an epic poem, The Dragon Epic, by Thomas Davis
Ssruanne’s cry ripped through Mmirrimann and jerked
Him upright in his cave, his whirling eyes
So bright they made the morning light seem dim.
He moved toward his ledge and launched in flight
Like other dragons from their sheer cliff caves.
The sky was filled with dragons, colorful
And urgent as they flew toward Ssruanne.
As Mmirrimann flew violently toward
The cottage where the witch’s child was braving
The harshness of the winters’ cold and wind,
He saw an image of Sshruunak, black wings
A smudge above the icy mountain peaks,
Imagining his victory against
Ssruanne and Mmirrimann, his mind still not
Aware of all the forces lining up
Against the brightness of his shining dreams.
Then, heart beats wild, the ancient dragon felt
The place where grim shades gloamed inside the dusk.
He felt disintegrating history
As dragons failed into miasma’s cold.
He almost plummeted to earth to see
Ssruanne upon the ground beside a whirling,
Wild dance of colors where the human girl
Was changing from a human’s frail, small shape
Into a dragon’s powerful, full form.
The girl was melding spindly bones and flesh
Into hard scales that shined with rainbow light
That caught the morning sun and danced and whirled
With making so unnatural and weird
It made him want to flee to memories
Where life was how it ought to be and weirding
Was more a legend than reality.
He roared so loud he thought he’d strained his lungs,
But then he heard the other roars surrounding
The place of transformation, heard the fear
That raged into the morning’s clear, clean skies.
He spread his wings and landed as a hundred
Great dragons found a place to place their legs.
What madness had inhabited the world?
The dragons sat inside a massive circle
Around the human girl and felt her melding
As power danced out of her human heart
Into the thunder of a dragon’s hearts.
As time coagulated, formed, then flowed
Into the swirl of being, nothingness
Around the rainbow dragon, human girl,
Ssruanne began to hum deep in her chest,
Her song so deep it throbbed out of her bones.
Her song memed out into the other dragons,
Their voices oscillating through the snow,
The earth caught in the miracle arising
From where the nexus of the ether-world
Had linked into a weirding of reality.
The thrumming dragon song reverberated
Off mountain peaks and echoed through the caves
That sang the song into the valleys far
From where Ssruanne and Mmirrimann sat stunned
Upon the plateau climbing to the mountains.
What madness had inhabited the world?
Huge dragons, rainbow colored, like small hills,
Upon the whiteness of a winter’s snows,
Around a rainbow swirl of burning light
Shaped like a dragon never seen before
In all of space or time, hummed dragon songs
That seemed to fill the universe in time
And where the chaos of the swirling souls
Spun emptily past dragon memories.
What have I done? Ruarther thought. I am…
The golden dragon that had made him run
Away from her so long ago came down
And landed in the snow beside the child
Transforming from her small girl human shape
Into a swirl of light now dragon shaped,
And then another dragon landed, then
Another, then another, wings so loud
It made him deaf to any other sound.
The dragons closed around him, breaths so loud
It made him feel as if he’d chanced a storm
Too powerful to live through if he stayed
In place without a shelter from the winds,
But not one dragon even looked at him.
They landed, whirling eyes fixed on the light
That burned a rainbow dragon’s hearts alive
Into a life that could not really be.
Ruarther dropped his bow into the snow
And turned toward the forest evergreens
Around the cottage’s stone-earthen walls.
He moved around the dragons one by one.
They did not threaten him or even see
That he was like an ant inside their midst.
He felt the emptiness inside of him,
The absence of the spirit bear who’d lived
Inside his body longer than he’d dreamed.
He thought about Ruanne, her dark disgust
At how a man she loved could dream of killing
A child he’d never known or even met.
How could he have become that evil man?
What madness had inhabited his world?
The dragons did not frighten him or make
Him feel the way he’d felt the night the great
Black dragon had attacked him by the ledge.
He felt confused, afraid of whom he’d been.
He stopped. He could not go back to the village.
He’d never wanted anything so bad.
He wanted to forget the witch’s child
Burned like a brand inside his tortured spirit
And go back to the days when he had been
A hunter bringing game to feed the people
Depending on the skills he’d honed from childhood.
What had he done to him? he asked himself.
Inside the trees he still maneuvered slowly
Around the dragons mesmerized in snow.
To listen to this section of the epic, click on Mesmerized Cave Dragons.
Note: This is the thirty-sixth section of a long narrative poem, which has grown into The Dragon Epic. Originally 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 Dragonflies, Dragons and Her Mother’s Death to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to Determination, Doubt, and Dreams of Victory to go to the section previous to this one. To read the next passage, click on The Song of Becoming a Dragon.