Red Shuttleworth's late 2015 collection of poems about the recent Washington State fire season.

Woe to the Land Shadowing, a collection of poems by Red Shuttleworth is available on Amazon.

Red Shuttleworth
(photo by Ciara Shuttleworth)

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.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Smoke Shadows at Eye Level

Smoke Shadows at Eye Level

Origins in some god's dance hall fire...
birth from ancient cosmic outward wind....

You are driving smoke-blind,
coughing, looking for head-on chrome.

You are wearing a Halloween skeleton costume...
topped with a black wide-brim Resistol hat.

Or... you are six deer in crimson brake lights.
The ash-carpeting of heaven is badger-gnawed.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Canal Road Southeast of Adrian, Washington... Four-Miles at Sunset

Canal Road Southeast of Adrian, Washington... Four-Miles at Sunset

Less smoke haze: the muscular sun,
red-lacquered and thumping crazy for weeks,
releases us from daylight... falls, falls, falls....

Head down, you listen to eerie magpie cries
filtered through pine ash particles:
West Nile Virus, Feathers of West Nile Virus...

Luminous black-glow: August is dying,
painted pony-cough... coyote croak.
Nightmare-splatter gravel.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Crescent of Dried Blood Where We Expect the Moon

Crescent of Dried Blood Where We Expect the Moon

Chronology seems old fashioned...
a sky of creamy ash.  Quivering sun.
Vocabulary hits a washboard road.

Vocabulary in grays...
a gone-circus... a leathery underside
of over-sized 1950's clown shoes.

What is it that hovers among particulates
of inferno-forest?  Memories of lilac
lingerie... cool touch of a fog-blue tin cup?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Wildfire Smoke/Haze... Sky Smudges

Wildfire Smoke/Haze... Sky Smudges

A common run of cell phones on-silent

from burned-out towns on the Columbia River.

You wake in semi-darkness before sundown...
a listing-sideways evening without sun or cloud.

Hypnagogic voices jerk in unlike-song... in scream.

You fly awake before dawn...
taste of charred power pole from up north.

Outside with a huffing Wolfhound
in sky-smothered ashy darkness...
you twist open every farmyard hydrant.

A mourning dove, bleached bone, shrieks past.

The complete collection of Red Shuttleworth's poems from the Washington State 2015 fire season, Woe to the Land Shadowing, is available as a paperback book published by Blue Horse Press.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Final Light of Day

Final Light of Day

Twist of rusty barb wire, failed grids,

goat-cleared brushy pasture... sagebrush....
You listen for a passenger jet...
Seattle to Boston?  Pilots with available
oxygen masks in the shadows
of old lovers' apartments....

You listen for jet rumble to drop
36,000 feet to where you're taking snapshots
of over-grazed, August sage steppe.
Night is quirky-falling, ash-gray
from the wildfire that surrounds Chelan.

Stepping against a weather-broken fence
some other unshaven old man put up...
to have something to watch while dying,
you scan for where horizon might be,
where a sun might be ill-burning inward.

This poem is included in Red Shuttleworth's Woe to the Land Shadowing, winner of the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Poetry from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  Woe to the Land Shadowing, published by Blue Horse Press, is available on Amazon.

Red Shuttleworth accepts the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Poetry at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, April 16, 2016.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Least Bit

The Least Bit

Trance-like driving after three hours
on a car lot... pencil notes on showroom gloss.
You are brain-numb... fit to be padlocked.

At kitchen counter, you butter soda crackers,
one for the Wolfhound, one for you...
one for the Wolfhound, two for you....

So many of us are our misrepresentations.
Many of us are our capitulations or refusals.

Ambiguous clouds build in the west,
white-splatter atop old-town steel.
Below all of it... more wildfire smoke/haze.

You're weary of navigation, of dashboard maps
jabbing your eyes with your sorry location.

Friday, August 14, 2015

First Cold Front of Summer

First Cold Front of Summer

Darkening alfalfa fields past second cutting,
pastures, cattle juggling last light on short horns.
Twenty-two miles south: the freeway is closed.
First cold front of summer is whipping through.

Evening, dirt-heavy gusts at 40,
you're on a three-mile daydream,
walking ghost Wolfhounds on a canal road.
Later: ice cubes and glacier water in crystal.

Existence is being divided into small particles.
Radio reportage: blowing dust and smoke...
the bloody freeway-injured at Silica Road
are kept moaning in wrecked pick-ups and cars.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clapboard Day

Clapboard Day

If the wildfire smoke/haze would blow
elsewhere, you could do voice-overs.
Keep in mind the Big Bang... fire and smoke
we cannot yet telescope-witness.

Typically, the readership is the hidden thread.

You are dog-reminded:
every eloquent hillbilly song, rustic fairy tale,
serves to confirm how you never could
stay within machine-ruled blue lines...
never were meant to earn good grades.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Five Bunchgrass Press Chapbook Anthologies Donated to U. NV, Reno Library

Five Bunchgrass Press Chapbook Anthologies
Donated to University of Nevada Reno
Special Collections and Archives

Red Shuttleworth is elated to donate five Bunchgrass Press Chapbook Anthologies, at the request of Librarian Betty J. Glass, to Special Collections and Archives at the University of Nevada, Reno.  The curation of these chapbooks is predicated by their containing poems by two Nevada Writers Hall of Fame members, Adrian C. Louis and Kirk Robertson.

Adrian C. Louis

Kirk Robertson

The donated chapbook anthologies are:

The five now-very-rare chapbooks (soon to be available to readers and researchers at Special Collections and Archives at the library at University of Nevada, Reno), with poems from Adrian C. Louis and Kirk Robertson, also contain work by Tom Clark, Barbara Brinson Curiel, Christopher Danowski, Dave Kelly, Terry Kinney, Ciara Shuttleworth, Red Shuttleworth, and Eamonn Wall.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

PINTO RIDGE: A Red Shuttleworth Chapbook

Pinto Ridge

five poems

Red Shuttleworth

Pinto Ridge, a Red Shuttleworth chapbook, is published in a limited edition by Bunchgrass Press.  The included poems are:

Sunday Desert Approach

Dry Coulee: 1

Dry Coulee: 2

Dry Coulee: 3

Pinto Ridge

Dry Coulee, photo by Red Shuttleworth

Red Shuttleworth
(Photo by Ciara Shuttleworth)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pinto Ridge

Pinto Ridge

Fire-displaced coyotes, kangaroo rats,
deer... all scowl-southward in haze-desert.
You hike, today's mystery guest
for those who keep an eye out,
rattler... deranged woodpecker.

Smoke-rouge of sundown...
then the sky going dark...
a blank-ash TV screen.

No more than a speck of dust
to a distant, throw-away old horse,
you hike, listen for blind cars
on a lonesome two-lane,
take slugs of water
from a cheap canteen,
swallow against loss.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dry Coulee: 3

Dry Coulee: 3

Don't sun-glance, not through smoke,

even with blue-tint Oakley lenses...
a dim past --gray ceramic pioneer figurines--
rides a smoke-snake against rock.
You step from the car with the Wolfhound
for a bite of charred air,  The coulees
have acquired a rough black collar.
A deer gasps across a gravel road...
lurches into a drought-fringe of bunch grass,
stumbles on fire-charred scree, looks back.

Dry Coulee: 3 is included in a Red Shuttleworth collection of poems, Woe to the Land Shadowing (Blue Horse Press, 2015), available from Amazon.

Dry Coulee: 2

Dry Coulee: 2

Clutching-foolish to rusty barb wire coils,

you nightmare-run a flaming apple orchard...
scent of grassy burned pie crust.
Dream alone... dream alone... dream alone:
flaming bible pages in a scorch-wind.
One oily sagebrush at a time torches-up.
You nightmare run along train tracks...
train gone east a century ago...
moon-white pony and bison skulls.

Dry Coulee: 2 is included in a Red Shuttleworth collection of poems, Woe to the Land Shadowing (Blue Horse Press, 2015), available from Amazon.

Dry Coulee: 1

Dry Coulee: 1

Likewise... wildfire smoke

text messages ancient volcanic rock.
Such is sincerity, the living close
to each other, Art Deco fridges,
stained glass wall hangings,
camp-outs... the inkjet life...
all of it up in black 'n white.

Dry Coulee: 1 is included in Red Shuttleworth's Woe to the Land Shadowing (Blue Horse Press, 2015), available from Amazon.