I come from Zambia, Africa. Unknown to most travellers, there exists a creature of myth & cultural memory called Chitapo. If you travel in the north, there are pictures around the Kafue area that depict her; in the south around the Zambezi also. She/they are part-mermaid/ siren, part snake, lurking in the depths of the rivers and lakes. Their enchanting song lures wandering souls into the water to drown. She is always hungry. In the half-awake, half-comatose state of grief, self doubt, fear of addiction or diminution, she appears to us. She’s beautiful and terrible, the snake ever poised and watchful, and we cannot look away… Do we dare embrace her? At what cost?
Decades ago, autodidact & bloody-minded optimist kerry rawlinson gravitated from sunny Zambian skies to solid Canadian soil, nurturing family and a career in Architectural Technology. Fast-forward: She follows Art & Literature’s Muses around the Okanagan, still barefoot; her patient husband ensuring she’s fed. She’s won some contests, e.g. from Fish Poetry Prize, CAGO Online Gallery, Geist; and recent work appears internationally, eg. Tupelo Quarterly, Across The Margin, Painted Bride Quarterly, Literary Review of Canada, Connecticut River Review, Pedestal Magazine, Riddled With Arrows,Boned,and Anti-Herion Chic; amongst others. http://kerryrawlinson.tumblr.com/; @kerryrawli