an epic poem by Thomas Davis
The darkness, black as scales upon Sshruunak,
Awash with atmospheres that breathed unrest,
Intensified inside the mountain valley
That saw one dragon, then another, then
Another glide with silent wings to land
Into a ring of black obsidian boulders.
Sshruunak, placed in the ring’s dead center, glared
At each great dragon as they flared their wings
And settled in a loop around his force,
Eyes glittering to see he’d left his cave.
No dragon spoke, but waited for Sshruunak.
The wounded male puffed fire into the air.
It let them see each other in the dark,
But only briefly as Sshruunak began
To speak inside his mind about his plans.
“The humans cannot live,” he said. “Their minds
Are dangerous to dragonkind, their tools
As evil as their deadliness and hate.
I’ve learned,” he said, his voice still silent, “how
Our strength is not enough to make them cower.
They swarm like wasps inside a paper hive
And pour out on the ground with deadly arrows
As if their puny bodies boiled alive
The end of who we’ve been through centuries
Of living strength upon this earth, our earth.
I’ve lost an eye and feel the pain they bring
To every dragon who has sense to rage
Against abomination in our midst.
“I’ve brooded long,” he said. “I’ve seen their power.
I’ve seen that if we try to use our strength,
Our fiery breath, our flight, our deadly claws,
To end the peril that they represent,
We’ll end up fertilizing earth in graves
That mark the final end of dragonkind.
Old Mmirrimann is not the fool he seems.
Ssruanne’s geas capturing our spirits
Burns from a knowledge born of memories
And senses I have never known or dreamed.”
His rumbling stopped. The long necks of the others
Stopped moving from the trance he’d interweaved
About them, capturing them through his mind.
At last, the silence lengthening, Ssshraann,
The dragon closest to Sshruunak, his red,
Dark scales dull in the valley’s darkness, sneered.
“And so we hide inside our caves and let the humans
Grow stronger year by year as dragons weaken?”
He shook his massive head and almost grinned.
“That’s not Sshruunak,” he said, his voice intense.
Sshruunak stayed silent, but his voice rang out
Inside his head and stunned the other males.
“The humans swarm,” he said. “Like ants or wasps,
And then they use their tools to penetrate
Our scales and seek our vulnerabilities.”
He paused, his eyes alight with swirling colors.
“Each dragon feels his power in his hearts.
He breathes his fire and spreads his massive wings
And throws himself at puny, boiling ants
And rends and tears their flesh and spills their blood
In gallons on the ground and murders them.
But never does a dragon swarm and boil
Like wasps stirred from a threatened nest,
And so we fly into their stinging arrows
And die as solitary as our spirits.
We murder them, but let their numbers murder
Each one of us as if we were alone
And had no species linked to who we are.”
“We learn to form an army like the humans?”
Sshraann asked. “Act like insubstantial fools?”
Sshruunak raged fire into the night, his breath
So hot it penetrated dragon hides
And made each dragon step away from him.
The great snow covered peaks around the valley
Grew even darker as his fire went on and on.
He roared so loud an avalanche began
To roar in distance down a mountainside.
The males, eyes glittering, stared amazed
At dragon power unleashed into the world.
The silence following the roar was sudden,
A chaos filled with dreadful absences.
Sshruunak’s great head bowed down toward the snow
Inside the circle of obsidian.
He spoke outloud, his voice as soft as snow
Descending slowly out of windless skies.
“I see us flying in a full moon’s golden light,”
He said. “As silent as my voice is now.
We’re primed with fire and human discipline.
Each one has targets to attack and kill.
Each one of us is bound by orders planned
So that we decimate our enemies.
We come upon a human town and swoop
Into the human helplessness and burn
Their leaders as they try to form defense
Against a threat they’ve never thought would come.
I see our legions wing into their mass,
Our darkness deadly, purpose aimed and armed
With knowledge born of dragon strength and wiles.
I see the humans dying like the ants they are,
Their villages and towns black, smoking ruins.”
Sshraann grinned in the darkness, showed his teeth,
And looked into Sshruunak’s bright, whirling eyes.
He felt the dragon army forming in the night
Around him, Drressel, Stoormachen, Waanderlund,
The leading males born since the human peace
Born in the caves agreeing with the vision
Of dragons massed into an army, flying
Through moonlit skies toward the final answer
To humans and their domination of the earth.
Click on Planning Human Extinction to listen to this section of the epic.
Note: This is the twenty fifth section 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 24 to go to the section previous to this one. Click on 26 to go to the next part of the epic.