Longitudes, Old Habits, & Shu

image_pdfimage_print

by Lawrence Cottrell (August 2022)


Winter, Andrew Wyeth, 1946

 

Longitudes

We discuss such things now … what I’d do should she die …
____my days without her by-and-by …
Almost like speaking of the weather, or when I’ll mow
____next,

____or what ought be on a grocery list.

But still (and mostly), I sigh and move on, unable to bear
____the unbearable,
Having found late in life that familiarity, even thirty
____years of it,
Doesn’t breed scorn perforce but can be a homecoming, a
____getting used to another’s tale as one’s own story …
Gives-and-takes switched for the worn away wills of early
____years together,

____like spacklings of holes in plaster.

When magics have undone, each veil’s lifted, abatises

____wrecked

____(strewn onto time’s tender mercies),

Love of a whatsoever quiet kind may drift longitudes of
____fissuring selves,
Souls that weave discarnate threads ´to pied batistes of
____dawn

____on fortune’s dusking fells…

Old ordinary tells transmuted by our need for heartening
____dearlings of the holy—

 

Old Habits

Swallows gyre beneath the bridge, rote sense ranged north
____to rendezvous with June,
Chase fugitive life above a river as new flock of old habits,
____pennies for prodigal mind…
To spend when bitter winds pry hasps of autumn, rime’s
____stormed the last blue bonny inch of asters;
Buy fractions of a once upon a waking, nest airy gambols
____of mind with yester’s making …
Corrupt the culprit, death, with undertows to take the
____taking,
Visions flitting through green gush of summer in
____December…
Memory’s hymns forsaking angles, the grim inclemencies
____of winter,
Tongues of fire that speak to shadowlands accrued within
____the faded vigor of a sun,

____cause to blow ´mid snow pink mists of eglantine—

 

 

Shu

Shu (imaginary God of the real wind)
Pries
Shingles,
Whips
Signs
Along
The
Avenue,
Is
Treble
Shackled
To
Bass,
Stitched
To
Wail;
Hollo through cracks wild songs
To
The
Bric-a-brac.

I would furl canvas on spars,
Run
No
More
To
Heaven’s blow,
Abjure
Earth’s toss of mane against the manses and the jakes …
Denounce
That
Cannonade
Of
Sky
Like
Saint
A
Heresy …

____burrow into hush on some concavity of time …

Minuet
With
Eddies
Of
The
Easy, ambling gestures
Of
A
Serpentine—

 

Table of Contents

 

Lawrence Cottrell has lived in West Virginia, mostly, preferring to dwell among good people, in a place where change is an unloved orphan. He has a BA from West Virginia State University and attended several graduate schools, leaving each finally to walk mist-hewn hollers and prowl wind-blasted ridges, to be where valleys can be spanned by two arms and a broom handle, and noons aren’t quite sure of themselves. His poems have appeared in The LyricAppalachian HeritageGood Foot and Grab-a-Nickel, among others. His work is in the celebrated anthology Wild Sweet Notes: Fifty Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950-1999. He blooms presently at a bend of Elk River’s meander.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pre-order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order at Amazon US or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Fetch yours from AmazonAmazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order from Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!

RSS
Follow by Email
Twitter
Reddit
GAB
SOCIALICON