a photograph by Sonja Bingen
by Ethel Mortenson Davis
Some sea gulls
passed me fast
a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis
Ruanne’s, the dragon’s, song gave strength to Wei.
She moved her wings inside the nothingness,
Ignoring wisps of spirits straining past
The place she occupied while still alive.
She felt her father, mother, in the void,
But only saw the swirling spirit ghosts
That danced and disappeared in currents stronger
Than any sense of being in a mind.
As other humans joined the song Ruanne
Sang with the dragons, Wei began to feel
A tide that seemed to have a substance absent
From hurricanes of absent spirits flung
About within the coldness of the void.
She spread her human dragon wings and forced
Herself to move into the feeble tide,
Its current stronger as she moved against
Its force, its substance growing grainier.
The song of life Ruanne had brought alive
Surrounded her and gave increasing strength
Until, at last, she saw them in the grayness,
Her father’s and her mother’s arms alive
With weaving substance out of vapored absence.
The universe was dying in her world.
The sentience inside the trees was shorn
Of time that let them draw their sustenance
From earth and rich, black soils; the beating hearts
Of dragons and of humans boiled their essence
Outside the power of Ruanne’s wild song
Into the nothingness hidden by a veil
Millennia had held until the day
Wei’s mother’s love had reached beyond her grave
And made the weirding storm now powerful
Enough to end all living on the earth.
Wei drew the song life sang into her hearts
And sang her love toward the substance holding
Her mother and her father’s selves together.
The chaos roared inside her ears and self.
It seemed as if the nothingness had gained
A life and hated anyone who threatened
To end the substance it now was inside.
The buffeting of cold assailing Wei
Began to draw her from the doorway where
Her mother wove her spells into the world.
Wei gathered up the song of life and hurled
It, filled with all she was, toward her mother.
Her mother’s form, so ghostly in the void,
Became as solid as the love that tucked
A blanket to her daughter’s chin at night
And let her daughter know the safety knit
Into the certainty of mother’s love.
Her father touched her mother’s arm and shook
His ghostly head and waved toward his daughter.
Receding, Wei saw sadness in her mother’s eyes.
Her mother reached toward the power song
Surrounding Wei, and then the substance built
Inside a place where substance could not be
Began to dissipate into reality.
The dire wolves’ howled beneath the canopy
Of forest where they lived the ravening.
The hearts of dragons thundered as they flew
Above the village smouldering from war.
Wei saw her mother die a second time.
She would not visit as a ghost again.
Inside the dusk of chaos tattering
Into the substance of a normal sky
Grief wailed into Wei’s triple hearts and shivered
Across the snow plains to the mountain peaks.
She felt her wings dissolving in the air.
She did not care, she thought. She did not care.
The Old One felt the shift inside the chaos.
She spread her wings and tried to see where Wei
Was in the ending of the weirding storm.
A cleansing, bitter wind was blowing hard
Down from the mountain peaks into village.
She strained her wings into the shrieking wind.
Behind her, Mmirrimann was following.
She saw the rainbow dragon sparking light
Into the darkness scattering away
From where the rainbow bands were shooting out
Across the surface of the wintered earth.
Ssruuanne felt that she might be much too late.
She flew much faster than she’d ever flown.
The rainbow dragon detonated light
Into the darkness as the sky turned blue.
A child fell from the light toward the earth.
Ssruuanne swooped low and grabbed the child
Inside her claws and climbed back to the sky.
Ruanne’s song drifted off into a silence,
Her long chant done; her strength gone from her heart.
Beneath Ssruuanne Wei did not try to move.
She breathed, but did not seem to be alive.
To listen to this passage, click on
Note: This is the forty ninth passage of a long narrative poem, which has grown into The Dragon Epic. There is one more passage after the one to be put on fourwindowspress. Originally inspired by John Keats’ long narrative poem, Lamia, it tells a story set in ancient times when dragons and humans were at peace. Click on the numbers below to reach other sections, or go to the Categories box to the right under The Dragon Epic. Click on Dragonflies, Dragons and Her Mother’s Death to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to Upon the Brink of Destruction to read the passage before this one.
by Ethel Mortenson Davis
The oil spill of the Exxon Valdez keeps on giving
for 18 years it’s kept on giving.
6000 workers along the shoreline sprayed chemicals on the oil,
breathing in the chemicals as well as the oil.
Many have died or have health problems.
The oil fell back onto the shore.
213 rivers have been destroyed—-
no longer can support life or spawn fish.
Thousands of tons of herring died–the waters still contain oil.
“Just watch us”, Exxon corporate leaders said,
“We’ll take care of you.”
The Supreme Court said Exxon didn’t have to pay
5 billon to people of Prince William Sound—
only 586 million—about 4 days profit for Exxon Mobile,
about 1 tenth of the losses
for the white and native peoples of Prince William Sound.
There have been 12 suicides and a divorce in every family
in the fishing community of 6000.
It just keeps on giving—
2 oil spills
in the world