Visitation in the wood.

©2021 Michael Raven

Woad paint my face, streaks of blue, becoming ocean waves

Kohl paint my eyes, to the shadows for what they are.

Tapping the thin bones rhythm to the heartbeat earth, the mother of the clan; tapping out the rhythm of skies under the waves, we look westward with fire in our eyes. Darted with mud arrows, she stood beside me, a feast of snared rabbit finger entwined. “Eat,” she said and her cheek tasted of mud as I kissed it. The tapping of bones would linger well into the night, as the wood took up the song in the wind and coming storm — branched their own bones finger snapping in the growing breeze. Rattle, they cry, rattle the night growing strong.

I dressed while fire-build she, so sharp my knife; so strip the flesh from fur to be scraped clean. Spit and sear, fat spatter flames, the sky streak-filled with light.

“They are coming?” The words hinted at question, but it was nothing, only ritual. When I didn’t respond she grunted, knowing the answer. “They come,” she added with greasy fingers, by way of affirmation.

The wait was nothing, we still licked fat-burned callouses as they came.

“We are here,” they said.

“You are here,” I said in reply.

They sat amongst the fresh bones and feasted on the pile she and I had made. Then, they sat back, patting their bone-filled stone-speared stomachs, belched and then stood. And then they sang.

The song —

The song —


This is an experimental piece from my efforts over and the private site. It’s a continuation of my pieces that explore unconventional sentence structure (see We, Wendigo), which is related to, but separate from, my exploration with various portmanteau-likes (more word-mashups than true portmanteau) and standard portmanteaus. My reasons are largely centered around trying to create something different than the standard writing out there, mostly because I’d like to see more experimentation with language myself — these kinds of experiments, along with archaic language resurrection, use of symbolic imagery, and reimagining the structure of language away from the subject/object paradigm we are beholden to. I don’t know how successful I have been, or will be… but it is fun, so I continue to play and hope that I hit on something really cool in the future.

One thought on “Visitation in the wood.

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