Tag Archives: blackness

42. The Deadly Dragon Horde

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis


Up from the mountain slopes above the circle
Of black stone, dragons filled the sky, their hearts
And spirits fierce with dragon rage and war.
Above them, eyes afire, Sshruunak watched fiercely,
Exultant that his time had come, the skies
So filled with rising dragons that they seemed
A swarm of blackness, death aimed at the humans.
The sun was bright and echoed off the snow
That covered jagged peaks thrown at the sky.
He glided as they came to him, then turned
Toward the village closest to the caves
And shrilled his challenge at the universe.


The blackness emanating from the mountains
Made Wei attempt to move her too large wings
And lift herself into the morning air.
The snow around her sprayed and glittered light
Into the shining blue of cloudless skies.
Ssruuanne moved quickly back to miss the force
Of wings more powerful than Wei could know.
The human child inside the dragon body
Felt tears well up inside her tearless eyes
As nothing seemed to move as muscles strained
To lift a body not her body off
The snowy ground to insubstantial air.
Wei moved her massive legs and beat her wings
And roared frustration, startling her hearts
That thundered in her chest and frightened her.

She was a child, she thought. She could not be
A dragon with a dragon’s roar and hearts.

A little way away a wild-eyed Mmirrimann
Kept glancing at the sky and then at Wei,
His feet a drum-like tattoo on the snow.
He looked as if he did not know if he
Should launch into the skies or watch the rainbow
In front of him take life that seemed unreal.
Around him, stretched as far as Wei could see,
The other dragons stared at Mmirrimann,
Then Wei, as if they waited for a sign
That told them what the black mind-storm assailing
Them meant inside a day of miracle.
Great dragon eyes whirled colors at the light
Intense enough to make the morning golden.

Ssruuanne was silent as the human dragon
Strained at the gravities of solid ground.
She looked confused, as if she could not make
Her thoughts reorder to reality.

Reality seemed skewered from the course
Of natural life, its permanence undone.
At last, the struggle in her thoughts’ confusion
So strong it made Ssruuanne feel more human
Than elder dragon born with dragon strength,
She shook her massive golden head and grumbled,

“On ground this flat you have to run to fly.
The question is, what are you flying to?”

Sshruunak’s cry slammed its triumph through the plateau
As Wei began to run, her panic turbulent.
She lurched from one side to another side
As Mmirrimann and other dragons cleared
A path for her and wings that did not match
The rhythm of her wildly churning legs.
Ssruuanne took off so smoothly, wings
A golden flashing in the light, she seemed
A definition of a dragon’s grace.
Along the edges of the dragons’ circle
A dozen other dragons leaped to flight.
Then Wei, her heartbeats double beating rhythms
Her legs and wings could synchronize, so slow
It seemed as if she’d slam into the ground,
Rose from the snow into the air in flight.
She murmured to herself to feel the wonder
Of being what she was, a dragon flying
From human form into the heaven’s skies.

Around her dragons filled the air, so many
There did not seem the space to hold them all.
The blackness drumming at her mind suppressed
Exhilaration storming through her spirit.
She was a human dragon flying, strong
Enough to be the being she’d become!

And then she felt another cry, a human cry
That shivered where her arms had been and made
Her human heart asynchronous with how
Her dragon hearts beat with the beat of wings.
She gasped, a human, still a dragon. Fear
And anger made her stall, then start the beat
That kept her in the air again, the blackness
A song outside of who she’d ever be.


The coal black dragon led the arrowhead
Of dragons flying at the waiting village.
His heart calm, Cragdon turned and shouted out
The warning that the village knew would come,
Then dropped behind the wall and took his bow
Into his hand and lit a flaming arrow.
There had to be more dragons in the flock
Of dragons flying to their human war
Than he had ever seen in all his life.
Ruarther had not flinched to fight a dragon
By moonlight when the two of them had faced
What seemed to be a night of certain death.
Ruarther had no spirit of his own,
But Cragdon had a wife and child and love
And would not flinch to splash his arrow’s flame
Into the hardness of a dragon’s scales.
He waited, glanced to see the dragon’s distance,
Then knelt behind the stony wall again.


Ruanne, upon her cottage roof, heard Cragdon’s voice
And knew the time of blackness came on wings
Of many colors as attacking dragons
Gave shape to darkened songs inside her mind.
She felt the power of their warrior song
And felt her witch’s power stirring in response.
Come on, she thought. Come on. We’ll meet you here.
She lit the pot that leaped with flame and yelled
Defiance at the coming dragon horde.

To listen to this passage of the epic, click on The Deadly Dragon Horde.

Note: This is the forty second 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 Fate and Sentinels to read the passage before this one. To read the following passage, click on .


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

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


by Ethel Mortenson Davis

in my room.
he crawls up
onto my lap
like the uninvited guest
he always is.

i keep hoping
he’ll leave
before dinner.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

25. Plotting Human Extinction

an epic poem by Thomas Davis

The darkness, black as scales upon Sshruunak,
Awash with atmospheres that breathed unrest,
Intensified inside the mountain valley
That saw one dragon, then another, then
Another glide with silent wings to land
Into a ring of black obsidian boulders.
Sshruunak, placed in the ring’s dead center, glared
At each great dragon as they flared their wings
And settled in a loop around his force,
Eyes glittering to see he’d left his cave.

No dragon spoke, but waited for Sshruunak.
The wounded male puffed fire into the air.
It let them see each other in the dark,
But only briefly as Sshruunak began
To speak inside his mind about his plans.

“The humans cannot live,” he said. “Their minds
Are dangerous to dragonkind, their tools
As evil as their deadliness and hate.
I’ve learned,” he said, his voice still silent, “how
Our strength is not enough to make them cower.
They swarm like wasps inside a paper hive
And pour out on the ground with deadly arrows
As if their puny bodies boiled alive
The end of who we’ve been through centuries
Of living strength upon this earth, our earth.
I’ve lost an eye and feel the pain they bring
To every dragon who has sense to rage
Against abomination in our midst.

“I’ve brooded long,” he said. “I’ve seen their power.
I’ve seen that if we try to use our strength,
Our fiery breath, our flight, our deadly claws,
To end the peril that they represent,
We’ll end up fertilizing earth in graves
That mark the final end of dragonkind.
Old Mmirrimann is not the fool he seems.
Ssruanne’s geas capturing our spirits
Burns from a knowledge born of memories
And senses I have never known or dreamed.”

His rumbling stopped. The long necks of the others
Stopped moving from the trance he’d interweaved
About them, capturing them through his mind.
At last, the silence lengthening, Ssshraann,
The dragon closest to Sshruunak, his red,
Dark scales dull in the valley’s darkness, sneered.
“And so we hide inside our caves and let the humans
Grow stronger year by year as dragons weaken?”
He shook his massive head and almost grinned.
“That’s not Sshruunak,” he said, his voice intense.

Sshruunak stayed silent, but his voice rang out
Inside his head and stunned the other males.

“The humans swarm,” he said. “Like ants or wasps,
And then they use their tools to penetrate
Our scales and seek our vulnerabilities.”
He paused, his eyes alight with swirling colors.
“Each dragon feels his power in his hearts.
He breathes his fire and spreads his massive wings
And throws himself at puny, boiling ants
And rends and tears their flesh and spills their blood
In gallons on the ground and murders them.
But never does a dragon swarm and boil
Like wasps stirred from a threatened nest,
And so we fly into their stinging arrows
And die as solitary as our spirits.
We murder them, but let their numbers murder
Each one of us as if we were alone
And had no species linked to who we are.”

“We learn to form an army like the humans?”
Sshraann asked. “Act like insubstantial fools?”

Sshruunak raged fire into the night, his breath
So hot it penetrated dragon hides
And made each dragon step away from him.
The great snow covered peaks around the valley
Grew even darker as his fire went on and on.
He roared so loud an avalanche began
To roar in distance down a mountainside.
The males, eyes glittering, stared amazed
At dragon power unleashed into the world.

The silence following the roar was sudden,
A chaos filled with dreadful absences.
Sshruunak’s great head bowed down toward the snow
Inside the circle of obsidian.
He spoke outloud, his voice as soft as snow
Descending slowly out of windless skies.

“I see us flying in a full moon’s golden light,”
He said. “As silent as my voice is now.
We’re primed with fire and human discipline.
Each one has targets to attack and kill.
Each one of us is bound by orders planned
So that we decimate our enemies.
We come upon a human town and swoop
Into the human helplessness and burn
Their leaders as they try to form defense
Against a threat they’ve never thought would come.
I see our legions wing into their mass,
Our darkness deadly, purpose aimed and armed
With knowledge born of dragon strength and wiles.
I see the humans dying like the ants they are,
Their villages and towns black, smoking ruins.”

Sshraann grinned in the darkness, showed his teeth,
And looked into Sshruunak’s bright, whirling eyes.
He felt the dragon army forming in the night
Around him, Drressel, Stoormachen, Waanderlund,
The leading males born since the human peace
Born in the caves agreeing with the vision
Of dragons massed into an army, flying
Through moonlit skies toward the final answer
To humans and their domination of the earth.

Click on Planning Human Extinction to listen to this section of the epic.

Note: This is the twenty fifth 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 24 to go to the section previous to this one. Click on 26 to go to the next part of the epic.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis