Tag Archives: chaos


by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Wilderness embraces us
this wet morning
with pictures of chaos.

repeating patterns
of symmetry
that quiets,
sets our minds free.

These lovely patterns
in trees, rivers, coastlines,
mountains, and seashells
give us designs that are graceful. . .

like the wild dogwood,
a signature tree in the forest,
whose fractal symmetry
is like no other.

The most beautiful grace
I have ever seen
brings rest to our minds —
our souls.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry

By The Skin of Our Teeth, a Sonnet of Hope

by Thomas Davis

Sweet Bacchus in a passion ate his heart
As spirits floated through his pounding head.
The wood nymphs cheered, and rogues proclaimed the start
Of celebrations for the grateful dead.

The world went mad, and all the heavens rang
With shouts of drunken gods and mortal fools.
The mad embraced the mad. Chimeras sang
That chaos had replaced all laws and rules.

The stars inside the sky flew at the sun.
The peaceful moon turned red with hidden fires.
The night turned white and then began to run
Like liquid paint into the fires of funeral pyres.

But just before destruction raised its lovely head,
Sweet Bacchus died. Sweet Eros died.  Was dead.


Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

49. The Long Song Done

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis


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.


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.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

48. Upon the Brink of Destruction

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis


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.


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.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

47. Living Inside Chaos

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis


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.


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.


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.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

43. The Dire Wolves

a passage from The Dragon Epic by Thomas Davis


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

Two Converging Rock Faces

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

inspired by Kevin’s photograph and a conversation with Rita Hawes

I hope you
have found the light.

Remember when you
scrambled up the cliff
to photograph the light
between two converging
rock faces?
Laughing at my old bones
down at the bottom?

All we can do
in this world of chaos
is set our bearings
by the stars.

I think we will always
have chaos
in this world.
We will never have
a sustainable earth
where men cooperate
with each other.

But instead
living will be about
how we maneuver
our way through chaos
with integrity and valor,
like the old knights
pointing their mast

to the North Star.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

31. Doubt

an epic poem, The Dragon Epic, by Thomas Davis

Ruarther struggled to his feet confused, his head
A swirling pit of vertigo that made
Him feel as if he’d left the world and found
A state of being where the dead and living
Danced crazily between reality
And purgatory’s gray, miasmic void.
The sun was going down, and as he thought
About the spirit bear and how its strength
Had battered him, attempting to possess
The self he knew was who he’d always been,
He also knew the night would rage with cold
And threaten him with all the swirling mass
That made it difficult for him to stand.
He had to find a sheltered place to build
A fire or else not see another dawn.

At last he stood, a tottering old man
Whose will to live was interlinked with rage
Against a child he’d never even seen.
The thought that he had never seen the child,
Who plagued him like a meme, caught in his head
And echoed from his thought into his breath.
Disquiet made the swirling chaos sing.
He felt his body weave as if a wave
Flowed underneath the snow, unsteadying
His capability to stand upright.
He had to move, he thought. Before he fell.

He took a step toward the mountains, paused,
Then forced another step, the day’s last light
So blinding that he turned his head away.
Out of the corner of his eye he glimpsed
A copse of pines dark in the sunset’s fire.
He changed direction, stumbled awkwardly
Across the hard-crust snow toward the pines.

And then he stopped. He felt the spirit bear
Inside the murkiness in front of him.
The bear was in the void, a monstrous shape
That had no form, but whirled into a wind
That was no wind, a shape that struggled through
A turbulence that formed a boundary
Against its will and need to be alive.
Ruarther braced himself to feel the strength
The bear could batter at his grasp of self.
The bear had healed his body. Now it stalked
Him as he tried to find a place to start a fire.
The turbulence grew larger as it swirled,
But then it disappeared as if its winds
Had flashed into the void, the bear’s dark home.
There was no sense the witch was near to where
Ruarther forced his legs to move again.
He concentrated on the copse of pines
And lost the sense of fear he’d felt for days.
He felt as if a weight had been removed.
He touched the bow inside its case and smiled.

He stopped again. Above the mountain peaks
A black dot flew toward him through the air.
He felt malevolence that emanated
From where the dragon flashed the sunset’s fire
Off coal black wings a score of miles away.
He did not want to be upon the plains
Defenseless as the dragon hunted prey.
He forced himself to run toward the copse.

The time was near, he told himself. He felt
The dragons practicing their ancient skills,
Anticipating how they, at long last,
Could end continuance of human life.
He had to kill the witches’ child, he thought.
He had to end the threat all humans faced.

At last the pines grew larger as he ran.
He gasped for breath and tried to keep the world
From reaching up and slamming him to ground.
The pine trees welcomed him into their dusk.
He found a sheltered spot beside a trunk
Long fallen to the ground and built a fire.
As fingers trembled just above the flame,
He wondered why he thought the child had sent
The dragon searching for him in the woods.
The dragon had not said the child had sent
Her with intent to frighten him with flame.
The witch was dead. That’s what the dragon said.
The child was young and needed human care.

Perhaps the child was dead, he thought. Perhaps…
But then he felt the child across the miles
Inside her cottage by a warming fire.
He tried to puzzle out the feeling that he had,
But all he knew was that the child still lived.

There was a link between the golden dragon
And witches’ child, he thought. The coal black dragon
Was deep in plans for devastating war.

He stared at how the fire he’d built woke up
The dark and made it dance with leaping shadows.
Doubts gnawed at him inside the shadow dance.
He looked up at the sky. The waning moon
Cast little light, intensified the cold.
He took his blankets from his deer hide pack
And put more wood upon the growing fire.

He’d make the peace, he told himself. I’ll kill
The witches’ child and end the dragon threat.
He wondered why the spirit bear was blocked
From coming to the earth and walking where
Its kind had always walked through haunted light.

To listen to this section of the epic, click on Doubt.

Note: This is the thirty-first 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 Dragonflies, Dragons and Her Mother’s Death to go to the beginning and read forward. Go to Valley of the Scorched Black Stones to go to the section previous to this one.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

24. Rising Sentience

an epic poem by Thomas Davis

Inside her cave, emotions traumatized
From feeling how Wei’s eyes had looked at her
And seemed to strip her essence from her spirit,
Ssruanne instinctively sent out her thoughts
To Mmirrimann inside his nearby cave.
The ancient dragon dragged his shrouded spirit
Toward his bed beside the cave’s deep pool
Exhausted, beaten by a journey taken
In desperation that he could not curb.

The sense of Wei’s bright eyes beneath her scales
Exploring deep into a dragon’s self
Dissolved when Ssruanne felt the song of chaos
Reverberating uncontrollably
In Mmirrimann’s unconsciousness as if
He’d faced his doom and somehow was alive.
The aches she’d felt from feeling violation
Wisped out of her and, with an eagerness
Pushed by a rush of fear, she stood outside,
The mountain winds soft on her golden scales.
What had her ancient lover tried to do?
She leaped to air and glided to his cave.

The leader of the mountain dragons slumped
Onto his bed and stared at golden eyes
That whirled at where his head was pressed in stone.
He tried to order thoughts into his mind,
But images replete with nothingness
And roaring sounds of endless chaos made
Him close his eyes against the fierceness burning
In living dragon eyes that stared at him.
He had to live, to leave the nothingness
Infecting who he once had been behind,
But in the roaring thought was tenuous,
A string of self that could not know his self.
He willed the window from the chaos closed,
But in the cave the stone walls wavered, motes
Solidifying, then dissolving into motes,
Light flickering into his mind, then sweeping
Into the roar of silence swirling, swirling. . .

Ssruanne stared angrily at Mmirrimann.
He’d gone too far. She saw the journey braved
Past dragon memories into the realms
Where time and living spirits danced in chaos
More spectres than a memory
Of life once lived upon the living earth.
What will had brought him back into his cave
Was past an understanding she possessed.
His scales seemed insubstantial, light, not flesh.
He did not seem to have the strength to open
His eyes to see the safety that he’d found.

She knew the motivation driving him.
She heard, inside her mind, the rage Sshruunak
Spewed from his mind into his followers,
The great young males that saw his massive strength
And did not see how puny human strength
Had sent him, wounded, fleeing to his cave.
She saw what rage and mindless joy in strength
Had done to dragon lives through time, the long,
Dark spiraling toward a time when dragons
Were only myths long lost from memory.
His courage blazing, Mmirrimann had braved
The chaos where the spirit beasts brewed life
From nothingness and came to feed
Upon earth light and dragon/human lives.
He’d tried to find elixirs that would lead
The mountain dragons past the young males’ rage
Into a future guarding dragon eggs
And dragon wings and dragon sentience.

“You are a fool,” Ssruanne said. “Just a fool.”

She walked into the cave and pressed her scales
Against his scales and tried to warm the cold
Chilled deep into his spirit by the wind
That was no wind, the place of deathless souls.
She forced her warmth into his cold and strained
To find the order still inside his mind
And tried to reach the will that he had used
To bring his body back into his cave.

“The dragon race is not gone yet,” she said
Outloud, her voice an echo in the cave.

She felt his reaching out toward her warmth,
The fiery essence of her dragon mind.
She forced her thoughts of Wei to disappear
And placed a block upon Sshruunak’s dark thoughts
To keep them out of Mmirrimann, his cold.
She laid beside him on his stone smooth bed
And sent her memories of watching eggs
Begin to wobble as a hatchling struggled
From darkness into light and dragon life.
She felt again the joy of seeing life,
The promise of another generation,
Continuing the glory of their race.
She nestled close and soaked his cold with warmth
As hours passed day toward the winter night.

“You’ll live,” she told him in the ancient tongue.
“We’ll face Sshruunak and keep the war
He’s brewed from ever happening. We will.”

He formed a thought, then lost its substance, fought
Toward his sentience, fell back, then felt
Ssruanne beside him in his mountain cave.
He reached toward her warmth and living mind.
He loved her. She loved him. A thought
And feeling formed inside the chaos, let
Him feel her body pressed against his body.
He sighed his rising sentience and grinned.

Click on Rising Sentience to listen to this section of the epic.

Note: This is the twenty fourth installment 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 22 to go to the section previous to this one. To read the next section click on 25.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

22. Reordering Salvation

an epic poem by Thomas Davis


Ruanne packed carefully, then heaved a sigh.
The hunters would not willingly allow
Her presence as they braved the treachery
Of miles of snow now frozen on its surface.
They’d think she’d be a burden as they watched
For warring dragons and the wounded men,
But she was going if she had to travel
Behind them as they tried to find Ruarther
And Cragdon struggling back to where the village,
Tense, fearful, waited for a dreaded future.
She loved Ruarther even as he caused
The chaos threatening all that she loved.

Outside her cottage Reestor waited, looking
Exhausted, circles black beneath his eyes.
He shook his head to see the pack she’d packed.

“I knew you’d try to go,” he said. “A-Brimm
Will try to stop you, but he’ll not succeed.”

Ruanne smiled at the village leader, shook
Her head, but silently walked past to where
The hunters gathered as the morning sun
Threw blue, long shadows out from trees
Whose branches bent beneath their loads of snow.
A-Brimm looked carefully at her and Reestor
The moment that they left her cottage door.
She did not look at him, but looked toward
The trail they’d travel as they made their way
Into the slopes and fields that rose snow-bound
Into the mountains where the dragons lived.

When Reestor opened up the wooden gate
The grim-faced hunter shook his head and frowned.

“This trip is not a woman’s trip,” he said.
“I’ll not be blamed for leading you to harm.”

Ruanne glanced at his glare, then walked on past
And started down the trail toward the fields
Beyond the denseness of the forest’s trees.

A-Brimm turned, desperate, to Reestor, pointed
Toward Ruanne, frustration in the way he stood.

“You’re leader. Make her stop,” he said. “Who knows
What nightmares that we’ll face outside of here.”

“Ruarther’s hurt and dying,” Reestor said.
“We need her here if we can stop this war
Before it overwhelms us all, but I
Can’t stop her, so you’ll have to keep her safe.”

The seven other hunters mumbled, growled
To hear the village leader’s words. A-Brimm
Just stared at him, then grabbed his bow and pack
From snow and stalked to where Ruanne had walked.
The other hunters, voices cursing, scrambled
Into the trail Ruanne and he had left.


Blind, stumbling, Cragdon felt his death
Beside him in the snow he’d walked for days.
His body jarred each time he forced his muscles
Into another step, another mile,
His eyesight blurring in the winter sunlight.
He’d lost the reason why he kept his legs
Alive with shuffling downhill toward
The endlessness of emptiness. His thoughts
Were haunted by the vision of a dragon
That flamed out from the fullness of a moon
With searing tongues of fire that made his flesh
Smell charred and sweet with putrefaction’s rot.
He kept on swatting at the empty air
And flinching as the flames shot out at him.
He thought he’d welcome death when movement
Became too difficult, and life gave out.
He thought he’d smile and take death’s hand in his
And feel relief that he, at last, was done.
He could not bring his wife or child alive
Inside his mind. It troubled him, but still. . .


Ruanne walked from the woods into the fields
And squinted at the brightness of the snow.
A-Brimm, ten steps behind, stopped when she stopped.
Behind them hunters started leaving woods.
Ruanne then saw the figure stumbling
Toward them out of light, his head hung down.
Her heart inside her throat, she saw that Cragdon,
A man near death, was struggling alone.
Ruarther was not anywhere in sight,

And then she smelled a bear’s rank smell and felt
It rising up inside the forest, light
Cold-deep in red eyes burning hate and rage.
She saw it rise up from a fire’s dark ash
And hunch above Ruarther’s sleeping body
Burned raw by dragon flame and coal-black rage,
Its roiling spirit flowing like a stream
Into the rage that made him who he was.
The vision made her stagger, sending blackness,
A thin, sharp, liquid arrow at her brain.

She heard A-Brimm shout when he saw the man.
She watched as Cragdon stopped his movement, tried
To understand if he was hearing things,
And lifted up his head into the air.

She turned toward the village, away from Cragdon,
As all the hunters ran toward the man.
She could not see. The great bear smiled at her
And laughed its weirding as she fled its madness,
Ruarther’s madness, wondering how she
Could keep him safe from who he was inside,
A man who thought that he could kill a child
And bring a peace he’d purposely destroyed.

I should have known, she thought. Ruather’s strength
Was great enough to live through dragon’s fire.
Salvation layed in her and not in him.

To listen to this section of the epic, click Reordering Salvation

Note: This is the twenty second installment of a long narrative poem, which has grown into an 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 21 to read the installment before this one. Click on 23 to read the next installment and continue the journey.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis