Category Archives: The Dragon Epic

The Seer

A ballad by Thomas Davis

 “It is hard to follow one great vision in this world of darkness and of many changing shadows. Among those men get lost.”
― Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks

“Not far from Big Skylight and Four Windows Caves,
across fields of aa lava, loose, rough, sharp, flecked with green and orange lichen,
in darkness so absolute light becomes a memory,
blind dragons live beside an underground river”

— Thomas Davis, Inside the Blowholes

One day and night, three days and nights,
He sat inside the earth
And stared at winter’s cold, bright skies
Awaiting spring’s rebirth.

Inside his heart an awful dread
Quaked through each day’s long hours,
His mind’s shade stirring strange,
Malevolent, dark powers.

At sixteen years he should have been
Alive to all life held,
But in the windswept wilderness
He sat alone, compelled

To wait for promises that hung
Suspended in the air —
As foreign to his wish for life
As ghosts of grizzly bears.

Then, with the rising of the moon,
As puffs of glittering snow
Flowed ghostly over coal-black stones,
A trance began to flow

Like water over who he was,
His dreaming powerful
Enough to give him second sight,
A world turned beautiful.

And from the east he saw them flying,
Great beasts with whirling eyes,
Bright wings, long necks outstretched, their bodies
Dark in cold, night skies.

Inside his cave his vision thundered songs
As beasts as large as hills
Flew straight toward his hiding place,
Then flared their wings, a shrill

Bewailing shivering alive
The silver moon, the stones,
The night-time universe,
His fragile frame of human bones.

“Beware! Beware!” His spirit wailed.
“We’re dragons,” said huge minds
Inside his mind. “We’re all that’s left
Of ancient dragonkind.”

He tried to cringe back in his cave,
But as the dragons sank
Their claws in earth and slowly walked
Past where he hid and shrank

From heads and bodies nightmare-huge,
He felt how sadness filled
The night and twisted who he was,
His boyhood murdered, killed

By creatures that could not be real,
By sadness from a trance,
By loss much greater than the loss
Of humans from life’s dance.

The dragons passed him in the night,
Came to a cave so huge
It seemed to swallow dragons whole
Into a centrifuge.

As dragon after dragon went
Beneath volcanic ground,
He held his breath and prayed and prayed
He’d not be seen nor found.

At last a single dragon paused
Before the mawing dark;
She seemed to sigh before she left
The night, a matriarch

Who did not want to leave the world
For life inside old fires
Long ossified to rock and sure
To end her life’s desires.

And as she paused she turned and saw
Him huddled in his cave.
Her eyes whirled fire and made him quake
While trying to be brave.

She made no sound, but stared at him
Until, his heartbeats wild,
He crawled into the night
And stood, a frightened human child

Inside the gaze of dragon eyes
That bored into his heart
And stripped him of humanity,
His spirit rived apart.

The dragon snorted, sending fire
Into the nighttime air.
He stood and forced his eyes to match
The dragon stare for stare.

The world seemed poised upon a brink
Where revelations stormed,
But then the dragon turned from Seer,
Child, leaving him forlorn.

Inside the moment when the dragon
Turned, left him once again
Alone, his hair turned white; he aged
And grinned an old man’s grin.

He kept the dragons’ secret safe
And lived a hundred years,
A man apart, a man so strange
He had no sense of fear.

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Filed under poems, Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

Review of The Weirding Storm, A Dragon Epic

The Peninsula Pulse, a publication with a 15,000 circulation, has just posted a review of my book, The Weirding Storm, A Dragon Epic. I am thrilled with Jack Jaeger’s review. The reviews the book has received so far have all been positive. I am so grateful to Bennison Books for publishing it. I was surprised too by the $9.50 price tag, so I am hopeful it’s affordable to an ever-growing audience.

The review is posted online at https://doorcountypulse.com/weirding-storm-dragon-epic-time.

The print copy includes the “Invocation to the Dragon Muse”, which follows epic convention and introduces the story. The online version does not, but I am grateful to all of those who have reviewed it so far on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and in other venues.

What has amazed me is that the reviewers seem to all be picking up on the relationship of the story to the current world. The novelist D.M. Denton and a college instructor from Tennessee, Dana Grams, both noted that relationship as does Jaeger. I thank all of them and am hoping for more reviews to appear. Tom

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The Weirding Storm is Published!

The Weirding Storm, A Dragon Epic has been published by Bennison Books. It is now available at amazon.com.

The U.S. Amazon address is:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/099900770X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495812510&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Weirding+Storm

The address for Bennison Books, a UK publisher, is:  https://bennisonbooks.com.

I am hoping that anyone who purchases the book from Amazon, either U.S. or U.K. Amazon, will also review the book.  That helps publicize it in the amazon universe.

I am really excited about this publication.  Bennison Books publishes some of my favorite poets and to be part of their stable with one of the best books I have ever written gives me an euphoric feeling.  I hope some of you will be willing to be transported to another world where dragons and humans still co-exist along with witches, warriors, and battles, to paraphrase Terence Winch, one of the U.S.’s greatest poets.

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50. Having Become Human

The final passage of The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

The morning sun was shining on the cliffs.
The dragonflies were swarming on the pond.
The surface of the pond seemed like it had
An ever-moving veil upon its face
As tiny multi-colored bodies whirred,
Their wings invisible as bodies’ darted
A dance too intricate to recognize.

Ruarther came out of the woods, two hares
Limp in his hands, a light inside his eyes.
Beside the shed Ruanne stopped feeding chickens
That pecked around her feet and fluttered wings
And looked toward Ruarther with a smile.

“We’ll need the hares!” she called out. “Reestor’s sure
To get here near to dusk and supper time.”

Ruarther’s right arm lifted up a hare.

“I’ll get them ready for the pot,” he said
And walked toward the cottage’s oak door.

Above them, using wings to brake her speed,
Ssruanne flew past the cottage, neck outstretched,
And landed heavily upon the ground
Beside the pond and fleeing dragonflies.

Ruanne flipped up her apron, scattering
The seed into the air, as chickens squawked
And flapped their wings, excited by the food,
And walked toward the golden dragon’s shining.
Ruarther altered course and walked to join
Ruanne as warmly whirling dragon eyes
Looked at the two of them approvingly.

Behind them, from the cottage, Wei ran out
The door and shouted as she ran toward
The three of them, excitement in her voice.

“Ssruanne!” she called. “You’re here! At last you’re here!”

Ruarther dropped his hares upon the ground
As Wei ran up between them, smiling wildly,
And took their hands and skipped toward the dragon,
Her joy impelling them toward the pond.

“A human child needs human care,” Ssruanne
Declared approvingly. She reached out, touched
Her nose to Wei’s small hand, and rumbled joy
Deep down inside her chest, her dragon sense
Of life a wave that rippled out into the day.

Ruarther did not say a word, but reached out, touched
His daughter’s arm, smiled, hugged Ruanne to him,
And felt how lucky he had been to live
Into this moment when he was a human man.

To listen to this passage, click on

Note: This is the fiftieth, and last, 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 Long Song Done to read the passage before this one.

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49. The Long Song Done

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

1

Ruanne’s, the dragon’s, song gave strength to Wei.
She moved her wings inside the nothingness,
Ignoring wisps of spirits straining past
The place she occupied while still alive.
She felt her father, mother, in the void,
But only saw the swirling spirit ghosts
That danced and disappeared in currents stronger
Than any sense of being in a mind.
As other humans joined the song Ruanne
Sang with the dragons, Wei began to feel
A tide that seemed to have a substance absent
From hurricanes of absent spirits flung
About within the coldness of the void.
She spread her human dragon wings and forced
Herself to move into the feeble tide,
Its current stronger as she moved against
Its force, its substance growing grainier.

The song of life Ruanne had brought alive
Surrounded her and gave increasing strength
Until, at last, she saw them in the grayness,
Her father’s and her mother’s arms alive
With weaving substance out of vapored absence.

The universe was dying in her world.
The sentience inside the trees was shorn
Of time that let them draw their sustenance
From earth and rich, black soils; the beating hearts
Of dragons and of humans boiled their essence
Outside the power of Ruanne’s wild song
Into the nothingness hidden by a veil
Millennia had held until the day
Wei’s mother’s love had reached beyond her grave
And made the weirding storm now powerful
Enough to end all living on the earth.

Wei drew the song life sang into her hearts
And sang her love toward the substance holding
Her mother and her father’s selves together.
The chaos roared inside her ears and self.
It seemed as if the nothingness had gained
A life and hated anyone who threatened
To end the substance it now was inside.
The buffeting of cold assailing Wei
Began to draw her from the doorway where
Her mother wove her spells into the world.
Wei gathered up the song of life and hurled
It, filled with all she was, toward her mother.
Her mother’s form, so ghostly in the void,
Became as solid as the love that tucked
A blanket to her daughter’s chin at night
And let her daughter know the safety knit
Into the certainty of mother’s love.
Her father touched her mother’s arm and shook
His ghostly head and waved toward his daughter.

Receding, Wei saw sadness in her mother’s eyes.
Her mother reached toward the power song
Surrounding Wei, and then the substance built
Inside a place where substance could not be
Began to dissipate into reality.
The dire wolves’ howled beneath the canopy
Of forest where they lived the ravening.
The hearts of dragons thundered as they flew
Above the village smouldering from war.

Wei saw her mother die a second time.
She would not visit as a ghost again.

Inside the dusk of chaos tattering
Into the substance of a normal sky
Grief wailed into Wei’s triple hearts and shivered
Across the snow plains to the mountain peaks.
She felt her wings dissolving in the air.
She did not care, she thought. She did not care.

2

The Old One felt the shift inside the chaos.
She spread her wings and tried to see where Wei
Was in the ending of the weirding storm.
A cleansing, bitter wind was blowing hard
Down from the mountain peaks into village.
She strained her wings into the shrieking wind.
Behind her, Mmirrimann was following.

She saw the rainbow dragon sparking light
Into the darkness scattering away
From where the rainbow bands were shooting out
Across the surface of the wintered earth.
Ssruuanne felt that she might be much too late.
She flew much faster than she’d ever flown.
The rainbow dragon detonated light
Into the darkness as the sky turned blue.

A child fell from the light toward the earth.
Ssruuanne swooped low and grabbed the child
Inside her claws and climbed back to the sky.
Ruanne’s song drifted off into a silence,
Her long chant done; her strength gone from her heart.

Beneath Ssruuanne Wei did not try to move.
She breathed, but did not seem to be alive.

To listen to this passage, click on The Long Song Done.

Note: This is the forty ninth passage of a long narrative poem, which has grown into The Dragon Epic. There is one more passage after the one to be put on fourwindowspress. 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 Upon the Brink of Destruction to read the passage before this one. The next, and last passage, is at Having Become Human.

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48. Upon the Brink of Destruction

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

1

As Sshruunak and his followers began
To flee the village, Mmirrimann sent out
A panicked plea to stop. Ssruaanne had swerved
To miss the ground near where Ruanne was chanting
Her power song and started following
The beaten dragon horde toward the chaos
That swirled its void around the village walls.

“Join with the witches’ singing!” Mmirrimann
Demanded. “Find a balance for the world!”

The realms of death swept over cottages
And sang their chaos deep in sentient minds.
Ssruaanne wheeled in the sky and linked her mind
Into the song Ruanne was singing, coldness
Numbed deep beneath her scales into her hearts.
She felt the power flowing from the singing Wei
Who’s linked into the words Ruanne was chanting.
She felt the search that Wei was making, lost
Inside the storm of nothingness, the flotsam
Of spirits, once alive, a ghostly dance
That swirled into the living universe
And started disassembling the order
That made time’s arrow flow, its winging gluing
Together possibilities of sentient life.

As Mmirrimann’s strong spirit joined the song
And other dragons found the stream of beauty
Entwined into the magic Ruanne made,
The cording of the music found the fear
In human, dragon hearts and grew until
The silent sound formed bubbles that surrounded
The village and the forest and the lives
That gave the earth its meaning laced in time.
Reality, assaulted by the winds
Of death, rose out of humans, dragons, trees,
And shimmered as another war erupted,
The chaos trembling over all of life
As life fought back with sentient hearts and song.

Below the floors where children hid from dragons,
Their mothers held their small ones close and tried
To ward away the chilling cold with love.
Inside the caves where guardians hovered over
The clutches of the dragon eggs, stunned dragons
Reached out to find the song Ruanne had started
And tried to use the warmth inside the song
To keep the eggs from crumbling to mist
So fierce it penetrated stone-deep walls
Protecting caves and cliffs and dragon life.

2

Ruarther tried to move his legs toward
The cottage wall he’d almost reached when mist
Descended over him and took away
Reality from eyes and touch and smell.
He felt the Spirit Bear, still whole, beside
Him, looking for a way into his physicality,
But, like he’d done inside the weirding wood,
He drove into himself until he felt
The song Ruanne was in his life and started
The process of building who he was from scratch,
His burning core alive inside the deadness.

He could not feel his movement through the mist,
But still he struggled, pushing out from deep
Inside himself into the world he knew existed.
Then, like a hint of morning light before
Light filtered dusk into a cloud cloaked sky,
He thought he heard Ruanne, her sweet, strong voice,
Outside his head, but still inside his mind.
He reached for her and fell into abyss
As dragon minds and human minds were linked
And drummed as loud as any symphony
Had ever been at any human time.
The power of the mind-song slammed his heart.
He even felt the song sung by the stones
That only moved inside eternal time.

He moved inside the sound until he found
The chanting of Ruanne’s sweet voice and joined
His voice to hers and wove a melody
Of two inside the strands of music weaving
Defense against the terror of the void.

There needs to be some certainty in life,
He thought. Inside the certainty is love.

To listen to this passage, click on .

Note: This is the forty eighth 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 Living Inside Chaos to read the passage before this one.

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47. Living Inside Chaos

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

1

The dire wolf woke Ruarther from his daze.
A male as large as any that he’d seen,
Eyes red, fur ragged, black as moonless nights,
Snarled, bold, into the opening between
The stone fence where Ruarther stood and woods.
It saw Ruarther, crouched in hunting stance,
And stared at him, its baleful eyes twin cauldrons
That bubbled hatred, blind ferocity.
Ruarther jumped down from the wall and grabbed
The bow from Cragdon’s lifeless hands and sent
An arrow at the wolf in one smooth motion.
The wolf, wise to the wiles of men, moved sideways,
The arrow burying into a tree.
Ruarther pulled the bow again and aimed
At where he thought the wolf would move to dodge
His arrow’s flight; the wolf howled; other wolves
Began to come out of the forest trees.
The wolf dodged sideways once again, but true
To how Ruarther’s aim had been, the arrow
Imbedded sharpened stone in flesh; the wolf,
Now maddened, blindly charged toward Ruarther.
Ruarther sent another arrow deep
Into the charging wolf’s dark heart; it fell
As other wolves howled rage that shivered
Into the roiling clouds behind their movement.

The chaos sang with noises not of earth.
A coldness colder than the fiercest storm
Rolled to the wall and poured into the village.
The howling voices of the wolves were silenced.
Ruarther heard the spirit bear, who’d tried
To occupy his body, in the cold.
It sniffed at him, then sniffed at Cragdon’s body,
Then turned toward the village as a dark
That was no dark descended on the world.

2

Above the battle Wei kept circling
As humans sent their flaming arrows splashing
Across hard dragon scales and dragons fought
With dragons as the village cottages
Caught fire and filled the air with smoke and flames.
She felt the chant Ruanne was singing deep
Inside her spirit, the song so powerful
It seemed to alter how time’s arrow moved
Across the day toward night’s distant rising.
Each time she wheeled to keep herself aloft,
She saw the clouds of chaos moving like
An anvil, dense as molten iron, toward
The village, humans, dragons, and the war.
She felt her mother’s and her father’s songs
Inside the chaos, felt her mother buried
Inside her human dragon triple hearts.

Extinction swirled inside the freezing clouds.
Wei felt the message from her mother’s singing.
A dragon flying through the air, she longed
To feel her mother’s loving human touch
Upon her cheek before her mother tucked
Her gently into bed, the long day done–
But she had lost her childhood when her hands
Had woven dragon flesh around her spirit
And made her more than what she should have been.
At last, the boiling clouds intense with cold
Near village walls, she joined Ruanne’s strong chant
And started changing it away from dragons
That spewed their fire toward her slender body
Toward the chaos threatening the lives
Of every creature, every tree, on earth.
The surge of power as she linked her voice
To Ruanne’s voice was startling; she flew
Toward the anvil-looking clouds and reached to find
Her mother’s and her father’s voice in chaos,
Their struggle as they tried to make an order
Inside a universe that knew no order.

Her mind was buffeted by winds so strong
And cold they numbed her sense of who she was
And almost knocked her from the skies she flew.
Her scales seemed like they would dissolve in cold
And flow into the winds that were no winds,
Her spirit part of nothingness that hurled
Its nothingness around for all eternity.

How could she live inside the nothingness?
The stream of chanting from Ruanne dissolved
Into a song so small she hardly knew
That it still tied her to the world beyond
The gray that sucked at her and tried to meld
Her spirit with the fleeting hints of life
That flowed and merged into the whirlpool-flow
That mocked the order that her parents sought.

Deep in her self, beyond the human dragon
That she had made, she reached toward a song
Beyond her individuality.
She tried to find the hearts of who she was
Beyond the being that she was, the truth
Of how life’s impulse strained against the chaos
Imbedded in existence, making possible
The beauty and the substance of the world.

3

Ruarther faced the cloud and cold and felt
The raging storm of nothingness unman
Him from the human man that he’d become.
He did not flinch, but reached into the place
That let him throw the surging spirit bear
Away from who he was and meld his essence
Into the spirit of the self he was.
The chaos storm’s noise roared into his flesh
And numbed the beating of his human heart.
The cold bit down into his will and sucked
Determination from the spirit that he was.

He turned toward the village, feeling nothing
Inside the dark that raged around his body,
And tried to feel his way toward Ruanne.
She had to be alive. His love for her,
Denied so often in his stupid pride,
Was strong enough to will that she still lived.

To listen to this passage click on

Note: This is the forty seventh 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 Retreat to read the passage before this one.

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Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis