21. Journeying to Chaos: A Search for Survival

an epic poem by Thomas Davis

Inside his cave, his massive spirit brooding,
The great male Mmirimann was still, his hearts
Swift rhythms slowed to somnolence, near death.
He journeyed through the layers of his self,
The memories ancestors had bestowed
In him kaleidoscopic as he saw
The dragon race devolve into a rage
Red-eyed, incensed that human brains could scurry
In bodies small as ants and still wrap him
With ropes that would not let him save himself.
And still he journeyed through his dragoness
Until he passed the vestiges of who
A dragon was and let the darkness grow
Into a universe much greater than his self.

At last, inside miasma, hearts still slow,
He came into a barren field, a place
Between the stars where sunlight never shined,
Not earth, not space, a place devoid of substance,
Yet real, where shades gloamed in the dusk
As chaos sang into the birth of stars
Yet in the eggs that would grow into light.
He felt the living substances of spirits,
Great animals whose strength had let them flee
Finality of death, the human shades
That teemed and swirled in clouds of mourning, searching
For absolution from the dark that came
Out of their lives and sense of who they’d been
While living in their times upon the earth,
The dragons, that still flew in rage in dark,
Grown monstrous with unwillingness to die
Though some had lived three hundred years or more.

Inside cacophony Mmirimann
Searched for an answer to his endless quest
To find a corridor where dragons lived
And did not spiral to their race’s death,
But everywhere he looked the universe
Of death whirled clouds of beasts and humans, dragons
That flew at him, their momentary faces
Alive with being, then a trail of mist
As bright eyes disappeared into the rising
Of other beings with their faces solid,
Then mist and chaos swirling endlessly.

There was no ending, no beginning, just
A swirling where a train of beings rose
Into their sense of self, then lost themselves
As time coagulated, formed, then flowed
Into the swirl of being, nothingness.
There was a dragon race; there was no race,
Its rising swallowed by the human song
That dominated all the earth, then, like
The dragons, swirled its eyes into miasma
As planets swung around their suns, and suns
Flared light into their darkness as their fires
Exploded into nova gravities
That swallowed matter near in time and space
And swirled into the chaos like the dragons,
The humans, the spirit beasts, the beings found
On other worlds in other times, miasma
Creating, shaping, then destroying as
Forever spun the endless mind of God.

The swirling tugged at Mmirimann and tried
To suck him deep into its endless maw.
He felt his mind and body disappearing
As dragon after dragon formed, then misted,
Its substance real, then disappeared, time filled
With lives that were, but never were, that sang
And then became a hurricane of souls
That had no individual substance, life,
But were the matter of the universe,
The swirl of chaos that created All.

He fought the tugging, taloned deep the spark
That made him who he was, a dragon great
Enough to brave the journey past his self,
And searched in desperation for a shelf
That he could grasp inside the maelstrom’s swirl.
And then he saw a single buzz of light
That did not waver, but was fixed inside
The endless swirling weaving strands of time.
He fought toward the light, the ledge where he
Could spread his wings and launch back to his life.

Time roared with silence, buffeting against
His will, his self, his sense of who he was.
He fought toward the buzz of light and forced
Himself to know himself, his dragon hearts—

And then he saw inside the light a human,
A woman from his place and time now dead,
Surrounded by a knot of humans waving
Their arms, creating substance from the chaos,
Their force a bridge between his world and where
He was inside the wind that was no wind.
A golden dragon wavered at the edge
Of where the human spectres generated
The ordered light, the only dragon seen
Inside the chaos of the roiling darkness.

He did not know if dragons lived or died
As time swirled from chaotic winds and gloam.
He could not see the corridor he sought
So that Sshrunnak’s rage would not lead to death
For dragons borning future generations.

He urged himself toward the light and blinked.
He felt his cave’s stone walls, hearts quickening,
The chaos just a song inside his ears.

To listen to this section of the epic, click Journeying to Chaos.

Note: This is the twenty first installment of a long narrative 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 20 to read the installment before this one. Click on 22 to go to the next section of the epic.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

7 responses to “21. Journeying to Chaos: A Search for Survival

  1. Wow, Thomas!! This chapter takes us out into the cosmos, the beginning of all creation, and the perspective of all living things and their struggle to survive. It takes your dragons to their very essence – (beyond the physical plane). This stands alone as a great poem, all by itself, in my opinion! I love it – and of course will look forward to the next installment – and finding out how his near-death experience will affect him.

    • This is, hopefully, a traditional epic, Betty, even though the story and topic could be considered unusual if you do not think of works like Beowulf or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but part of most traditional epics is a journey into the realms of death or the underworld. Usually the journey is made by the hero, but in this case the journey is made by Mmirimann, an ancient hero who is not the central hero of the epic. We’ll see how this all works out as he searches for a way to avoid the extinction of all dragons.

  2. Caddo Veil

    “Massive spirit brooding”, and “kaleidoscopic memories”, and “chaos” as a “song inside his ears”–these are what grab me, Thomas. God bless you.

  3. Julie Catherine

    “Time roared with silence, buffeting against His will, his self, his sense of who he was. He fought toward the buzz of light and forced Himself to know himself, his dragon hearts— ” Wow, Thomas, this is so powerful! This installment is an incredible journey into the very heart and soul of the dragon race … I loved it! I was actually holding my breath reading this. Beautiful! ~ Julie xox

    • Anna Mark

      Thomas, my response to Mmirimann’s journey to no self and beyond is similar to Betty’s. Wow. I think I enjoyed reading this section of the epic the most so far because it describes such a personal and secretive journey. The ending is beautiful, “The chaos just a song inside his ears.” But, like Betty, I wonder how this inward journey will carry him into what he faces next. He saw humans, too. Fascinating.

  4. A precious pearl to discover gleaming within the heart of this epic tale.

  5. This is tremendous Thomas. I love the whole atmosphere you have created It is beyond what we dare to imagine.
    “And then became a hurricane of souls
    That had no individual substance, life,
    But were the matter of the universe,”, another fascinating concept.
    Yes, the ending is beautiful.
    I am out of action from time to time for health reasons but look forward to catching up with this wonderful poem over the next few days.

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