Tag Archives: extinction

Laughing as He Went

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

they want to clip
the ears of the Gray Wolf,
clip them back
until the wolves are almost decimated,
weakening their packs
to almost extinction.

The native tribes of Wisconsin and Montana
have stood up for the wolf.
They see themselves parallel to the wolf.
They too were killed back
to almost extinction,
starved and hounded,
brothers to the wolf
in life and suffering.

The hunters carry away
the great, large bodies of wolves
in their arms, 
laughing as they go.

I remember the Gray Wolf
that morning as he rolled
down a steep embankment,
looking like a great ball
of white and gray fur,
laughing as he went.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry

32. Mmirrimann Inside the Conclave He Called

an epic poem, The Dragon Epic, by Thomas Davis


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.


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.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

21. Journeying to Chaos: A Search for Survival

an epic poem by Thomas Davis

Inside his cave, his massive spirit brooding,
The great male Mmirimann was still, his hearts
Swift rhythms slowed to somnolence, near death.
He journeyed through the layers of his self,
The memories ancestors had bestowed
In him kaleidoscopic as he saw
The dragon race devolve into a 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.
And still he journeyed through his dragoness
Until he passed the vestiges of who
A dragon was and let the darkness grow
Into a universe much greater than his self.

At last, inside miasma, hearts still slow,
He came into a barren field, a place
Between the stars where sunlight never shined,
Not earth, not space, a place devoid of substance,
Yet real, where shades gloamed in the dusk
As chaos sang into the birth of stars
Yet in the eggs that would grow into light.
He felt the living substances of spirits,
Great animals whose strength had let them flee
Finality of death, the human shades
That teemed and swirled in clouds of mourning, searching
For absolution from the dark that came
Out of their lives and sense of who they’d been
While living in their times upon the earth,
The dragons, that still flew in rage in dark,
Grown monstrous with unwillingness to die
Though some had lived three hundred years or more.

Inside cacophony Mmirimann
Searched for an answer to his endless quest
To find a corridor where dragons lived
And did not spiral to their race’s death,
But everywhere he looked the universe
Of death whirled clouds of beasts and humans, dragons
That flew at him, their momentary faces
Alive with being, then a trail of mist
As bright eyes disappeared into the rising
Of other beings with their faces solid,
Then mist and chaos swirling endlessly.

There was no ending, no beginning, just
A swirling where a train of beings rose
Into their sense of self, then lost themselves
As time coagulated, formed, then flowed
Into the swirl of being, nothingness.
There was a dragon race; there was no race,
Its rising swallowed by the human song
That dominated all the earth, then, like
The dragons, swirled its eyes into miasma
As planets swung around their suns, and suns
Flared light into their darkness as their fires
Exploded into nova gravities
That swallowed matter near in time and space
And swirled into the chaos like the dragons,
The humans, the spirit beasts, the beings found
On other worlds in other times, miasma
Creating, shaping, then destroying as
Forever spun the endless mind of God.

The swirling tugged at Mmirimann and tried
To suck him deep into its endless maw.
He felt his mind and body disappearing
As dragon after dragon formed, then misted,
Its substance real, then disappeared, time filled
With lives that were, but never were, that sang
And then became a hurricane of souls
That had no individual substance, life,
But were the matter of the universe,
The swirl of chaos that created All.

He fought the tugging, taloned deep the spark
That made him who he was, a dragon great
Enough to brave the journey past his self,
And searched in desperation for a shelf
That he could grasp inside the maelstrom’s swirl.
And then he saw a single buzz of light
That did not waver, but was fixed inside
The endless swirling weaving strands of time.
He fought toward the light, the ledge where he
Could spread his wings and launch back to his life.

Time roared with silence, buffeting against
His will, his self, his sense of who he was.
He fought toward the buzz of light and forced
Himself to know himself, his dragon hearts—

And then he saw inside the light a human,
A woman from his place and time now dead,
Surrounded by a knot of humans waving
Their arms, creating substance from the chaos,
Their force a bridge between his world and where
He was inside the wind that was no wind.
A golden dragon wavered at the edge
Of where the human spectres generated
The ordered light, the only dragon seen
Inside the chaos of the roiling darkness.

He did not know if dragons lived or died
As time swirled from chaotic winds and gloam.
He could not see the corridor he sought
So that Sshrunnak’s rage would not lead to death
For dragons borning future generations.

He urged himself toward the light and blinked.
He felt his cave’s stone walls, hearts quickening,
The chaos just a song inside his ears.

To listen to this section of the epic, click Journeying to Chaos.

Note: This is the twenty first 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 20 to read the installment before this one. Click on 22 to go to the next section of the epic.


Filed under Poetry, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis