Wei waved her arms and saw the dragon grow,
The bones and flesh beneath scales pulsing life.
The image seemed to meld her blood with blood
Alive and moving through the morning’s sun.
Inside her mind she started singing, trying
To bring from light a life that flowed from hands
That conjured particles of light and made
them dragon flesh. Her voice, reverberating
With power larger than a little girl,
Rang out into the mountains, fields of snow.
She felt the dragon twist in front of her,
Saw dragon eyes look down into her eyes,
And felt the power in the spells she cast,
Her spirit singing hymns of earth-born bliss.
She’d never dreamed that she could see a dragon,
Feel deep into its spirit and its bones,
And conjure life from sunlight, empty air.
She felt as large as jagged mountain peaks
That rose majestically above the world.
Her voice rose deep into a dragon’s roar.
She breathed her life into the dragon’s life.
She reached for chaos where her mother’s hands
Were weaving magic through her hands,
But then she felt the dragon’s tail begin
To flicker as the whole she tried to hold
Inside her mind began to dissipate.
She quickly moved her hands, solidified
The tail, but as the image firmed, the life
Inside her voice began to skitter, fragment
Into a dance of light above the snow.
She reached out to her mother, tried to find
Her essence in the chaos of the light.
An overwhelming sense of emptiness
Engulfed her, causing her to feel how young
She was, how vulnerable, how lost.
The dragon, formed of light, collapsed as flesh
Became the molecules of nothingness.
The winter day was bright with morning sun.
She tried to find her mother in the maelstrom
Where death whirled clouds of souls into a dance
That had no individual substance, life.
She felt like wailing like a little girl
Whose mother slept inside her restless grave.
She held back sobs, got on her feet, and stumbled
Into the cottage to her mother’s bed.
Ssruanne, she told herself. Ssruanne still lives.
She tried to see her mother by the bed,
Her form half in the room, a wavering
Between the universe of death and life.
She waved her arms and tried to cast a spell
That penetrated boundaries and let
Her see her mother and her father’s forms,
But nothing happened. All her power wisped
Into the air and only let her touch
Her mother’s bed, an aching emptiness.
She felt the dragon’s scale upon her arm
Pulse hot with beating from a dragons’ heart.
She stared at where it glowed with dragon life,
A life inside of her that was not her.
Ssruanne, she thought. Ssruanne still lives.
The revelation seeped into her like
The rising of the pool where dragonflies
Assembled in the early days of summer.
The dragon scale was part of her, her flesh.
She’d conjured it without Ssruanne in front
Of her to make her feel how it should be.
She reached out to her mother once again.
She felt the knot of humans waving arms
Inside a wind that was no wind or substance.
She felt despair inside the knot, the sense
The gate they’d made had transferred dragon flesh
Into the world and now was closed for good,
Their power faltering inside the chaos.
Wei sent her mind into the place her mother
Had made outside her deathbed’s bleak despair.
The essence of her mother sensed her presence,
Surrounded her with deathless weaves of love.
Stunned, Wei sat on the floor and stared at where
The dragon scale, embedded in her arm,
Throbbed from the beating of a dragon’s hearts.
She was alone, she thought: No human friends,
No dragon friends, no family, alone.
The winter cold burned harshness through the world.
She wondered if she’d be alive come spring.
To listen to this section of the epic, click on Creating a Dragon out of Air.
Note: This is the twenty third installment of a long narrative poem, which has grown into an epic. 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 22 to go to the section previous to this one. Go to 24 to read the next section of the epic.
10 responses to “23. Creating a Dragon Out of Air”
I read the first line and had such a visual, Thomas–kept reading, and was struck by how you capture all our senses here. It’s like a movie–like sometimes being IN the movie. Thank you for being here to inspire us–we love you!
Thinking you and sending good wishes.
An especially intriguing segment – intimations of what might happen next, with Wei and her growing dragon connection (and love?).
Wonderful segment, Thomas, I really enjoyed this, and especially reading about Wei again. One thing I’ve really come to enjoy is reading first, then sitting back with my eyes closed, and hearing you read the passages aloud – such wonderful images your words bring to mind; and your reading is powerful. I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment …………
I just wanted to say, “Hello, Thomas. I hope you’re well in this month of July…” I’ve been taking a break from reading and responding and will now end my reading here but I will take time soon to read this next episode of your epic! Looking forward to it.
Thomas again a gorgeous segment. I apologize for such delayed responses I’ve been very sick of late and I’m finally getting back on my feet again.I do as Julie does,read first then listen with my eyes closed.These are the highlights of my day and I always look forward to new installments
This is my favorite section of the story dad! I can relate with Wei.
I agree with Sonja, Thomas. There is something so sensitive, so poignant about this installment.
There is so much “spirit” and “transcendence” to this epic, Thomas. I always feel swept away into a wiser world, but a world in turmoil, with hope so close and healing so close. If in some people’s poems and writing there runs a deep river…I think in these poems there is a beating heart — a desire for unity, oneness, peace.
As Caddo Veil says we are there Thomas, and gripped by this wonderful tale.It is a delight to read. Best wishes to you, Val