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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Jo Reyes-Boitel

About Place Journal, Volume II Issue I


Perhaps too late, given the men were taken first. Then the women and those children who could walk. Then whole families including the elderly.
Madness soon develops for those who aren’t taken. Those left create new family, a necessity in the face of mass departure. Iroko, by the time of these kidnappings, cannot walk well without a staff.
But Iroko won’t fold himself in.
He cannot speak anymore, cannot reconcile. He prowls the night for years, frightening those who try to safe traveling in the dark. Years pass and there is word he has died. Young men, fulfilling their obligation to bring their own back home, search for him.
Along his walking path giant trees begin growing. Their size offers some cover for the small families. They grow readily and the wood is admired for its thick branches and hard wood.
Soon though the wood reveals itself: cutting the wood brings misfortune. Iroko tries to protect and anyone removing that intent awakens his anger.
In any house containing furniture made from the wood of Iroko there can be heard creaking and groans. It is the spirit of Iroko, imprisoned in the wood, who longs to wander through the forest again.
Jo Reyes-Boitel is a writer, motivator/supporter, mother, daughter to oya and obatala, rabid music listener, beginning drummer and lover. texas transplant, arriving by way of minnesota | florida | mexico | cuba. jo works to actively connect everyday earth activities to the heaven that surrounds.



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