an epic poem, The Dragon Epic, by Thomas Davis
For four whole days Ruanne stayed in her cottage,
Her mind obsessed with understanding how
Ruarther had decided that he’d keep
His vile intent to kill Crayllon’s young child.
When Reestor knocked and called to her, she sat
Inside her rocking chair, her energy
So sapped she could not force herself to move.
When Old Broar came she listened to his voice
And told herself she ought to answer him,
But as she tried to force herself to move,
She lost her will and fled into a place
Where silence made her feel as if she was
A stone, a weight too ponderous to stir.
What’s wrong with me? she thought. How can I sit
When in the wilderness Ruarther stalks
The child, and dragons calculate how fire
Will rain upon the village that I love?
Why can’t I find some energy to act?
To try to talk to dragons, let them know
The humans want to keep the peace alive?
She got up from the chair, her restlessness
So powerful it seemed to make her move.
I need to sleep, she thought. Or maybe die.
The thought of suicide hit like a bolt
Of lightning coursing through her sluggish blood.
She’d been so positive, determined that she’d find
Ruarther, keep him safe, end threats from dragons,
And shield Crayllon’s child from Ruarther’s rage.
She sat down on the bed and longed to end
Insomnia and all the doubts that crowded
Into her head and took away her rationality.
She been awake for days, she thought. For days.
She laid down, closed her eyes, the universe
A journey in the dark toward a place
Immenseness spiraled ever outward, past
The smallness of the woman who she was,
Past consciousness into an emptiness
That seemed to stretch and stretch into forever.
The darkness overwhelmed her, made her feel
Alone, as worthless as a woman lost.
But then she felt a rhythm in the dark.
Hands wove a web into the nothingness.
A woman’s hands, had grabbed a spirit bear
Translating from one world into the next
And forged a passageway, a tiny portal,
Between the purgatory of the dark
And sunlight stretched across great fields of snow.
She felt Ruarther’s rage strike at the bear…
And then she felt a dragon’s curious mind
Invade her like a boiling swarm of bees,
His hugeness startled at the spark she sent
Across the fields into a darkened cave.
Her body shook to feel intelligence
That poked at her as if her insignificance
Was novel, hardly to be countenanced.
Inside the dragon’s thought she forced herself
Away from where she’d been inside her bed
And, sloughing off her lethargy, discovered
The fire of who she was, the woman wild
Enough to set off in the wilderness
To find the only man she’d ever loved.
She felt the dragon staring at her mind.
He did not speak, but stirred out of his thoughts
To see what human was confronting him.
At last he said, “And who are you?” his voice
So loud inside her head it made her tremble.
She looked into his eyes inside his cave
And wondered how she saw across the miles.
She could not think. His hugeness was too large.
He waited, looking patiently at her.
She felt a panic rising up into her throat.
“Who are you?” she demanded, wondering
At how she’d found the bravery to speak.
The dragon blinked. “I’m Mmirrimann,” he said.
“I ask again: And who are you that’s brave
Enough to face a dragon in his lair?”
His words unnerved Ruanne. Mmirrimann?
The leader dragon who had made the peace?
The murderer of Reestor’s father ? Legend
That spoke to her as if she was alive?
“The humans do not want a war,” she said,
The mission given her by Reestor flooding
Into her head. “Our children need to live.”
The dragon blinked again. Inside his eyes
So alien to human eyes Ruanne believed
She felt a sadness powerful beyond
The human sadness that had troubled her.
“I too would like to keep the peace,” he said.
“But I am old, and younger males see war
As part of who a dragon ought to be.
You’d better let your leaders know my words.
I cannot stop the war to come though I
Would give up all my years to see the peace
Stretch out into an endless march of time.
War’s near, and though I’ll try to keep its rage
From ending dragon life, I’ve searched, but found
No way to stop the conflagration’s fires.”
He looked away. The emptiness returned.
Ruanne stared at her hands clutched in her lap.
The greatest dragon that had ever lived
Could find no way to stop the war Ruarther
In madness had engendered from his rage?
Someone was pounding at her cottage door.
“Ruanne? Ruanne?” a worried Reestor called.
“You can’t hide from the world, Ruanne,” he said.
Ruanne remembered sadness in the eyes
That stared so powerfully into her eyes.
She got up, went to open up the door.
To listen to this section of the epic, click on Unexpected Warning
Note: This is the twenty-eighth 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 Conversation From Love Through Fear to go to the section previous to this one. To read the next section of the epic, click on Another Dragon Scale.