Category Archives: The Dragon Epic

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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46. Retreat

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

1

The great black dragon’s hurtling unnerved
Ruanne, but, even though she felt like leaping
From roof to ground and hiding with the children
Beneath the floors of cottages in dark,
She pulled her bow and sent a flaming arrow
Into the dragon’s scales and saw him flinch
Back from the flame, his searing breath-flame missing
Where he had aimed at her, his claws a shrilling
Across the roof as wings fought hard to take
Him back into the air away from where she kneeled.
Inside her mind she chanted words that seemed
As if they’d come from someone else and sang
As if her chanting had a power far
Beyond the power that she knew she had.

She felt triumphant for a moment, seeing
The dragon swerve away from flames that spread
Out from the arrow’s mark across its belly,
But then he turned and aimed his massive body
At where she pulled upon her bow’s taut string
And hurtled at her smallness as she threw
Herself away from where he’d aimed, her arrow
Another flame into his hardened scales.
The dragon roared as Ruanne rolled across
The roof and tried to keep from plummeting
To ground, her eyes filled with a sky of dragons
So huge with searing flame and massive claws
The world seemed mad with frightened screams and roars
That shook the ground and made her feel half deaf.

“Undo the chaos of the universe,”
She sang. “Cleanse winds that are no winds.
Undo the chaos; stir the winds; make
The world anew, chaotic rage undone.
Undo the chaos of the universe.”

She did not stop the chanting in her mind
In spite of all the bruising that she felt
While desperately attempting to arrest
Her rolling on the hard slates on the roof.
She did not stop while hanging from the edge
Above the ground, her arms afire with pain.
She dropped to earth and rolled to ease the fall.
Her voice wrapped dragon roars and human screams
Into the chant she sang and tried to end
The fury overwhelming what the village
Had once been slumbering inside it peace.

She was no witch, she told herself, and still
She chanted witching words and reached for power
She’d never wanted, always shunned and fled.

2

Sshruunak felt Mmirrimann before he saw
The dragon horde above the village walls.
He threw himself toward the chanting witch,
Then turned as Mmirrimann came roaring down,
His claws extended as he tried to pierce
Shruunak’s black scales and end the village war.
Shruunak avoided Mmirrimann and tried
To understand the madness boiling skies
Alive with dragons fighting dragons, flame
And claws enraptured by the constant roar
And screams that made the universe unreal.

He’d never dreamed that Mmirrimann would lead
The caves to war against their sons and daughters.
His calculations had been wrong so often
That, even caught by rage, he knew his judgment
Was flawed so badly that he could not trust
The thoughts or feeling that were driving him.

He saw the human witch drop to the ground,
But then Ssruanne was diving at his wings.
He twisted as another flaming arrow
Unnaturally burned through his dense black scales.

He’d have to run. His followers would have
To fly toward the mountains where their lairs
Could not be found without a dogged search.
He roared, his pain so great it echoed like
A writhing snake into the village skies.

He started climbing, pumping wings in spite
Of how the flames upon his belly spread,
But then began to hover as he saw
The weirding clouds beyond the village wall
And dire wolves gleaming in unnatural light.
He saw the ending of the world of dragons
Foretold by Mmirrimann, despair so great
Escape was, like his life, like dragonkind,
A fantasy impossible to seize.

Fear clawed into his double hearts and made
Them beat arhythmically, the chaos singing
Inside the roiling clouds so powerfully
It overwhelmed his sense of who he was.

“Retreat!” he shrilled. “Retreat and fly away!”

His followers, disorganized and fearful,
Too many injured from the human’s arrows,
Began, as one, to climb above the battle
They’d started following Sshruunak’s black rage.
The fear Sshruunak had broadcast shocked their wings
Into a frantic flight toward the clouds
That boiled toward the village, whirling doom,
An ending, of the world that once had been.

To listen to this passage click on Retreat

Note: This is the forty sixth 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 Before the End of the World to read the passage before this one. To read the next passage in the epic, click on Living Inside Chaos.

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45. Before the End of the World

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

Ssruanne swooped suddenly toward the ground.
Ruarther closed his eyes and forced the cry
Of terror in his throat to swallow bile.
And then the golden dragon let him fall
A foot into the snow, his eyes still filled
With dragons smashing cottages as fire
From arrows burned their bellies and their sides.
The image of the ancient dragon who had flown
Beside the golden dragon from the field,
Descending on the coal black dragon who
Had almost killed Ruarther in the moonlight,
Seemed false, impossible to understand.

Unharmed, he got up on his feet and saw
The stone wall circling the village, warmth
Inside of him as memories of life
He’d often treated badly, even though
The villagers, his kin, had honored him,
Came rushing in a flood of wondrous joy.

He ran toward the wall, climbed up, and stopped.
Below, his face a frozen mask, was Cragdon.
His blackened skin had peeled to show his skull.
He’d died an agonizing death by fire.
Ruarther sat, stunned, on the wall as dragons,
Attacking dragons with ferocity
And overwhelming streams of deadly flame,
Reordered everything he’d thought through life.
The golden dragon that he’d feared so much
Roared down on Ruanne’s cottage, claws extended.
The monster black that Cragdon and Ruarther
Had fought screeched as it rose to meet her claws.

What madness had possessed his life and made
Him choose a rationality so wrong
It had no anchor in reality?
He saw the bow that Cragdon once had held
And tried to force himself to leave the wall.

Above him spirit creatures, freed from chaos,
Streamed through the air toward the awful carnage
As dragons joined the humans fighting dragons.
The villagers, confused, had stopped their efforts
To launch their flaming arrows at hard scales
Since they could not discern which dragons fought
Beside them or against them in the battle.
The dragons wheeled and roared and filled the air
With colored scales, wings, flames, and aerobatics.
There were so many that it seemed as if
There was no room for empty winter skies.

Behind the spirit beasts a weirding storm
Swirled from the center of a cloud that fell
In blackness down toward the snowy earth.
Ruarther heard the dire wolves howling rage
Before the storm and saw a wall of chaos
Inhaling light, normality, and reason.
The bridge between the netherworld and life
Raged worse than any dragon’s roar or flame or claws.

Ruarther did not flinch to see the storm.
He’d lived through frightening storms too many times.
He glanced again at Cragdon’s grimaced face,
Then stood upon the wall again, his face toward
The storm about to swallow up the world.
Why had a man as brave as Cragdon died?
Ruarther, tortured by his history
Of grievous faults, would not run from the storm,
But face it’s fury with a fury of his own.

Before the wall of swirling, ugly clouds,
The rainbow human dragon wheeled around,
A shining dragonfly against the deadly
Immensity the world could not escape.
Ruarther wondered at the grace he’d sought
So long to murder in his spirit-heart.

To listen to this passage, click on Before the End of the World

Note: This is the forty fifth 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 Confrontation to read the passage before this one. Click on Retreat to read the next passage in the epic.

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44. Confrontation

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

1

Ruarther stopped his struggling inside
The golden dragon’s claws. They did not bite
Into his flesh or even make him feel
Uncomfortable, although the ground below
Sped by so fast it made his stomach churn.
He looked at how the other dragons flew,
Their eyes intense upon horizons set
Beyond his human sight, and looked in wonder
At how the human dragon with her scales
So bright with rainbow light it hurt his eyes
Flew like the dragons flew, her wings a steady
Beat, driving her toward the village where
Her father’s death had made her mother flee.

The spirit bear was just behind him, surfing
An eddy from the world of whirling vortex.
Behind him weirding bridging life and death
Swirled madly in the morning’s normal skies,
A song unnatural within the world,
A wrongness brought to life upon a day
Unlike another day from history.
Ruarther held his self, inside the talons.
Inviolate from spirit bear possession.
What was a human man, who’d lived the wrongness
That he had lived, do when a dragon grabbed
Him, lifted him to flight, and let him live
In spite of all the evil that he’d done?
He looked toward the human rainbow dragon
And wondered why he’d been fanatically
Determined that she had to die if humans
Were destined to continue with their stories.
The cold miasma following their flight
Was like a nightmare, troubling the madness
Inside the morning’s skies and shining light.

He kept himself as still as possible.
The golden dragon’s flight was way too high
To fall from if he valued living life.
Without a weapon, what role could he play
If he was dropped inside the village fighting
Against the ravages of dragon war?

2

The clashing din of war was obvious
Before Ssruuanne could see the devastation
She sensed as dragons battled villagers.
Then Mirrimann’s wings started moving faster.
A violet dragon, Sshisshiton, who’d left
The conclave he had called to end the madness
Sshruunak had generated from his rage,
Was on the ground, her wounds so great she drooped
Her head and did not look to see the sky
Completely full of dragons from the caves.
The tension in Ssruuanne reflected sounds
of battle now so loud it innudated
The universe and silenced miasma’s song
That followed them toward the tragedy
Now raging at the human’s small stone village.
Below her dire wolves howled to smell the blood
Of dragons and their human foes in air.

Then Mirrimann roared louder than he’d known
That he could roar. The other dragons echoed
The power inside Mirrimann as dragons
Aflame from burning human arrows danced
In skies and plunged toward the human archers
That bent their bows and sent their deadly flame
Into the scales of dragon hides, pain roiling
The dragons and the humans as they died
From injuries inflicted by Sshruunak’s
Mad war that had no chance for victory.

A dragon flung a human archer high
Into the air as roaring filled the skies.
Miasma’s silent roar of sound entwined
Into the battle’s roar, the dragon’s roaring,
And seemed to leap toward the chaos raging
Above the cottages and forest trees.
Deep in Ssruanne she felt the prophecy
That Mmirrimann had said in conclave, warning
About extinction for the dragon race.
She keened her sorrow at the sight of dragons
And humans battling toward their deaths.
Her keening made Ruarther, held by talons,
Squirm, trying to escape her talons’ grip.

Enraged, an ancient dragon male who’d led
The mountain dragons during all their years
Of peace inside the caves, a hurtling Mmirrimann
Flew like an arrow at Sshruunak’s black scales.
The coal black dragon felt his leader’s charge
And turned toward the threat he’d never thought
He’d have to face, his belly scales on fire,
His pain and rage so great the world seemed red
And violent in a mind unhooked from thought.

Miasma flowed toward the battlefield.
Once living spirits teemed and swirled in clouds
Of mourning, searching for the living light
Where absolution could absolve their spirits
Of darkness and the flowing cauldron central
To individuality’s privation.
The earth quaked in the shivering blood calls
From dire wolves’s gleaming, hungry, dull red eyes.

To listen to this passage, click on Confrontation

Note: This is the forty fourth 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 Dire Wolves to read the passage before this one. To read the passage after this one, click on Before the End of the World.

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43. The Dire Wolves

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis

1

The dire wolves, eyes as glittering as suns,
Began to gather in the hills and forests,
Great packs that knew of dragon, human wars
And salivated at destruction where
They would relieve the earth of carrion.
Upon the crest of hills they started howling,
Their songs a haunting madness shivering
Their ravening into the day’s cold skies.

As Wei kept laboring to stay in flight
The voices of the wolves caused her to rise
Above the tallest treetops, dragons flanked
Around her as they rose up from the ground
And filled the skies with colored scales and wings
That thundered as they flew toward the village
Where dragons battled humans to the death.
How could a little girl be who she was?
Wei thought. The scales of light she wore outside
The human dragon that she was perturbed her,
Although she also held onto her sense
Of self inside the weirding of her life.

Beside her Mmirrimann kept humming songs
That seemed much older than the winter skies.
They seemed to reach into a time before
Time found its measuring, its arrow’s flow.
Below the two of them Ssruuanne swooped down
And grabbed a human in her massive claws
And lifted him into the winter skies.
His frightened yelp was faint inside the beat
Of steady dragon wings that sent the horde
Toward the village Wei had left while young.

A pack of dire wolves burst out from the woods,
Their movement slow compared to dragon flight,
But filled with bristling energies that sang
Of violent spirits empty of remorse.
Beside her Mmirrimann sniffed his disgust.

2

Toward the mountains, distant from the flight
Of dragons, huge, a wall of mist began
To anvil up into the day’s bright sky,
Inside the mist miasma whirled and sparked
As if it held a winter lightning storm.
Shades gloamed in dusk as chaos sang and gates
And boundaries began to shift and fray.
Inside the storm, inside her daughter’s spirit,
Wei’s mother, father waved their witching arms
And blotted out the shine of winter sun.

3

Ruanne could feel the storm. The great black dragon,
His claws extended, hurtled at the shelter
She calmly nestled into; strong, gray slate exploded,
His body’s strength so large it took away
Delusions of her safety, hammering
The cottage roof a half a dozen yards
Away from where she’d hid. She sent a bolt
Of energy out of her frightened spirit
Toward the massive dragon with his one good eye.
She felt another spurt of energy
Mesh with the bolt she’d sent, the two bolts strong
Enough to knock the dragon off the roof.
The dragon roared, crescendoing his voice
Into the muttered roars that punctuated
The battles flaming just above the rooftops.
She did not think, but notched a burning arrow,
Then sent it at a violet dragon’s scales.

4

Knocked to the ground, Sshruunak could feel the horde
Of dragons in the air, their eyes and necks
Strained at the melee in the war’s first skirmish.
He wondered at the feelings forcing him
To understand that all his plans were dashed,
And, like the night he’d lost his eye, his life
Was spinning to a grim reality
He’d not seen in the shining of his dreams.
He pounded wings into the sky and searched
For dragons flying to the humans’ rescue.
A single light burned in the front of scores
Of dragons humming ancient warrior songs.
The rainbow of the light was much too bright
To countenance. Behind its fire the skies
Above the mountains roiled with spirit beasts
And chaos borne upon the winds he’d made
To start the glory of his dragon human war.

He saw his followers were scorched by flames.
The burning underneath his scales seared pain
Into his mind’s slow, sluggish desperation.
What should he do? he thought. What could he do?
He could not, would not lose the war he’d made.

5

A shock made Wei forget to keep her wings
In motion as she navigated currents
Above, below her shining dragon body.
Ruanne’s thoughts rang in Wei and made the world
Seem brighter than the possibilities that trembled
As dragons filled the skies with who they were.
The great black dragon fell and then was up
And raging at his puny human foes.
His followers were shaken by the fires
That gouged into their scales and weakened them.
Wei sent her dragon human powers deep
Into the stream of power emanating
From where Ruanne sat dazed upon a roof
As roaring captured all the world in pain.
Behind her in the wild miasma’s storm
The universe seemed like a madhouse thrown
Into a time where time did not exist.

Sshruunak’s attacking dragons felt the song
That Mmirrimann, Ssruaanne, the others sang.
Wei flew beside her dragon kin and felt
Her mother’s spelling at the boundary
Where all eternity and history
Spun on the cusp of change so powerful
No being would be like they were before.

To listen to this passage, click on The Dire Wolves

Note: This is the forty third 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 Deadly Dragon Hordeto read the passage before this one. To read the next passage of the epic, click on Confrontation.

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Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis