Cracked Obsidian (life & death of a volcano)

What started as wild molten nights of passion quickly cooled to black flows of cracked obsidian

It began with sweet lyrics
Staying up far too late
Everything she wanted to hear
Flowing forth from his saccharine lips
(The same ones she loved to suck and bite)

She listened intently to his voice
Attentive, trusting
Longing to believe, then believing in earnest
Eruptions of fiery lust and desires

Internal flames backlit his eyes
She laughed dancing about the room
Down the hall and through the night
His lids lowered, following her every move
Before he found himself pulled within the eddies swirling around her swaying hips
He resisted her not

Until the day he did

Cooling moments of lust-turned-obligation
Looking over her shoulder
Even as she held his face between her palms
Gripping his phone tightly, tightly
Never allowing it to stray too far
Pulling away if she kissed him in public
Holding her hand instead of her thigh

Conversations faltering, gasping, died
Unmoved by her tears
Forgetting simple things
Once-comforting arms become a criss-crossed barrier
Thank you’s and flowers and accidentally brushed touches long cooled, desiccated

He appeared to her as if through a tunnel
Across a dim chasm
His voice tinny and distorted
She beckoned to him as his eyelids shuttered
Attempted to coax his attentions
With painted lips and spike heels, nary another stitch
A chime, he lifted his phone, then pecking her on the cheek, walked out the room

Her final thrust: she stood before the tube
Blocking a view of one thick-necked man from body slamming another by her curvy hips and plaited hair and scented skin

Questions flowed from her eyes
Mascara streaks early in the night
He leaned sideways to peer beyond her once-worshipped delectable body
Missing the best move of the fight, according to the script
Throwing his hands in the air, gesturing wildly

She slipped away, apparently unseen
Door quietly clicking shut, he never heard her
Never noticed until his beer was empty
And she hadn’t brought him a fresh one

It was in that moment his phone chirped yet all he observed was how cold the house had gotten and that her keys were replaced by a single slip of paper signed with her familiar slanted hand:

tara caribou | ©2018-2021 (revised)

Read more like this in my poetry book, Fallen Star Rising.

Book Release – The Hawthorne Project (A Dark Short Story Anthology)

Just in time for Halloween, Raw Earth Ink is proud to present The Hawthorne Project. A dark fiction anthology.

Nine houses. Eleven authors. One week.

The neighborhood of west Hawthorne Drive in quiet Greenfield Wisconsin is filled with dark stories and darker rumors. There’s the haunting by a faceless creature. They’ve all seen it. They’ve all experienced its presence. On the one hand, it seems to desire the life of mortals, on the other, it befriends a small boy. It both mocks and assists. Runs away and stands face-to-faceless face.

And not to mention the mysterious death of the street’s namesake, Jim Hawthorne. His strange and reclusive widow peers from behind her drawn curtains, rarely leaving her home, but to walk her little dog or tend her manicured gardens.. yet she’s not one for giving up any of the cul-de-sac’s secrets.

But in the days leading up to Halloween, events take a more sinister turn, including strange visitations, an eerie violet haze in the sky, attempted murder, breaking-and-entering, and multiple police check-ins until not one of the residents can deny: something or someone is here to stay.

Inside you’ll find work from:

  • River Dixon
  • Chisto Healy
  • Tristan Drue Rogers & Sarah Anne Rogers
  • Lou Rasmus
  • Mark Ryan
  • Mark Towse
  • Joshua Marsella
  • Darren Diarmuid
  • Robert Birkhofer
  • Jeremiah Fox

You can find this collection in paperback at lulu and Amazon or e-book on Kindle. Find the Goodreads link here.

Discover more great books from Raw Earth Ink here.

Hello, Again

Dear friends; Well, it’s been a month since I posted anything here…. and that was something that had been scheduled for a month prior. So, about two months of inactivity, so the stats say.

Part of me cares. Part of me doesn’t. Part of me feels like I should offer an explanation. Most of me feels like, in the big scheme of things… no one (or rather, very few) really cares if or why I have been absent. Everything sounds like excuses.

To the five or so people who reached out to check in on me, your messages truly touched me and in every case, brought a smile to my heart. Thank you. I sincerely mean that: thank you. Knowing that I crossed a couple minds in the world, enough to reach out, wow, it’s humbling and I have no better words for you. I wish I did.

While I have been absent here, I’ve still been showing up pretty much every day over on Instagram but that is the fullest extent of my activities on social media. This is the longest break I’ve taken from blogging since 2016. Rest assured, I’m still creating. Some of it I’m sharing on Instagram. Most of it I am not.

Though I haven’t been here, I have been quite busy. I’ll be scheduling up some posts in the next few days. I’m super excited about the next few book releases from Raw Earth Ink. What am I saying?? I’m always excited. I choose to publish work that moves me personally. To publish people that I admire and respect. (With the exception of a few who burned me hard last year, who I have since cut ties with… just being honest here… I AM a real person, after all and not defined by my work or my business.) I’ll be linking to pages within my website for you, but also you can check out all Raw Earth Ink’s published works here.

I’ve also been reading some really great books this summer and I want to share a few of those with you all, so a few book reviews will be showing up. It feels weird to say “summer” as it has snowed several times since the end of September.

Add to that some great photos to share…. because we all know how much I love nature and where I live in Alaska. I know some of you enjoy those posts as well, so yes, I’ll be creating a few for your pleasure. 😌

Hopefully a few of my “followers” have stuck with me during this unexplained absence and will appreciate what I’ve got lined up. I’ve decided to alter my content slightly, and I hope that you’ll stay for that.

Your friend in the far north,
tara caribou

A Daily Prayer

May the Light of Love blind us
to the faults and imperfections
we each have, now and forevermore.

tara caribou | ©2017-2021

I Never Could

“You are more than the sum of your pasts…
you are your future as well”

His words whispered in my ear
One warm summer evening
And the tears that shone in his eyes
Told me all I needed to know:
I had already lost him

He saw more in me than I ever could
The reflection in his eyes
I never could get there
What I witnessed disgusted me
I hated myself
I still do
Where he saw a future possible
I saw nothing but my former life
Our hands never could meet in the middle
The now

And I knew what I had done
Sabotaging myself
And him
Yet I never could get myself turned around
Facing his direction
The pull of history had too firm a grasp
I had given it so much power
Breaking its grip
Meant breaking myself

While I know I need to tear myself free
Chip away the caked on cement of clay
From off my eyes
Still I keep it wrapped about me
A comfortable cloying suffocation
It holds me back
Keeps me from growing

And still
The old voices dominate my mind
You’ll never be good enough

tara caribou | 2018-2021

Summer Into Autumn Photography

Due to unforeseen circumstances this spring in my household, my workload increased and my summer has been busy, busy. Autumn is always busy, with harvesting moose and foraging for berries. I thought I’d give you all a break from the macro shots and share a little hodgepodge. Enjoy!

One of the wild bunnies on the property collecting fresh hay for his burrow.
On a hot day, nothing feels as nice as the cool air beneath a canopy of alders.
Looking into the alders, it’s like a whole new world, very grounding and magical.
Sometimes the sky looks like a painting and I stare in awe.
Salmon from subsistence fishing.
Beautiful colors.
Smoking the salmon.
Another gorgeous sunset from my front porch.
The fair comes every August.
And watched this sword-swallower guy. Wow. So cool to see it in person.
This wild baby bunny, who I called Cinnamon, invited herself into my house several times.
Gorgeous day at the beach.
Chemtrails all day makes for some interesting skies.
They don’t call it fireweed for nothing.
I don’t have any food for you, bunny.
Butchering the moose.

tara caribou | ©2021 all photos mine


My lips burn to say the words
I love you

It almost doesn’t seem fair
Dragging you down to me

See you’re wonderful
Not perfect but you’re simply you

And I contaminate you with my filth
My sins and my darkness

I’m selfish
I want you

But if you’re pure light
I’m tar
Enslaving covering
Sucking you down into my depths
Marring you

If you step in to my heart
You’ll never be cleansed of me again

I’ll infect you with my decay
Pollute you with my impurity
Defile you with my foulness

And yet even so my lips continue to seethe
Tingling and tormented
With the longing to tell you

Just how much I love you

tara caribou | ©2018-2021

Berry Picking Photography

Well, it’s definitely that time of year here in my part of Alaska: berry picking. And boy has it been a great year for berries. I had to put the brakes on my nearly daily forays into the woods/muskeg due to the fact that there’s a shortage of canning jars locally. Happens nearly every year… and I thought I was prepared but it’s been such a great year that I ran out and finally was able to find a business that had some tucked away, still in stock. So, it’s back out for more berries again.

This year (so far) I’ve been able to harvest wild strawberries (much much much better than those flavorless ones you find at the grocery store), lingonberries (just getting started on these – also known as low-bush cranberries), low-bush blueberries, watermelon berries, and some currants, though they aren’t quite ready yet. Oh, and some rhubarb because I do love my rhubarb jam.

Anyway, hope you enjoy a couple quick pics from recent days.

A few gallons of wild strawberries.
Watermelon berries.. which I’m not a huge fan of, but a request for jelly was made.
My favorite: lingonberries.
Best place to find lingonberries (low-bush cranberries), is on old rotten logs.
Gooseberries, also known as stink currants. This is the first time I’ve seen these on my property.
The more common red currant, *almost* ready in the setting sun.
Low-bush blueberries. Hard not to eat these suckers, they’re so tasty. Much better than from the store.
Not quite ripe in this section. I’ll come back for you guys later…
Dwarf dogwood, which I don’t like at all, but they sure are cheerful.
My number one favorite berry is the moss (or crow) berry… and this is the first I’ve seen them this year. This was on someone else’s land, so I didn’t get any…
….the bear did though.

tara caribou | ©2021 all photos by me

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