24. Rising Sentience

an epic poem by Thomas Davis

Inside her cave, emotions traumatized
From feeling how Wei’s eyes had looked at her
And seemed to strip her essence from her spirit,
Ssruanne instinctively sent out her thoughts
To Mmirrimann inside his nearby cave.
The ancient dragon dragged his shrouded spirit
Toward his bed beside the cave’s deep pool
Exhausted, beaten by a journey taken
In desperation that he could not curb.

The sense of Wei’s bright eyes beneath her scales
Exploring deep into a dragon’s self
Dissolved when Ssruanne felt the song of chaos
Reverberating uncontrollably
In Mmirrimann’s unconsciousness as if
He’d faced his doom and somehow was alive.
The aches she’d felt from feeling violation
Wisped out of her and, with an eagerness
Pushed by a rush of fear, she stood outside,
The mountain winds soft on her golden scales.
What had her ancient lover tried to do?
She leaped to air and glided to his cave.

The leader of the mountain dragons slumped
Onto his bed and stared at golden eyes
That whirled at where his head was pressed in stone.
He tried to order thoughts into his mind,
But images replete with nothingness
And roaring sounds of endless chaos made
Him close his eyes against the fierceness burning
In living dragon eyes that stared at him.
He had to live, to leave the nothingness
Infecting who he once had been behind,
But in the roaring thought was tenuous,
A string of self that could not know his self.
He willed the window from the chaos closed,
But in the cave the stone walls wavered, motes
Solidifying, then dissolving into motes,
Light flickering into his mind, then sweeping
Into the roar of silence swirling, swirling. . .

Ssruanne stared angrily at Mmirrimann.
He’d gone too far. She saw the journey braved
Past dragon memories into the realms
Where time and living spirits danced in chaos
More spectres than a memory
Of life once lived upon the living earth.
What will had brought him back into his cave
Was past an understanding she possessed.
His scales seemed insubstantial, light, not flesh.
He did not seem to have the strength to open
His eyes to see the safety that he’d found.

She knew the motivation driving him.
She heard, inside her mind, the rage Sshruunak
Spewed from his mind into his followers,
The great young males that saw his massive strength
And did not see how puny human strength
Had sent him, wounded, fleeing to his cave.
She saw what rage and mindless joy in strength
Had done to dragon lives through time, the long,
Dark spiraling toward a time when dragons
Were only myths long lost from memory.
His courage blazing, Mmirrimann had braved
The chaos where the spirit beasts brewed life
From nothingness and came to feed
Upon earth light and dragon/human lives.
He’d tried to find elixirs that would lead
The mountain dragons past the young males’ rage
Into a future guarding dragon eggs
And dragon wings and dragon sentience.

“You are a fool,” Ssruanne said. “Just a fool.”

She walked into the cave and pressed her scales
Against his scales and tried to warm the cold
Chilled deep into his spirit by the wind
That was no wind, the place of deathless souls.
She forced her warmth into his cold and strained
To find the order still inside his mind
And tried to reach the will that he had used
To bring his body back into his cave.

“The dragon race is not gone yet,” she said
Outloud, her voice an echo in the cave.

She felt his reaching out toward her warmth,
The fiery essence of her dragon mind.
She forced her thoughts of Wei to disappear
And placed a block upon Sshruunak’s dark thoughts
To keep them out of Mmirrimann, his cold.
She laid beside him on his stone smooth bed
And sent her memories of watching eggs
Begin to wobble as a hatchling struggled
From darkness into light and dragon life.
She felt again the joy of seeing life,
The promise of another generation,
Continuing the glory of their race.
She nestled close and soaked his cold with warmth
As hours passed day toward the winter night.

“You’ll live,” she told him in the ancient tongue.
“We’ll face Sshruunak and keep the war
He’s brewed from ever happening. We will.”

He formed a thought, then lost its substance, fought
Toward his sentience, fell back, then felt
Ssruanne beside him in his mountain cave.
He reached toward her warmth and living mind.
He loved her. She loved him. A thought
And feeling formed inside the chaos, let
Him feel her body pressed against his body.
He sighed his rising sentience and grinned.

Click on Rising Sentience to listen to this section of the epic.

Note: This is the twenty fourth installment of a long narrative poem, which has grown into The Dragon 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. To read the next section click on 25.

8 Comments

Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

8 responses to “24. Rising Sentience

  1. Caddo Veil

    “More spectres than a memory”–I know that oh so well.

  2. Selena Howard

    Wonderful yet again. Thomas I’ve been in this place It is one I never want to be in again this passage reminds me to say vigilant and guard against ever entering the land of nothingness again.
    (He had to live, to leave the nothingness
    Infecting who he once had been behind,
    But in the roaring thought was tenuous,
    A string of self that could not know his self.
    He willed the window from the chaos closed,)
    Wonderfully written and always a joy to read.Thank you for continuing with this epic I am thoroughly entranced

  3. This one raises more questions about Wei – and I eagerly wait to find out if her growing power will be used to mend or tear!

  4. Julie Catherine

    Thomas, your writing in this epic dragon tale is so strong, so vivid and so filled with emotion and love that this segment actually brought tears to my eyes … I just love this so much ….. thank you. ~ Julie xoxox

  5. Anna Mark

    Well…in the midst of all that is happening, it’s interesting to me that we get to have this tender and intimate glimpse at two dragon lovers, expressing both anger, love, and utter exhaustion and madness. Beautiful, just beautiful.
    He loved her. She loved him. A thought
    And feeling formed inside the chaos, let
    Him feel her body pressed against his body.
    He sighed his rising sentience and grinned.

    …and…what about Wei? and the hunters…

    • “The sense of Wei’s bright eyes beneath her scales
      Exploring deep into a dragon’s self”

      ” She felt again the joy of seeing life,

      We are not just there with the characters, we are deep inside their beings. experience their despair, exhaustion, joy, That is what makes this so wonderful.
      I also love the contrasts here Thomas, “darkness into light”, “roar of silence”. Another great read.

  6. Riveting and wonderfully descriptive. The tender contrast of the ending of this section is beautiful:
    ‘He loved her. She loved him. A thought
    And feeling formed inside the chaos, let
    Him feel her body pressed against his body.’

  7. A turning point? Such echoes with other things going on at present in the outer and inner worlds. All one unity. Thank you for your strength, Thomas.

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