an epic poem by Thomas Davis
Inside the conclave’s cavern elders sat
Upon the great, stone ledge, their eyes so bright
The darkness near them whorled with colored lights.
Ssruanne, her spirit broken by the chaos
Of dragons violating rules set down
To let community replace the greed
And singularity of dragonkind,
Joined song with Mmirimann as elders strove
To calm the storm as dragons fled from caves
Into the bitter cold of winter skies.
Wwilliama, feeling that her words had caused
The chaos when she’d let her fear of humans
Subdue her sentience, worked hard to meld
Her spirit’s song to all the others’ songs,
The elder’s unity the sanity
That could undo the madness firing hearts
With ancient hate and rage, the skies alive
With vengeance borne on frantic dragon wings.
At last they found Sshruunak’s black rage, the fear
Inside his hearts so dark it made him blind
To everything he’d learned of dragon lore.
They felt him hurtling toward two humans
Beside a fire that burned against the cold.
Ssruanne sent songs of peace and calm through skies
To where his fierce-some rage was uncontrolled.
The elder song inside the cavern rose
Into a symphony of power filled
With whirling eyes and hearts that tried to mend
The great black dragon’s rage and mindless fear.
The cavern echoed with the voices drawn
From dragon chests and massive vocal chords.
They felt the violation of the truce
Made with the human Clayton, King of Tryon.
They felt an arrow burn into Shruunak’s dark eye
And felt the burning agony of human skin
Seared by the fire of dragon breath and rage.
Their song intensified, past who they were.
Sshruunak turned, hurtled at the humans’ stone shield
Until the hunter jumped from hiding:
Another arrow, burning agony.
Flames wrapped the hunter in its searing shroud,
His pain, Sshruunak’s pain echoing a war
Into the cavern counterpoint to what
The elders had been sending out through skies.
The elders’ wings flared out and made a wind
Inside the cavern sweeping out through tunnels
Into the caves where dragons, not yet stained
By fear, confusion, rage, were pacing, troubled
By what had changed their lives so suddenly.
The males, spread out along the mountains’ slopes,
Sensed pain enveloping Sshruunak, felt wind
Inside the tunnels and the safe, dark caves.
Sshruunak fled humans and their deadly arrows;
The concave elders strove to turn to order,
To end the stirring of a world enraged.
“The peace is done,” said Mmirrimann. “The dragons
And humans know the taste of blood again.”
His words destroyed the elders’ song and plunged
The cavern deep in dark intense enough
To spread across the winter of the earth.
Ssruanne slumped on the eldest dais.
Inside the darkness of her spirit, small,
She felt the witch’s child and saw her hands
Create a golden dragon’s scale and burn
It into flesh, transforming human flesh.
Before the peace all dragonkind had faced
Eventual decline into extinction.
The young males thought that dragonkind could win
Against the tides of human machinations.
They knew their strength and did not understand
That war was more than strength or dragon will.
Shruunak had breached the truce, and now? She shuddered.
“What now?” she asked as Mmirimann stared blankly
At cavern darkness. “Wisdom still exists.”
“The witch’s child is dead,” the dragon mourned.
“I felt your vision, saw the withering
If rage was loosed into the world again.
Shruunak’s a hero now inside the caves.
He’ll want revenge against the girl, her death.”
Wwilliama said, “This will not be. I caused
This madness with a mindless stream of words.
The males will listen. If I see my madness,
They’ve got capacity to see their madness too.”
The geas came on Ssruanne and made her cry,
“The girl is still alive! She’ll stay alive!
I’ll use my dragon life to find the peace!”
Old Mmirrimann looked at his ancient lover,
Then slowly dragged himself into the dark.
Click to hear an audio of this section: Ending Dragon Community2
Note: This is the fifteenth installment of a long poem. 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 1 to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to 14 to read the section before this one. Go to 16 to read the next section.