Tag Archives: dragon war

35. Determination, Doubt, and Dreams of Victory

Inside the cave he’d clawed in mountain rock
Sshruunak’s resentment at the inconvenience
Of living rough outside the dragon lairs
Far from community he’d always known
Kept waking him, the cold intense enough
To make him wish he’d spent more digging time.
He kept on saying that discomfort made
Him miserable right now, but soon the moon
Would be invisible and then the song
Of dragon wings would beat so dreadfully
The earth would tremble from the flames of rage.

The thought of nineteen males, six fierce females
Now following his lead to dragon war
Seemed like a gift more precious than his hearts
Inside the small cave’s dark, a bolstering
That made his plans more promising than he
Had dreamed that they could ever be before
Their force had left the caves to find Sshruunak.
Inside his head he saw his clutch of dragons
Spread out across the skies, their bodies large
Enough to make irrelevant the men
That scurried with their deadly arrows through
The lanes between their small stone cottages.
He felt the power of their thundering
Inside his hearts and felt so potent-wild
He thought that he could burst out from his cave
And wrest the ancient stories from ancestors
And make them live in glory in this time.

But then the image faded as he thought
About the news his new force brought: Of Mmirrimann
And all the elders on the conclave’s stone,
Especially Ssruanne who’d let her mate
Assume her place upon the dais to call
For dragon war, huge dragons battling dragons
So that the dragon race would grow and thrive.
The old ones’ foolishness enraged him, made
Him want to spew his fire into their smug,
Old surety with force enough to make them cringe,
But still, his followers were young and strong,
But could they face the dragons from the caves?
Could victory be carved from dragons first
And then from humans with their puny strength?
What had he done? Created dominance
That would ensure that dragons lived without
The endless threat that humans represented?
Or made a war where dragon claws and flame
Raked only dragon hides and forced a slide
Into extinction Mmirrimann was fond
Of warning all the dragon caves about?

He’d trained the young males that had followed him
In discipline and strategy, but now
His newer followers were here to join
The battle that he’d planned for carefully,
And though he’d lead his forces through the skies,
What would they do when dragons they had known
The moment when they’d left their eggs for light
Confronted them and came at them with flames?

He’d somehow thought the elders would sit back
And let him fight the humans in his war
And cower in the caves, afraid to stop
Him as he moved to rid the world of humans,
But if the dragons that had left the conclave
To join him in the mountains had it right,
His war against the humans was a part
Of what they faced, the other part a war
He had not planned or even contemplated.

The doubts gnawed at his stomach, made him want
To bawl his fear and helpless feelings out
Into the quiet night and make them vanish,

But if he showed his feelings to the others,
He’d heard the hesitancy in the way
The new ones told of elders at the conclave
And felt the cold dismay the males had felt
To feel the possibility of war
Fought with their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers…

What could he do? he asked himself. What should
He do before he could not stop events from moving
So fast he had no choice but forward movement
Toward a destiny that was not guaranteed
To be the destiny his dreams had formed?

He thrashed inside the cave and cold and moved
His wings–and then had left the cramped, close cave
For air that whistled as he flapped his wings.
Stars shined so bright they rained their silver light
Upon the valley far below his flight.
Great dragon bodies moved uncomfortably
To hear him leave his clawed out earth and soar
Into the crystal darkness of the night.
For hours the newest dragons had clawed earth
To make themselves a cave where they could sleep,
But mountain rock was hard, and days were needed
To make a cave, not hours before night came.

Still, no one followed him into the sky.
One day to train the new ones how to fight
A war with strategy instead of rage,
He thought. Stoormachen and the others who
Had learned the tactics had to take the lead.
The clutch he led would not be quite as fierce
As what he’d dreamed when he had set his rage
Toward the moment when he’d wage a war
Against the hunter who had sent his arrow
To blind his eye and wrap him deep with pain,
But cowering was not the dragon way—
Not even if Ssruuanne and Mirrimmann
Were strong enough to fill the skies with dragons
Opposing him and what his mind had willed.

He drove his wings down, spurted higher, up
Into the thinner air toward the stars.
They’d win, he screamed inside himself. They’d win!
They had no other choice than victory.

To listen to this section of the epic, click on Determination, Doubt, and Dreams of Victory

Note: This is the thirty-fifth section 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 Metamorphosis to go to the section previous to this one. To read the next section of the epic, click on Mesmerized Cave Dragons.

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Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

32. Mmirrimann Inside the Conclave He Called

an epic poem, The Dragon Epic, by Thomas Davis

1.

The weirding shocked Ssruanne awake and stirred
Inside of her a fear that made her hearts
A double drum vibrating in her bones.
Beside her Mmirrimann was sleeping like
A dragon slept, not like a dragon caught
Inside miasma’s cold, chaotic winds.
He twitched to feel her movement, stirred,
But stayed asleep, his eyelids fluttering.
She softly moved away from him and stood
Upon the ledge outside his cave, her eyes
As restless as the beating of her hearts.

She spread her wings and launched into the air.
Disturbances seemed everywhere, the signs
Of abnormality small waves in drafts
Beneath the surface of her golden wings.
She looked toward Wei’s cottage, felt the wilding
That seemed frustrated as the human girl
Attempted magic far beyond her skill;
Then turned her neck toward a copse of pine
That seemed to swirl with chaos not unlike
The chaos Mmirrimann had fled to find
His life again inside the dragon caves.

The swirling seemed to buffet her with winds
That were no winds, repelling her to heights
She hardly ever tried to reach in flight.
Behind her, deep inside the mountains, stones
Scorched black from dragon fire grew tangible
Inside her mind, their silence testament
To how the dragon race would face extinction.
She shuddered at the death they emanated
Into the cold, high beauty of their valley.
Downhill she felt the fear inside the humans
That huddled in their village cottages,
But also felt the strength infused in bows
They’d use to face unwanted dragon threat.

They would not face Sshruunak oblivious
And unprepared, she thought. His plans had gone
Awry without his knowing once again.

The clarion call from Mmirrimann inside
The caves stirred deep in dragon blood and tipped
Her wings so powerfully she almost plunged
Toward the fields of snow beneath her flight.
Her neck whipped round toward the ancient call
And wheeled her in the air toward the caves.
She shuddered at the implications buried
Inside the call, the threat of dragon war
Where dragon’s faced each other in the skies
And tried to force their will through claws and fire
Into the hearts of spirit, sentience.

How had their peace devolved to this? She thought.

2.

They all were there: The nine huge elders sat
Upon the round, black dais, their eyes a-swirl
With patterns troubling to look at, each
One grim with seeing Mmirrimann perched high
Above them on the dais where, during peace,
Ssruanne, the oldest one alive, presided
While conclaves delved into the wisdom born
Of dragon dreams and dragon sentience.
Before the nine of them the dragon race
Was gathered, restless, angry, filled with fear
Born from a dread that overwhelmed the hall.

Ssruanne walked in the massive cavern
And took her place below her lover’s mass.
He’d shed the weariness he’d felt before
And looked as if he’d never faced a time
He doubted his own strength and dominance.

“The younger males are stirring dragon blood,”
He said, “and taking on another war
That adds another chapter in the long,
Long history of battling the human race.

“I’ve journeyed deep into our memories
And tried to see if they could find a way
To victory that would not threaten all
The strength of dragonkind with racial death,”
He said. “But in the chaos where the dead
Are gathered in a storm of chaos empty
Of who we are upon this splendid earth,
I saw despair without a shred of hope
If dragon/human war erupts again.
I’ve called the call against our senseless sons
Not out of love for humans, but for our eggs
Still incubating in the birth cave’s warmth.
“If any can convince Sshruunak that he
Must not continue in his path, I ask
You for your words and passion. Otherwise
I’ve seen no way that dragons will survive.
The puny humans are like swarms of wasps
That sting and sting no matter how we sear
Their lives with dragon strength and claws and fire.
I’ve warred upon them time and time again,
But dragons dwindle every time we choose
To face our foe with war instead of peace.

“We must choose peace to build our population’s strength.
That’s what I found inside miasma’s chaos.
I saw no other way to keep our eggs alive.”

The nine great elders stared into the mass
Of dragon eyes that whirled perplexity.
As Mmirrimann kept staring at the eyes
That stared at him, a clutch of males positioned
Toward the passages into the cavern,
As silently as possible, began
To turn and leave the hall to join Sshruunak.
Williama sighed so loud she forced Ssruanne
To turn her head to look at her dismay.
At least another dozen males had left.

At last, his voice so sad it seemed to flood
Miasma from the chaos through the hall,
His whirling eyes uncertain, Mmirrimann
Rose to his hind legs, larger than Sshruunak
Or any other male alive, and roared,

“We cannot fail. We must succeed. To war!
To war against our brothers and our sons
And all their unwise dance with dragon deaths!”

To listen to this section of the epic, click on Mmirrimann Inside the Conclave He Called

Note: This is the thirty-second 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 Doubt to go to the section previous to this one. To read the next section of the poem, go to Vertigo and the Moment of Sudden Truth.

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Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

19. Brewing Dragon War

an epic poem by Thomas Davis

Inside his cave Sshruunak’s dark thoughts unleashed
A constant storm that pummeled him with lightning
As pain and anger raged with burning hatred.
He felt a fire so fierce it made scales burn
Into his flesh and scar his spirit’s song.

He’d let the healers come, extract the arrows,
And wrap his bloody eye with salve and webbing
Designed to let a membrane heal the wound,
But then he’d sent long streams of dragon fire
To singe all other males brave enough
To bring their fury to his cold, dark lair.
He brooded in the darkness like the worm
The humans once had said described his kind
And tried to find his balance in a world gone mad.
He’d always thought himself impervious
To any human wile and could not understand
How two small humans had defeated him
And made him flee the battle like a coward.

When old Williama came and stood outside
His cave and called to him, he snorted fire
And rumbled with his incoherent rage,
But chasing elders off was not as easy
As threatening the friends he’d had since birthing.
The old, dark dragon waited for his fire
To spend its breath, then came inside, her eyes
So wild with whirling colors that she seemed
As potent as Ssruanne upon the dais.
She stood in light made by her eyes and curled
Her lips so that her rows of teeth gleamed white
Inside the storm of hatred that he’d brewed.

“You’re hiding from yourself,” she said, her voice
A whipping blade of anger. “Now you know
Why peace was made before all dragonkind
Was lost to history and ancient myths.”

Sshruunak let silence stretch and coil
Into discomfort as the elder stood
And stared implacably at where his eye
Was blind, her stance aggressive, challenging.

“This universe cannot let dragons live
While humans breed like rabbits in the spring,”
He growled at last. “We live; they die, or else
They live, and we become an ancient myth.
You used the words; I spit them in your craw!”

Williama’s eyes grew more intense. She snorted,
A puff of fire flared out to light the cave.

“I was a fool,” she said. “I heard the geas Ssruanne
Called from the ancient spirits of our race
And let my hatred of the humans crush
My sentience and send you out to where
You were as big a fool as I when I
Called for destruction of the human girl.
When Mmirimann negotiated peace
I thought he was insane, but we are thriving
Inside these caves where once our numbers fell
Year after year through centuries of time.
The peace has got to hold. It’s got to hold.”

He stirred. “The young will follow me,” he said.
“I’ve heard their talk outside the cave for days.”

“You think you are a leader then?” she asked.
“Like Mmirimann? Ssruanne? The ones who made
It possible for us to live our lives
Without the threat of arrows in our eyes?”

The blackness in him stirred alive a force
More powerful than any dragon was.
It overwhelmed his pain and blindness, swept
Aside the reason in Williama’s voice,
And roared into the cave so loud the stones
Above their heads began to tremble, crack.

Inside the universe of sound Williama
Stood still, despair a wailing in her head
That echoed back into the times when dragons
Were solitary in their greediness.
Inside the cave Sshruunak seemed like a nightmare,
Wings black, his spirit black as shining wings.
She stared into the storm of who he was
And tried to find his sentience, the key
That could unlock the future of his kind
And let them all avoid a dragon war
Where young fought elders as their futures waned.

“You cannot kill the human girl,” she said.
“Ssruanne is eldest. She has seen the song
That’s gathering inside our dragon hearts.”

The silence was so sudden that it echoed.
He glared at her, his eyes so strong they seemed
As if they had the will to hypnotize all time.

“The humans who were brave enough to send
Their arrows in my eye are dead,” he said.
“A single dragon’s not the force that dragons
Assembled like a human army are.
Ssruanne’s girl took away my dragoness
And made me silent when I meant to speak.
She’s just as dead as those two hunters are.”

“Ssruanne and Mmirimann will fight against
Your craziness,” Wwilliama said. “The elders
Won’t easily forsake the future of our race.”

“The elders battling the young?” he sneered.
His blackness seemed to stretch outside the cave
Into the winter cold and coal black night.
“The young will win,” he said. “The young will win.”

“We’ll see,” Wwilliama answered, sadness like
A pool of water covering her spirit.
“We’ll see what dawn and dragon hearts will bring.”

She turned and left the cave. Sshruunak saw deep
Into the universe and saw the power
Of rage engulfing all the earth in flame.

“The hunters and the girl are dead,” he said.
“And if the elders have to die, they’ll die.”

Ssruanne would never use her geas on him.
Inside the darkness of his cave he saw
His blackness leading as a hundred dragons
Flew massed toward a village wrapped in peace.

Listen to an audio of this section of the epic: 19

Note: This is the ninteenth installment of a long narrative poem. 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 18 to read the installment before this one. Go to 20 to read the next section of the epic.

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Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis