27. Conversation From Love Through Fear

As Mmirrimann stirred, lost in ancient times,
A great green dragon in a cave as black
As scales that somehow gleamed inside the dark,
He felt Ssruanne beside him, sending life
Into the dreams that tried to capture him
And let him drift away into forgetfulness.
Then, slicing through his dream as if a claw
Had separated clouds, revealing sky,
An image of a valley high above
The caves, beneath a shining silver moon,
Filled up the emptiness inside of him.

He opened up his eyes and saw Ssruanne.
Her head raised up, her eyes awhirl with colors,
Engaged with all the images that flooded
Through Mmirrimann and forced him back to life.

He stirred, his thoughts replete with shadowed shapes,
And concentrated on his long-time love.
She saw his grin and puffed a ring of smoke
Into the darkness of the icy cave.

“What did you find?” she asked inside her head.

He looked away from eyes that seemed to scald
His life with endless memories, the two of them,
Wings filled with power, spiraling toward
The summer sun as passion trumpeted
Their fervor to the mountain peaks below.

“The mother of the girl has built a bridge
Of power in the purgatorial space
Where winds that are no winds blow in a gale,”
He grumbled deep inside his massive chest.
“She needs to save her child and interrupts
The natural order of the universe.”

Ssruanne stayed still, and let her body’s heat
Send life into the love she’d cherished through
The human wars into the days of peace.

“The geas is right?” she asked. “The child must live?”

“I took the woman’s bridge from nothingness,”
He answered. “When I passed I’m sure the bridge
Disintegrated into nothingness.”

“It’s over then? The child has lost her powers?”

“Shrrunak has left his cave and gathers males
Around him for another human war,”
He said, the image of the valley bathed
In silver light inside his head. “I felt
The rage the witch felt when I used her bridge.
She’ll not give up. She’ll make another bridge.”

Ssruanne looked at the smudge of morning light
That tinged a small cloud’s underside outside
The cave, dawn gray and cold with winter winds.

“How can you build a bridge between the wall
That separates reality from death?”
She asked. “I know the spirit beasts can find
A moment anchored in our time, but they
Are insubstantial, not quite corporal.”

“Perhaps the child should perish,” Mmirrimann
Said softly. “But I fear the forces spinning
From where I was into this world or ours.
I don’t believe the dragon race can live
Unless we find a way to live in peace.
The human girl is like a key stone strong
Inside a wall, but if it’s taken out,
The wall will crumble to a pile of dust.
Shrrunak can send all that we’ve built to dust.”

Ssruanne looked long at him and hummed her fear.

“We’re old,” she said. “Shrrunak can char our scales.”

“He’s gathering a dragon army, figuring
He’ll use the tactics made by human wiles
To waste the villages and towns that sprout
Like mushrooms all across the wilderness.”

“The deathless realms will fill with spirits then,”
She said. “Both dragons and their human foes
Will die in droves. As dragons we won’t win.”

“Shrrunak has left the caves and won’t be back
Until he’s built his dragon army, ravening
Across the landscape like a fiery scythe.”

Ssruanne’s scales rippled her distress that made
Her move from Mmirrimann. He did not move.

“We’ll face our doom,” he said at last. “I need
To rest and think about experiencing
The winds of purgatory, what I’ve learned.
I did not journey past my memories
To die,” he said. “I trekked to find a path
That leads to dragons hatching out of eggs
Into the glories of a dragon’s life.”

To listen to this section of the epic, click on Conversation from Love through Fear.

Note: This is the twenty-seventh 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 Escaping Possession to go to the section previous to this one. To read the next poem in the series, click on Unexpected Warning.

8 Comments

Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

8 responses to “27. Conversation From Love Through Fear

  1. This continues to be a most imaginative epic/narrative poem. Dragons & humans at peace? If only we could experience that today. Sigh!…

  2. How very worthy a goal, for all creatures to live in peace! Wonderful that Mmirrimann desires to be born into full dragonhood, to fulfill his true destiny.

  3. Anna Mark

    “How can you build a bridge between the wall
    That separates reality from death?”
    I’ve mentioned before how this epic reminds me quite a bit of Ursula le Guin’s EarthSea series where there is a similar wall to cross over and back. Once again, my interest and curiosity for more is piqued.

    • Ursula le Guin has always been one of my favorite writers, Anna. I hope I am not too influenced by her, but she creates literature as well as magical stories. I can only aspire to be a shadow to her greatness.

      • Anna Mark

        Hmmn…I only mentioned her because of the wall image and how it immediately brought about a compare and contrast in my mind. This epic poem has been just as enjoyable for me. I’d like to read them from start to finish. (Remind me, are they already published somewhere where I can buy them? or are these a work in progress? I’ve purchased some of Allison Grayhurst’s books recently and I’d also like to get one of yours and Ethel’s.) Blessings to you. I hope you’re doing well.

      • Anna, the epic is further along than what I’ve published so far, but it is not ready to go to book form yet. It is probably less then three quarters finished. I hope you’re working on your first book. I’ll buy that. I just bought two of Allison’s books too and will buy more in the future. Ethel’s poetry can be purchased online. Salt Bear is available too, but more difficult to find.

  4. Julie Catherine

    Thomas, if I can only afford to buy one book in the next year, I want it to be this one. This is the best epic narrative poem I’ve read – I’m totally enthralled by the story and your incredible craft in the writing of it. Wishing you and Ethel a wonderful day; and as always, sending you healing thoughts and prayers. ~ Julie xox

  5. Such powerful resonances in your themes, Thomas. And Ursula le Guin? Also a life time long favourite of mine. Do you know Sheri S. Tepper? Another of my personal heroines.

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