Tag Archives: fear of extinction

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.

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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