S.S. Raven
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by Jacie Ragan

When twilight sprawls across the shadow-realm,
the musty wind exhales a minor chord,
awakening each dark and furtive lord
who dons an eyeless mask and hammered helm
to search the woods for foes to overwhelm.
Each spreads a feathered cape and draws a sword,
then leaves no tangled thicket unexplored.
These shadow-creatures cut through thorn and elm.

When shadow-lords go hunting glen and glade,
all woodland denizens bow down, forlorn.
No swift nor cunning quarry can evade
these stealthy stalkers streaming through the thorn.
No mortal flesh prevails against the shade,
and we must learn to serve the twilight-born.


Jacie Ragan's latest chapbook is Deadly Nightshade, published by Flesh & Blood Press. Her sonnet cycle, "In the Shadow of the Condor," won Byline's 16th annual poetry award. Jacie writes:

If I were a bird, Id be a crow.
My tree? The sycamore.
Im fond of Baudelaire & Poe,
preferring ghosts to gore.
My favorite color is indigo
and sonnets help me soar.

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"Servitude" © Jacie Ragan. Used by permission of the author.
 Raven Electrick © Karen A. Romanko. Clipart by Corel®.