Sunday, October 12, 2008

Featured Poet: Red Shuttleworth

For your reading pleasure once again, a poem (by a dear friend of Plains Song Review), Red Shuttleworth.


The Holy Grail

Decades after his widow caught a ride
to a rest home, the village photographer's
negatives were there is something
to be said for the patience of the unjust.

Fire on snow.
Cattle on corn stubble.
The turbulent eyes of a farm boy
in a mud-splattered Sunday suit.
A mother cradling her dead child's shoes.
A trio of old men, bald domes,
shrunken faces, in Rough Rider uniforms,
precarious on saddled plow horses.

Someone phones someone at Minot State.
A scholar comes a week later, on the dot,
carries the widow's stuff,
except for the negatives,
from her 30 x 20 paint-blistered house,
and leaves green plastic garbage sacks
beside the gravel road.

It thunders and hails that night...
and mice scratch horribly
inside the woman's house...
shake a wedding portrait
off a tattered floral-papered wall.


Red Shuttleworth and his wife and children lived in Fairbury and Winside in the eighties. Red’s Western Settings received the first Spur Award for Poetry in 2001 from Western Writers of America. He was named “Best Living Western Poet” in 2007 by True West magazine. Red will shortly be seen in Minnetonka Review and has poems set to appear in RATTLE's special Western/Cowboy poetry issue and Weber: The Contemporary West. Red currently lives in Moses Lake, Washington.

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