Watoga 2021 by James Cochran

Watoga 2021

Craigslist Ad:
I have lost my mojo (Orma)
“Lost my mojo need someone who can help me find it”

Somewhere between Anhedonia and Ataraxy
we drive east on the turnpike in torrential
downpour, passing old man in rusted sedan
with driver’s window down completely.

Is it broken, or is he just looking to feel something?

Still raining in Rainelle, West Virginia,
then we outrun the storm passing
Sam Black Church, town named
after church named after
19th century Methodist preacher.

Miles and hours pass by,
rain slows to a drizzle,
we turn north on 219
past signs reading:
“Trump 2024”
“Jesus Saved Me!”
and “$1.00 Hot Dog!”

past Pleasant Green M.E.
old white church where
former slaves lie buried
in a graveyard the forest
is busy reclaiming.

On the fence of a small pasture,
sign in neat letters declares
“My Name is Rocket”
and a small white pony,
totem of equanimity
grazes on wet grass
looking unperturbed
by the sheer velocity
with which he hurtles
through space.


James Cochran is a proudly Appalachian writer, transplanted from the soil of Southeastern Ohio to the hilly streets of Charleston, West Virginia. He embraces the practice of mindfulness through writing, and writing through mindfulness, and enjoys listening to the neighbor’s wind chimes. James believes in the power of writing to access and understand our shared experience in a way that can heal and empower all of us. His current writing is strongly place based, like himself a mixture of rural and urban, and strongly rooted in the present moment, while also seeking links with past and future as a path to better understanding and acceptance of the now.