39. To War! And Raging Dragon Hearts!

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

Above the earth, stars hard and bright against
The thin, cold blackness of the atmosphere,
Sshruunak felt faint from lack of oxygen.
The tug of gravity was powerful enough
To make him strain his wings to stay in flight,
And then he felt the weirding far below,
The swerve of history as rainbow light
Congealed into a dragon’s hardened scales
Around the heartbeat of a human girl.
From Mmirrimann an image filled with dread
And wonder seemed to dance before his eyes.
He felt outside the ganglia of minds
That sparked into connections buried deep
In dragon memories linked back to times
When solitary power filled the minds
Of dragons hid in solitary caves.

He felt a journeying that seemed outside
Of who he was, kaleidoscope of rage
Red-eyed, incensed that human brains could scurry
In bodies small as ants and still wrap him
With ropes that would not let him save himself.
He felt the memories of Mmirrimann
Begin to sing into the rainbow light
That haloed round his stratospheric flight…

And then, his self alive inside the old,
Dark dragon’s mind, the power surging out
Into connections not available
to younger dragons still involved in making
The self that would protect them from the songs
Miasma and the ancient memories
Could strike into a dragon’s hearts, Sshruunak
Exploded with a black, cold rage that slammed
Into the human woman linking him
And Mmirrimann, the human that had burned
An arrow deep into his eye, and humming
That throbbed from dragon spirits to a world
Upon the cusp of breaking from its egg
Into a newness never known before.

He felt the woman fall, saw the human evil
Beside a dragon in the snow fall down,
And heard the grumbling rage in Mmirrimann
Distract the ancient dragon from the light
Inside the field and force awareness, harsh,
To lock on Sshruunak’s seething bolt of rage.

As Mmirrimann’s awareness ricocheted
Back to Sshruunak, the younger dragon’s wings
Collapsed, and suddenly he fell as if
He’d lost what strength he had to have to fly.
He plunged toward the cold, hard mountain peaks,
His rage so great he could not make his wings
Flare outward, letting air support his weight
And finishing the free fall hurtling him
Toward a death he’d never contemplated.
He struggled as he fell and twisted, turned
Until, at last, he forced his wings to flare
Into the thickening of air as flight
Came back to him and let him feel control
And let him flatten out his flight above
The earth and let him feel alive again.

The line between the dragons in the field
And him was gone, and in its place he saw
He could not wait for night to start his war.
A miracle had caught cave dragons deep
Into a rainbow mesh they did not understand.
He could not let them extricate themselves
If he and all his followers were fated
To ever rid the earth of human evil.

He aimed toward the valley where black stones
Were charred with dragon fire and flew so swift
The air around him whistled from his flight.
The light was growing in the sky as shadows
Retreated from the slowly rising sun.
He shot his urgency into Stoormachen.

“The war has come!” he screeched inside his mind.
“We’ve got to make the war begin right now!”

Stoormachen startled from the shallow cave
He’d dug into the mountainside and looked
Into the sky to see Sshruunak’s black scales.
He seemed confused, unsure of what dark threat
Had changed the plans Sshruunak had drilled in him.

“We have to move!” Sshruunak repeated, wild
With edginess, afraid delay would end
Up ruining all the dreams he’d brewed inside
Since arrows buried fire into his eyes.
“The dragons and the humans are distracted.
The plans have changed. We’ve got to hurry! Move!”

Stoormachen spotted blackness in the sky,
Sshruunak’s flight swift enough to startle him.

The followers Sshruunak had gathered felt
A stirring in their spirits and their hearts.
They heard the urgency Stoormachen bleated
Into the mountain air and felt the fire
Of battle lust so suddenly inside
Their minds that they could barely see the boulders
Below them shining in the early sun.
They looked and saw Sshruunak’s wild flight and moved
Their wings to greet their leader’s urgency.
The time had come; the dragon’s legacy
Of fire and claws and mindless rage had come!
They watched Sshruunak plunge like a meteor
Into the valley’s eastern edge, his blackness
Contrasting vividly against blue skies.

“To war!” their leader roared. “To human death!
And fiery dragon flame and raging hearts!”

To listen to this passage, click on
To War! And Raging Dragon Hearts!

Note: This is the thirty-ninth passage 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 The Mind’s Black Fire to read the passage before this one. To read the next passage in the epic, click on The Shock of Rage.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

2 responses to “39. To War! And Raging Dragon Hearts!

  1. Anna Mark

    …so here it is…the war, black arrows whipping through the sky. And this time as I read I was struck by the persistent theme of time and memory and a place beyond, full of energy and light. I dread what is coming.

  2. Julie Catherine

    Oh wow, I am breathless reading this, Thomas – and like Anna, fear clutches my insides at what is to come. Such wonderful, vivid imagery!

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