by Red Shuttleworth

This overarching happiness
is a fresh-painted red truck on gravel…
an empty cattle trailer rattling behind it.
All that rust shaken off and windblown.

Tomorrow I shall get up at four a.m.,
drive to Walla Walla, listen to Russell
sing “Blue Wing” over and over again.
Tomorrow: snapshots of drought country,
lines in a red-as-lifeblood notebook.

It will be Sunday tomorrow…
like day-old roadside shell casings.
This happiness will be chalky memory.

© 2015, Red Shuttleworth, from Woe to the Land Shadowing, used with permission
Poet and playwright Red Shuttleworth’s Woe to the Land Shadowing poetry collection “…presents poems from the Washington State fire season of summer-2015.” It received the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s 2016 “Wrangler” Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Poetry (Blue Horse Press).

Past Texas Poet Laureate Larry D. Thomas praised the book, “If the American West could write, these poems would be its story…”

Read Paul Zaryski’s words and a short review of Red Shuttleworth’s Brief Lives, which includes a poem here.

Red Shuttleworth has received three Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and has been named “Best Living Western Poet” by True West Magazine.

Find more about Red Shuttleworth at his blog; his web site,; and on  Facebook.