tara caribou + Michael Raven | ©2021
artwork ©2021 | tara caribou, used with permission
through the damp wood dim and heavy, humid with the tears of Danu’s children from ere they dwelt in their mounds, where betwixt and ‘tween the misty veils lies a fortress forbidding bare and stark built of black mud, river boulder, bone and feather in single file dressed all alike, black robed and solemn, they walk the pathway climb the tower up the stairway ‘round cold bricks about my heart tight, so tight, i cannot breathe! worms trying to shatter those stones reshape my world, theirs yet… ‘neath the soul’s window on the ledge there stands a raven black and dark her feathers silky beak so sharp eyes that glitter in the night upon stairs tread by boots of traitors line they then of one accord first the one and then the other bend a knee lift arcane stave as one voice murmur dark curses known only to those across the vales all at once with sudden vigor raven surges upon her wings takes to air caws and cries an eerie shouting a dismal spell all her own to their horror and great amazement notice they, the twelve of cloak, within her claw she holds a blade of silver etched with runes they cannot bear rending these speckled sill maggot interlopers asunder, them vying for a premature seat at the funeral feast
This is a collaborative effort with Tara Caribou, who provided the starting material which we both built from over the course of several editing periods over the past few weeks. After reading her initial suggestion, I felt it should appear as a seamless piece that could have multiple authors, or a single author. She may have had other goals — we hadn’t discussed that element during the process of creation. That goal, in my opinion, was largely met with the results above, although I suspect you could probably extract who did what if you really wanted to make such an effort. I honestly wouldn’t waste your time doing so — you’ll just get annoyed because it isn’t by stanza and I won’t admit to anything.
I’m very pleased with the results and look forward to working with Tara in the future (assuming she’ll continue put up with me and my weird habits of notetaking on other writers’ writing and abstract, nonsensical comments).
As always, I am interested in collaborative efforts, should you wish — be it with fiction, poetry, music, or some combination of all of the above. It makes a different part of the creative mind work than that which creates solo efforts, and I feel it has the potential to make both participants better at what they do as a part of their overall growth. It won’t always work, sadly, and I will honestly (and yet politely) say so if it comes to that — but we’ll never know if we don’t attempt to work together.